Civil society organizations help their communities prioritize and address their greatest needs and promote social cohesion. USAID is providing organizational and technical assistance and training to South Sudanese organizations to improve their capacity to participate in local and national-level political and peace processes, despite South Sudan’s restrictive environment. Support includes training organizations in conflict management, supporting their increased engagement in legislation, and providing material and technical support in advocacy for transparency and accountability in governance, peace processes, and ongoing political transitions. To support civil society at the local level, USAID established civic engagement centers throughout South Sudan and provides training and small grants.
USAID is supporting civil society organizations including women’s groups, youth groups, and interfaith councils to promote peace and reconciliation activities. This support helps build the resilience of households and communities by mitigating the drivers of inter-and intra-communal conflicts. USAID programming focuses on empowering citizens across a wide range of contexts and populations including women and youth and using inclusive and participatory processes. These efforts are promoting community mediation and dialogues throughout South Sudan, and in the disputed Abyei Area on the South Sudan-Sudan border. USAID also supports trauma awareness mechanisms that assist survivors and break cycles of violence.
Radio is the most important source of information in South Sudan, which has a high rate of illiteracy and a largely rural population. USAID provides extensive support for the development of professional and independent media through South Sudanese-staffed and managed radio stations and associated media organizations. USAID has distributed and continues to distribute thousands of solar-powered wind-up radios to isolated communities in South Sudan to promote access to information. These interventions collectively reach more than 3 million South Sudanese citizens.