Generating Sustainable Livelihoods and Leadership for Peace in South Sudan: Lessons from the Ground

In the context of South Sudan, as may be the case with other conflict and fragile communities, the nexus – in terms of causal relationship – between conflict and livelihoods is outstanding. The common denominator of the current conflict in South Sudan is loss of livelihood resulting from prolonged poverty and lack of alternatives to meet basic human needs. It is hypothesised that enhanced local conflict management skills, combined with resilience from improved livelihoods – all of which are seen to be fundamental to building trust both between and among local communities – will create a pathway through which the root causes of what has proven to be repeated cycles of both conflict and economic shocks in South Sudan can be addressed. Thus this programme is constructed upon a “theory of change” that emphasises the building of resource resilience and strengthening inter-communal conflict management mechanisms as a means of leading to three interrelated long-term outcomes: resilient livelihoods and food security; social cohesion; and peaceful conflict resolution. This policy brief is the second in a series of five briefs (to be published by the end of the programme) that seek to disseminate lessons learned from the project as well as to share the challenges faced by local communities in their respective peace building initiatives.