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New civil service support team from Kenya heads to South Sudan for mentoring assignments

South Sudan acting Minister of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development, and Minister of Gender, Child, and Social Welfare, Ms  Awut Deng Acuil. PHOTO/COURTESY
Seven new public servants from the Republic of Kenya arrived in Juba this week to begin their assignments as civil service support officers (CSSOs) as part of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Regional Initiative for Capacity Enhancement in South Sudan.
The team commonly referred to as the “IGAD Regional Initiative” are joining two Ugandan CSSOs, who reported to Juba in May 2016, for a two-week induction workshop into the RSS/IGAD programme.
“Your presence here demonstrates your firm resolve, commitment and determination to support South Sudan in its journey of state-building and nation-building, peace and development, “ said acting Minister of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development, and Minister of Gender, Child, and Social Welfare, Ms  Awut Deng Acuil, in her welcome remarks at the induction workshop.
Ms Acuil added that the government was very grateful for the new team’s continued support to contribute towards the enhancement and development of the civil service in South Sudan.
The Minister was joined by the Advisor to the Minister Hon. John Itorong, Undersecretary for Public Service Hon. Juma Yoane Kebi, and Director General for Human Resource Development Ms. Therezine Filbert, completing the delegation from the Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development. Representatives from the governments of Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Norway also spoke to the CSSOs as part of the welcoming ceremony.
“You are representing the IGAD countries and your own countries proudly through your service here,” said Major Okello Richard, First Secretary from the Embassy of the Republic of Uganda, in welcome remarks to the CSSOs at the induction workshop. “Respect and observance of the highest ethics is a key component to participating.”
After completing a two-week orientation, the new CSSOs will deploy to critical posts in Juba, Western Equatoria, Aweil, and Kuajok. Two CSSOs will return to their current posts in Rumbek and Torit. They will lend their expertise in health, human resource management, aviation, database management, public financial management, and management analysis.
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Since 2011, through bilateral agreements, the IGAD regional countries of Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda have sent highly experienced and committed civil servant support officers (CSSOs) to South Sudan where they are paired with counterparts – known as “twins.”
They are dispatched across a range of ministries and sectors throughout the country to rapidly develop core government capacity at the national and subnational levels in a coaching and mentoring scheme for a two-year period. Over 1,000 South Sudanese civil servants at the national and state levels benefitted so far.
The Government of Norway is the project’s sole donor and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) provides technical support to this initiative. The Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development plays a key role in directing the implementation of the project.
“This partnership between UNDP, the government of Norway, and the IGAD countries is very important. This is a very unique South to South and Triangular cooperation undertaking, described at the highest levels of the United Nations and among development partners as an innovative model in post-conflict civil service capacity development.
UNDP sees clear evidence that the RSS/IGAD Initiative is having a positive impact on the lives of many South Sudanese, and we are proud to have the privilege to be part of it,” said Mr. Andrew Shuruma, Democratic Governance and Stabilisation Unit Team Leader delivering remarks on behalf of UNDP’s Country Director.
Since 2011, more than three hundred CSSOs have come to South Sudan to strengthen the skills and knowledge of the country’s civil service in sectors like agriculture, aviation, finance, and public health.
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