Improving governance is a fundamental aim of UNDP’s work in Sudan. Having state institutions that work efficiently in the interests of all citizens is vital for building a better, fairer society in Sudan. Hand in hand with this, goes the need for a strong legal system that enables the rule of law to be upheld, and a judicial system to which every citizen has equal access.
Better governance and rule of law are essential steps in stabilizing conflict in Sudan. A lack of governance, in Darfur for example, is often cited as a driver of the conflict that has devastated millions of lives for more than a decade. Improving access to the justice system – particularly for marginalized or vulnerable groups - is also an essential step in overcoming underlying issues that fuel conflict in Sudan.
Better governance is also essential in Sudan’s efforts to advance human development.A consistent and fairer distribution of resources means that more people in Sudan stand to benefit from improved access to education and health care.
UNDP is working at every level – national, state, and local – to make government work better. Its work involves supporting better local governance, public administration reform, and decentralization and developing the civil service. It also involves strengthening key stakeholder groups such as political parties, media and civil society, including minorities and women and their participation in political processes. All these groups have an investment in supporting better governance and are key components of a functioning democratic society.
In East Sudan for example, UNDP is supporting the state government in planning and distributing resources fairly. This has involved local authorities working with NGOs and the communities in 18 different localities in the states of Kassala and Gedaref to produce Local Development Plans that map out clear objectives and cost calculations though to 2016.
UNDP is actively working to improve governance at the national level. Some 200 Parliamentarians – 140 of them women – were given UNDP training in oversight and public accountability. In addition, IT staff at the national assembly were given training in budgetary systems.
UNDP has supported the opening of 15 Justice and Confidence Centres across Sudan and Mobile Legal Aid Clinics in six remote locations in Darfur. In addition, over 18 000 community members were trained in human rights and access to justice.