Sudan’s Joint Assessment Mission

Sudan’s Joint Assessment Mission

Sudan’s Joint Assessment Mission

Title: Sudan’s Joint Assessment Mission

Writer: Shania Beste


Problem: Aid Effectiveness

There has been a rise in concern on the effectiveness of development assistance and how aid is allocated to countries in need since the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness in 2005. An issue that lies here is that the Official Development Assistance provided to countries in crisis can sometimes harm rather than help (Booth, 2012).

An Example: Sudan’s Joint Assessment Mission

The colonial and post-independence governments did not provide South Sudan with basic public institutions and the war between the two states of Sudan had destroyed what little there was. Whatever new government was to be established would need to build the public service from scratch.  As primary school enrolment was the lowest in the world, teachers were paid $92 dollars a year with only 6% of them being qualified. Health wise Sudan was not prospering as 45% of the children were malnourished with one in four children dying before the age of five.

South Sudan hardly had any links to the outside would as there was just a broken down railway from Wau to North Sudan, barges along the Nile towards the north and a broken down gravel road that travels from Nimule to Uganda and then to Mombasa (Sudan Tribune, N.D).

After 20 plus years of war between Sudan and South Sudan, the Sudan’s People’s Liberation Army and the National Congress Party came together to develop a framework for sustained peace, development and poverty eradication.  The framework, later named the Joint Assessment Mission had the goal to be a six year $16 billion-dollar program to consolidate peace and to facilitate development (Sudan Tribune, N.D).

The Joint Assessment Mission program planned to allocate $8 billion dollars towards health, education, roads etc. 23% of the total budget was to be allocated towards capacity building and institutional development, and towards governance and the rule of law (Sudan Tribune, N.D).

Sudan was expected to have substantial oil revenues, as it was estimated that aid donors would need to contribute a little bit less than half of the total. The program aimed to revamp the public service, to have rural markets in 86 counties, 30,000 primary classrooms with teachers to teach in those classrooms, 4,000 new wells and water systems to serve 3.2 million people and 2,800 new doctors and nurses (Sudan Tribune, N.D).

A 2010 evaluation reported that, “At current rates, it seems highly unlikely that the Multi-Donor Trust Fund target of 44 schools will be met. In contrast, by the end of 2009, the Basic Services Fund had succeeded in completing 34 schools.  Another 12 schools are expected to be completed by June 2010, bring the total to 46.”  They managed to reach a total of 46 schools as opposed to the promised number of 3,750 schools (Sudan Tribune, N.D).

The Joint Assessment Mission had decided to allocate $750 million for national infrastructure in South Sudan with an additional $150 million for local roads, which was part of the Roads Master Plan to be completed by the end of 2006 and implemented by 2011.  But in 2010 it was reported that, “…although one of Dr. John Garang’s priorities was the building of trunk roads, many donors preferred, initially at least, to fund more media-friendly projects.”  The Roads Master Plan was completed in 2012 instead and the only international link was the 67 kilometre tarmac between Juba and the Uganda border at Nimule (Sudan Tribune, N.D).

That same evaluation estimated that between 2005 and 2009 donors had spent nearly $3 billion dollars, which was on target for the Joint Assessment total of $4 billion dollars by 2011.  But issue behind that amount being spent is to figure out what the money actually bought (Sudan Tribune, N.D).

The Joint Assessment Mission failed for a number of reasons. It did not meet the goals that it set out to achieve, the money donated by donors could not be tracked down to see what it was actually used for and because attention was taken away from certain developmental issues in Sudan and put towards other issues (Sudan Tribune, N.D).

The Solution: Country Ownership

Country ownership is the full and effective participation of a country’s population through legislative bodies, civil society, both the private and local sectors, and regional and national government, in conceptualizing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating development policies, programs and processes. What country ownership aims to do is to have an effective use of development assistance which results in communities experiencing change that they believe is good, that they have a voice and are committed to sustainability.  Country ownership works in the way that at the simplest level at the heart of it there is the participation of both citizens and the government in development efforts, which allows for better targeting of resources, strengthened accountability among various stakeholders and finally increased sustainability and success. Empowering and supporting effective states and their citizens to take responsibility for their own developing, using local systems and local resources to help countries become less dependent on other countries is a key factor to “smart development” (InterAction, 2013).

The CMIC: Aid Effectiveness and Country Ownership

The Community Mobilization in Crisis Project lends a few elements from the concept of country ownership, where it seeks to have the citizens of countries in crisis to take responsibility for developing, use of local systems and local resources to help countries in crisis to become less dependent on external help for development.  As well, when it comes to aid effectiveness, aid programs must decide on how they choose to provide aid, whether it be by doing all the work for those in need or by teaching them how to sustain themselves.  The Community Mobilization in Crisis aims to further mobilizers’ skills in mobilization and group abilities.  Another main goal of the Community Mobilization in Crisis Project is to deliver community interventions by providing training in the skills and tools that help communities to identify their own needs and priorities, to use available resources and to become agents of their own community-based solutions.


Booth, David. (2012) Aid effectiveness: bringing country ownership (and politics)

back in, Conflict, Security & Development, 12:5, 537-558

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Policy Brief [PDF]. (2013, January). InterAction: A United Voice for Global Change.  Retrieved

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