Transitional Demobilization and Reintegration Program
Republic of South Sudan
South Sudan
Country Brief:

The Republic of South Sudan became the world’s newest nation and Africa’s 55th country on July 9, 2011, following a peaceful Referendum in January 2011. The referendum was foreseen as part of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed by the Government of the Republic of the Sudan and the then southern-based rebel group, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, after decades of conflict. As a new nation without a history of formal institutions, rules or administration accepted as legitimate by its society, South Sudan must build its institutions from scratch. Core administrative structures and mechanisms of political representation are only beginning to emerge, and the government still struggles to provide basic services to the population. Outside a few oil enclaves, South Sudan remains a relatively undeveloped, subsistence economy.

South Sudan has vast and largely untapped natural resources and opportunities abound for visible improvements in the quality of peoples’ lives, but there are also many challenges. Geographically large (about the size of France), South Sudan is sparsely populated with more than 200 ethnic groups and little sense of shared nationhood. South Sudan is the most oil dependent country in the world, with oil exports accounting for almost the totality of exports, and for around 80% of gross domestic product (GDP), directly and indirectly. In Addis Ababa on September 27, 2012, an agreement was reached between Juba and Khartoum on the mechanism to market oil, which had raised the hope that the oil production may resume early 2013. However, a disagreement on the manner of implementation of the agreement stalled the agreement until mid-March 2013, when the two countries agreed on the matrix of implementing the agreement. This matrix has renewed the hope that oil from South Sudan may flow again by mid-2013.

The Government of Southern Sudan began earnestly working on the development of Southern Sudan (as it was then known) after the signing of the CPA in July 2005, with the support of development partners. However, the task was extremely challenging. It had virtually no road or water infrastructure then, and no paved roads in and outside of its capital of Juba. Structures for service delivery were practically nonexistent. Despite the substantial achievements of the last seven years, the development challenges facing the new nation remain significant. The civil war that lasted over 20 years took an enormous toll and left South Sudan impoverished. Over half of the population lives below the poverty line, and human development indicators are among the worst in the world.

Last updated: October 2013


TDRP Activities

TDRP is an active partner of the Republic of South Sudan’s National DDR Commission (NDDRC) in piloting the country’s new DDR program. The overall programme aims to enhance the country’s stability and prosperity by facilitating the return to productive civilian life of former members of the National Organized Forces. To ensure the full program was well designed to fit the context and needs of South Sudan, it was determined by the government to start the program with a pilot, during which lessons learned could be incorporated before scaling up to the full caseload.

TDRP has been working closely with the NDDRC in preparation for the new program since 2011, providing technical assistance with a focus on reintegration and specifically assisting the NDDRC with the current Pilot Reintegration Project. Within this framework TDRP is currently focusing on 1) testing the DDR reintegration modalities for the country’s new national programme 2) capacity building of the National DDR Commission systems and staff, 3) financial program management of the reintegration services for this initial pilot tranche, and 4) the establishment of an Information, Counseling and Referral System (ICRS).

South Sudan NDDRC Pilot Reintegration Project

Background: The pilot reintegration project is the current focus of TDRP’s technical assistance in South Sudan with the aim of testing the DDR reintegration modalities and developing lessons learned for the full National Program. The pilot reintegration project is further designed to improve ex-combatants’ livelihoods while facilitating their socio-economic reintegration through follow-up trainings and distribution of start-up toolkits alongside community support projects, capacity building and monitoring and evaluation. 

Reintegration is a core component of the overall DDR process as is highlighted in the South Sudan DDR policy.  In South Sudan, DDR is designed to last for one year which includes a three month reinsertion phase at a transitional facility followed by six months of reintegration services and finally 3 months of follow-up, counselling and referral by NDDRC state staff. In April 2013 the first caseload of ex-combatants started in Mapel Transitional Facility where they received vocational skills, literacy and numeracy and life skills training. The pilot project provided the ex-combatants in the Mapel facility with classes on entrepreneurship, financial literacy and cooperatives during the last weeks in the camp, which focused on applicable skills supporting them in their segue to reintegration. In September 2013 the first pilot tranche of 290 former soldiers graduated from the Mapel Transitional Facility and the ex-combatants (XCs) returned to their communities. In their communities of reintegration the pilot project provided livelihoods support through which the XCs receive follow-up entrepreneurship and cooperatives trainings and start-up toolkits to assist the ex-combatants to engage in sustainable livelihoods in the area of vocational training they received. In concert with this work, the communities will receive DDR community support projects and cooperatives training alongside the returning ex-combatants.

In addition to the service delivery aspect of the pilot reintegration project, work on capacity building to the NDDRC systems and staff has been ongoing since June 2013. A mentoring model was utilized in this work. In addition group trainings were conducted for the headquarters Project Management Unit staff as well as the State NDDRC staff in the four states of Greater Bahr El Ghazal.  The trainings focused on project management including planning, assessment, lessons learned, M&E and management skills.  

The four pilot reintegration project components are the following:

Institutional Capacity Building | Conducted through systems development, as well as training and mentoring of NDDRC staff within the overall Project Management Unit (PMU) and in the four state offices. Capacity building also includes implementation of the Information, Counseling and Referral System (ICRS) under development by NDDRC since early 2012.

Monitoring and Evaluation: The M&E component is focused on developing the NDDRC’s M&E systems to establish an independent Monitoring and Evaluation system that is able to track achievements and progress of the project, to provide updated information to guide decision-making, to detect problems as they arise, to assess the overall impact of the project and to identify lessons learned to inform the NDDRC.

Livelihoods Support: Ex-combatants have the option to participate in livelihood support activities including livelihoods fundamentals training on business and cooperative management during their time in the transition facility, start-up livelihood toolkits and follow-up livelihoods support trainings.

DDR Community Support Projects: Targeted support for communities with high concentrations of returning ex-combatants. Community Support Projects primarily entail borehole water projects in selected communities. Delivery of these projects is structured around participatory mechanisms and community committees. Members of these committees incorporating representation of a range of stakeholders will be trained and mentored to work with their communities to help identify the best modalities for delivery.

Overall, the pilot project supports South Sudan’s National DDR Commission (NDDRC) in further developing effective and sustainable modalities that can be applied to scale-up the country’s new DDR program. The pilot project will also develop lessons-learned that can be applied to future DDR programs and instill a system of DDR Reintegration Management that can live beyond the pilot phase.

Implementing Partners: Adam Smith International/INTEGRITY (capacity building/ monitoring and evaluation), UNICON International (livelihoods support), and IOM (community support projects)

Development of Information, Counseling and Referral System (ICRS)

TDRP also provides technical assistance to NDDRC through a unique and exciting Information, Counseling and Referral System (ICRS). The work has included development of the software and database as well as a significant focus on training and capacity building of the NDDRC ICRS, M&E and IT staff.  To date the ICRS includes sections on: registration, XC baseline survey data, Transitional Facility training data, start-up kit tracking, counseling and referral services, and opportunity mapping.  The information is then accessible to NDDRC staff through reporting as well as interface access. This information is being utilized by the ICRS caseworkers to facilitate livelihood counseling to ex-combatants, and is also available to the NDDRC for use in program management and monitoring and evaluation.

The TDRP consultants, in coordination with the NDDRC and BICC conducted several trainings for the NDDRC staff. 

In early April, TDRP consultants presented the software and conducted training at a three-day workshop of NDDRC ICRS caseworkers in preparation for registration to begin on 15 April 2013. The TDRP team further worked alongside the ICRS manager and caseworkers to set up the registration process and system at the Mapel Transition Facility. TDRP conducted a similar training for the XC baseline survey and provided video tutorials and online mentoring for the opportunities mapping sections.  Video tutorials have been found to be highly utilized by the ICRS caseworkers and TDRP is in the process of creating them for all sections of the system.  Additionally, the TDRP conducted a training on the counseling and referral sections as well as video tutorials on additional capabilities of the system. 

The development of such a system requires significant efforts on the technical front. The TDRP technical consultant conducted an assessment and validation of equipment, the network, servers, network connectivity and bandwidth, and an assessment of data tracking needs, systems and readiness.  Further work was conducted to ensure profile data verification, software updating as required, and together with BICC and NDDRC initiated the construction of a registration data capture architecture including both biographic and biometric information of ex-combatants.

Reintegration Implementation and Operations Manual (RIOM)

The TDRP has been providing technical assistance to the NDDRC since 2011.  In that time much work has been done including the recent contribution of a draft Reintegration Implementation and Operations Manual (RIOM). This was conducted by the TDRP in June 2012. The work significantly informed the development of the reintegration pilot design and provided a base for the Project Management Unit’s Project Implementation Manual which is currently in development. 


Country facts
Democratic Republic of Congo
Population (millions) 10.84
Life expectancy at birth (years) 54
Surface area (thousands sq. km) 619,745
Gross national income per capita (current US$) 790
GDP growth (annual %) -47.6
 World Development Indicators
↑ Back to top