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Managing Post Conflict Aid How Not to Make Unity Attractive. St Antony’s Workshop International Aid and the Two Sudans 6 February 2013. CPA and JAM. January 2005 - John Garang and Ali Othman Taha sign CPA March 2005 - JG and AOT sign JAM “to make unity attractive …”

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Managing post conflict aid how not to make unity attractive

Managing Post Conflict AidHow Not to Make Unity Attractive

St Antony’s Workshop

International Aid and the Two Sudans

6 February 2013

Cpa and jam

  • January 2005 - John Garang and Ali Othman Taha sign CPA

  • March 2005 - JG and AOT sign JAM

    • “to make unity attractive …”

    • Garang’s vision, not many others

    • to deliver a Peace Dividend: $8 billion, inc. $4 billion of aid

    • Donors to “re-engage in ways that are well coordinated”

A rare post conflict opportunity
A Rare Post Conflict Opportunity

  • A durable settlement between two parties capable of committing their constituencies

  • In the SPLA/GoSS a partner who was truly grateful to the donors and aware of his lack of capacity

  • A comprehensive and genuinely joint Joint Assessment Mission

    The donors’ best ever opportunity

    They missed it

What a pre failed state needs
What a ‘pre-failed state’ needs

  • Institutions: S. Sudan never had any

  • Public Service Capacity: to build ‘entirely from scratch’

  • Basic Services: Lowest school enrolment in the World, 45% child malnourishment, 1 in 4 dead by 5

  • Infrastructure: No paved roads, no transport links in any direction, 1,500 km to sea

Statehood a conceptual vacuum
Statehood: ‘a conceptual vacuum’

  • ‘Supply’ State or ‘Facilitating’ State?

    • Lack of capacity gap forced the answer

  • Citizen - State Relationship (Sovereignty)?

  • The standard answer:

    • Direct relationship: individual to unitary State

    • Mediated by democracy & honest, capable bureaucracy

  • The standard ‘neo-patrimonial’ analysis of state failure:

    • patron-client corruption rots bureaucracy & democracy

  • Pre-failed states are different

    • Sovereignty is real but dispersed, indirect

    • Structured on ‘tribes’, ‘clans’, etc AND

    • Patron-client networks

    • Designed to manage (not resolve) conflict

    • Globalisation, geo-politics & aid causes them to fail

What s sudan got
What S. Sudan Got

  • The promised peace dividend (2011):

    • $4 billion aid; 30,000 classrooms and teachers; 4,000 water supplies; 2,800 nurses & doctors; trunk roads

    • ‘neo patrimonial’ solutions to state failure

  • The delivery

    • $3 billion to 2009   

    • Substantial support to basic services, at unaffordable standards/unsustainable levels 

    • 44 + 46 classrooms, 3,500 teachers   

    • 67 km of tarmac (2012)   

    • Weak, naive effort on state institutions   

Relief or development
Relief or Development

  • The Two-Track Strategy

    • Track1 - ‘development of core capacities’ [Development]

    • Track 2 - ‘delivery of essential services’ [Relief]

  • Meaningless without ‘track switching plan’

    • There was no switching plan

    • Track 1 effort grossly under-estimated.

    • Lead Track 1 agency incompetent, disengaged

    • Majority of actors Track 2 ‘specialists’

  • Result: Track 2 dominant, Track 1 put in ‘too difficult’ box

  • A false dichotomy anyway

Coordination harmonisation not
Coordination & Harmonisation NOT

  • 2008 donor mapping:

    • 26 donors

    • 169 projects (reported) + ?? (unreported)

    • Only 25 projects submitted for Govt review

    • 37 projects in health alone

    • Average of 11 donors per sector

    • 13 donor missions in one month

  • John Garang wanted trunk roads. Donors preferred ‘more media-friendly projects’

Projects/Sectors By Donor

MDTF Supporters

Channels modalities narratives
Channels, Modalities & Narratives

  • From OLS on, S.Sudan has been a major theatre for humanitarian aid

  • Principal actors: UN agencies and INGOs

  • The Post-Conflict dilemma: Withdraw, change or carry on regardless?

  • Answer decides positioning along the “relief-recovery-development” spectrum

  • Axiomatic that the pre-CPA actors were best qualified for the JAM

Carving up the JAM Cake

31% still classified as Emergency Relief

The ‘Carry on Regardless’ option

Modalities in theory
‘Modalities’ in Theory

  • Multilateral-managed pooled funds

    • MDTF: World Bank as expert in working with Governments [Track 1]

    • CHF: UN as Humanitarian expert [Track 2]

  • Contractor-managed pooled fund

    • Basic Services Fund to fill pre MDTF gap [Interim but Twin Track ]

  • Bilateral Projects

    • Because donors wanted them

  • The Joint Donor Team to

    • Oversee MDTF for donor partners

    • Coordinate donor partners’ bilateral projects

And in practice
And in Practice

  • Evaluations rank MDTF bottom, UN close behind, contractor-managed funds better, bilateral projects best

  • BUT management style and relations with GoSS apart they are all the same: channels to pass funds to UN agencies and NGOs.

  • In most cases, in small packages ($200,000 to $1 million), short term (12 to 24 mths)

  • Severe diseconomies of scale and discontinuity

  • Even for Track 2 this was not efficient

  • Not even the best funds addressed the track switching problem

Rats in a sack
“Rats in a Sack”

  • JAM signed March 2005

  • UN and World Bank immediately stalemated over accounting / audit for MDTF

  • UN: submitting documents to Bank would “violate the single audit principle”

  • October 2006 (!!!!) resolved under donor pressure

    • Dutch Minister to Wolfowitz: “I do not understand how administrative quarrels can be allowed to put the reconstruction process at risk”

  • Norwegian NGOs withdraw from bidding to train 6,000 teachers: ‘unrealistic’, contract procedures unsuitable for NGOs.

The aid capacity gap
The Aid Capacity Gap:

  • A range of narratives about ‘modalities’, ‘relief versus development’, and ‘development versus conflict prevention’

  • These concealed a simpler failure: professional management

  • World Bank, and donors, completely under-estimated the MDTF’s task

  • MDTF failure allowed other actors to ‘carry on regardless’:

    • Minimal monitoring and evaluation

    • Loose accountability, oversight committees routinely conflicted

    • Basic operational requirements - bills of quantities, well drilling logs, etc - ignored

    • ‘Inclusive’, slow approach to strategic and technical issues

    • Short ‘humanitarian’ timescales and small packages

    • Diseconomies of scale and cascading overhead charges

A darfur coda
A Darfur Coda

  • Similar

    • Conceptual gap on what post-conflict Darfur might look like

    • Dominance of UN/NGO humanitarian complex

    • Mostly pooled funds, UN managed

    • Small package, short term approach

  • Different

    • Donor ‘toxic’ fear of any close engagement

    • CPA type settlement improbable

    • Government in full control of MDTF

  • Elements of a Viable Three-Tiered Strategy

    • Doha process (UN Joint Mediation Team)

    • Darfur-Darfur Dialogue and Consultation (UN)

    • Darfur Community Peace and Stability Fund (UN)

  • BUT not integrated and without the capacity to do better


  • The aid community has let South Sudan shockingly badly, given a relatively positive starting point and the urgent need to use the CPA period well

  • If donors are not willing to make good on their commitment to coordination, and to put in the effort required, they should return to bilateral project aid

  • The tendency to carry on in humanitarian mode needs to be resisted

  • Standard neo-patrimonial ‘failed state’thinking does not help