Local organisations in South Sudan face a number of challenges. Because of decades of conflict, they have to address a high level of social needs in South Sudan in terms of security, poverty, food shortages, education and health. The government at local and national levels is often not able to meet needs due to a lack of resources and personnel, so local organisations are thrust into a role of service provision. They are nearly entirely dependent on funding from the international community, which means that they are frequently driven by agendas determined by outsiders.
CREATING A STRATEGIC VISION
Under the circumstances, it is not surprising that many local organisations lack strategic vision, meaning that they stop/start or change direction according to funding. Many CSOs are the product of an individual or family and lack deeper roots in the communities they aim to serve. Coordination between them and interaction with other actors is often weak. The difficult physical linkages across the country (due to poor infrastructure, and adverse climate and insecurity) make it harder for them to access resources, which are heavily concentrated in Juba. While there is capacity building support provided, this is often in the limited form of training and manuals, and is focused on project implementation and compliance issues.
DOING THINGS DIFFERENTLY
The CSF aims to do things differently. CSF will target the whole organisation and thus move beyond the more classic project-focused approach of most funders. CSF will encourage CSOs to take responsibility and feel ownership for their own capacity development processes. As a starting point local organisations will be facilitated to assess their own capacity, identify their problems and prioritise those to be addressed. Moreover, the timeframe will be longer than the standard project duration of 12 months, because capacity development processes takes longer than a typical development project and the various methods will be tailored to the local needs, in other words CSF will avoid using blue-prints of standard classroom trainings.
A TAYLORMADE APPROACH
CSF will use a combination of capacity development methods including: formal training, mentoring, coaching, accompaniment, exchange visits and peer to peer visits. The focus, where possible, will be on decentralised delivery, in other words training interventions will take place in the same area as where the organisation is active. This tailored approach, applied locally will help CSF to be effective in adjusting its intervention to the current crisis. A decentralized set-up will also make the coordination with other actors manageable and this will be important for ensuring effective cooperation and links with the NGO-forum, local governments and UN clusters. The idea is to start and build up from a relatively small base and then spread out more widely and go more deeply over time.
The FM identified three locations, or hubs, where the Fund will be launched. These are: