This department concentrates on the governance sector, with emphasis on the building of a democratic state, and all aspects associated with governance, particularly institution- building, management of diversity, nation-building and constitutionalism.
Sustaining a Democratic Developmental State
Since the signing of the CPA in 2005, the states of South Sudan have implemented a model of governance that has attempted to secure a functioning democratic system – through the separation of powers, effective checks, and balances, elections, public debate, reformulating legislation, and addressing past mistakes. However, since 2012, the country has been facing many challenges that require consistent focus. The integrated approach in building a democratic developmental state requires that decision- making processes and institution- building in the country be transparent in all aspects of governance, including political, economic, social and information. Other areas of research include federalism, decentralization, and local government.
State and Nation-building: Institutions and Identity
In the case of a new state with transitional structures and diverse composition, research on comparative studies concentrating on the dynamics of state and nation-building processes and challenges are imperative. The particular features of the traditional and vernacular aspects of identity and social regulation are taken into account, with the objective of crafting innovative tools that aid the creations of both functional institutions and mechanisms that bring about representative governance and post-conflict recovery. This programme idea with several sub-program and focus areas, chief among which are the following two areas:
- National heritage and diversity management subprogram which includes understanding the history, cultural diversity and ethnicity of South Sudan which is an essential tool in finding possible solutions to any contradictions that may be attributed to instability, whether political or social, in the post-independence period.
- Customary and Local institutions that will assist in the re-establishment of public order, justice system, and community development.
Constitutionalism and Rule of Law
Constitutional making in any new state may prove to be a catalyst either for national
reconciliation or a seed of conflict. It is vitally important to conduct research that brings to light the importance of an inclusive and grassroots constitution-making process, and which disseminate the outcome of such research through civic education initiatives. The reformulation of the body of law in the new country is also a focus of this programme.
Delivery of services is often considered as the best measurement for the efficiency of state institutions and governments’ commitments to the social contract it entered into with the societies they govern. Depending on the vision of the country, the national priorities on human security needs of the nation are identified as crucial for its development. This program concentrates on studying and analysing the use of existing institutions, set up in the post- conflict transitional period, and the combination of these with local structures in order to understand the best way to provide the most basic services of health and education. This programme will also critically access the impact of donor-led initiatives and government implementation.
Civil and Traditional Societies
Civil society organizations and traditional leaderships are vital instruments for transparent governance as well as for dialogues among state institutions and grassroots. Such organizations also act as vehicles for transformation and change.