UNITAR South Sudan Fellowship Programme 2016 Commences with Workshop I in Sharjah

UNITAR SSFP 201627 October 2016, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates – The UNITAR Hiroshima Office and the Embassy of Japan in South Sudan have launched the second cycle of the UNITAR South Sudan Fellowship Programme, the six-month specialized capacity-building training programme for South Sudan. Focusing on project development and implementation, this year’s Programme, offers 25 South Sudanese UNITAR Fellows, including 12 women, from various public sector, private sector, academic institutions, and civil society organizations the training that examines youth leadership and entrepreneurship in the context of South Sudan.

Workshop I, held in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, on 18 - 20 October, aimed to introduce the idea of organizational needs assessment to the Fellows’ working environment in South Sudan. Five Coaches, selected from the previous cycle, brought an invaluable asset to encourage participants to think of utilizing their knowledge of people and resources in conducting an organizational needs assessment. Learning-by-doing was the key method of the Workshop. Fellows were able to improve their understanding of the key processes of organizational needs assessments through data collection, analysis, and reporting.

Ambassador Joshua Franco from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation expresses the Ministry’s satisfaction with the report from the Fellowship Programme, stating that, “[it is] a key priority for the Transitional Government of National Unity to build effective institutions by developing a sense of direction for [all their] junior [and] senior leaders who take into account […] the situational needs that dictate the approaches, techniques and training methods to be deployed. […] We need to approach our needs realistically for us to develop South Sudan into a result-oriented country.”

Mihoko Kumamoto, Head of the UNITAR Hiroshima Office, stated, “We are impressed with the participants, who are talented and highly driven to contribute to recovery, peacebuilding, and the sustainable development of South Sudan. We are based in Hiroshima, which experienced the tragedy of the first atomic bombing, and recovered in a short period of time. Through sharing these experiences and lessons, I hope this programme will not only help develop the human capacity needed for South Sudan’s nation building, but also bring hope to the people of South Sudan.”

Kiya Masahiko, Ambassador of Japan to South Sudan, said the Programme is particularly relevant to South Sudan’s ongoing peacebuilding. “Upon reflecting on failures and successes of numerous enterprises in South Sudan, we realize the importance of analysis of willing stakeholders, affordable resources, and feasible methods of engagement,” continued Ambassador Kiya. “The 25 Fellows and their 20 predecessors from 2015 Cycle are a beacon of hope of South Sudan who bring their learning to work and to deliver improved public service to citizens in South Sudan by unlocking their full potential.”

UNITAR SSFP 2016During Workshop I, Fellows focused on the acquisition of skills necessary to develop a proposal and collect and analyse relevant data from the field in South Sudan. These data will act as the baseline for their individual project proposals, to be further developed during Workshop II in Japan. During discussions, Fellows raised the importance of such skills in conducting a needs assessment while confronting the existing challenges and opportunities for individuals and state institutions to promote enterprises in South Sudan. Specifically, Fellows identified the gap between existing competence of employees and desired functions of their institutions. Unmet service needs of the population both inside and outside Juba can be narrowed by providing needs-based training to employees, which will improve the chances of creating conditions favorable to start-ups and existing enterprises. A clear understanding of these factors will enable an environment conducive for social entrepreneurship in South Sudan.

Hakim Monykuer Awuok, a Fellow who participated in Workshop I, commented that “Following the first training of the UNITAR South Sudan Fellowship Programme, I sincerely feel so thankful to UNITAR, the Government of Japan, and our respective institutions in the country for giving us this rare opportunity to acquire new skills and knowledge that will enable us to address the daunting challenges facing our nascent country. We express our heartfelt gratitude to our instructors, who wholeheartedly committed their time to impart knowledge and skills on us, the Fellows, to bravely take the lead in realizing positive change in our work places and the country as a whole.”

About the Programme

The UNITAR South Sudan Fellowship Programme was developed by UNITAR, with funding support from the Government of Japan and with institutional support from the Government of the Republic of South Sudan, to cultivate the social entrepreneurship and project-development knowledge, skills, and attitudes of selected South Sudanese professionals. The programme features a blended learning methodology and includes asynchronous and online training, coupled with two international workshops. Each workshop will be linked by participant-led projects examining challenges and opportunities as they exist in South Sudan today. Workshop II will be held in Hiroshima, Japan, in March 2017.

South Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation is the political focal point for the Programme and the Ministry of Labour, Public Service, and Human Resource Development is the operational focal point.

Related links

Download the joint press release (PDF).

Read more about the South Sudan Fellowship Programme.

At UNITAR Hiroshima

Shamsul Hadi SHAMS (Mr.) | e-mail: shamsul.shams@unitar.org | Phone: +81 82 511 2424

At Embassy of Japan in South Sudan

Koji ITO (Mr.) | e-mail: koji.ito-2@mofa.go.jp | Phone: +211 956 481 145

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