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Community Contribution

Powering Up Partnerships With Evidence for Improved Collaborating, Learning, & Adapting


Independent from Sudan since 2011 following the longest civil war in Africa (1983-2005), South Sudan has been embroiled in recurrent conflicts for much of its short history. Recognizing the spread of vulnerability and the erosion of coping capacity across South Sudan, there was a consensus among different players that development challenges of the country will be hard to solve unilaterally. The potential of cross-sector partnerships received particular attention in the context of complex development settings in South Sudan.

From this recognition, a dialogue was started around recovery and resilience as a way to harmonize humanitarian and development assistance in a partnership framework. However, the growing conceptual consideration and significant political commitment within the partnership sharply contrasted with a lack of consolidated information and empirical evidence on What, Who and Where. This served as the basis for collaboration, learning and adapting in a partnership framework.

This case reflects on how the partnership generated lessons and evidence on what’s happening and what’s working in a collaborative learning space to provide impetus for collaboration, learning and adapting. Information produced from coordination meetings with partners, and qualitative-quantitative data emerging from field research set the stage for improved internal and external engagement. In future this evidence will greatly shape the partnership model. It will be instrumental in guiding USAID, donors and implementing partners to curate and test different business models/approaches for cross-sectoral collaboration, learning and adaptation to deliver community-based essential services.

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