Good Governance and Equity in Political Participation in Post Conflict Sudan

Fast Facts:
• Project Document
Location: National
Duration: January 2005- June 2009
Focus area: Democratic Governance
Contributions(USD): NET: 2,743,543.17
Partners: The Ministry of International Cooperation
The Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Child Affairs.
Delivery(USD): 2007: 469,194.57
2008: 1,351,312.09
Contact person in UNDP: Tomoko Noda, Programme Officer,
Good governance is about the equal participation of all citizens - men and women, young and old - in public and political life. Equality between men and women constitutes an indicator of success in good governance.

With a total population of approximately 37 million in Sudan, women account for nearly 50% of the population. Despite their active role in the society, their socio-economic situation is still precarious. For decades they remained marginalized both economically and socially, and sidelined in the political sphere. Legislative councils at all levels and traditional authority and customary law mechanisms, are generally dominated by men.

Addressing the inequitable political participation by promoting the political inclusion of all segments of society is crucial in today’s post-conflict Sudan. In fact, the active participation of women at the grass-roots and national level, in traditional structures and modern governance and rule of law institutions, is essential to promoting a society that is conducive to the recovery, reintegration and reconstruction efforts. To this end, concerted efforts are needed to raise the public’s awareness of this issue, and to ensure that women are equipped with the necessary skills, knowledge and competencies that allow them to substantively contribute to sustainable peace and development.

Building the capacity of women and promoting partnerships between women and men contributes to achieving the political reform that was emphasized in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). In addition, the Joint Assessment Mission (JAM) stressed the need to promote public participation and political accountability, and increased representation, participation and inclusion by women in the legislative and constitutional systems and their participation at all decision-making levels in conflict resolution, peace-building and post-conflict reconstruction.
In an attempt to turn these principles and recommendations into a reality, UNDP, with the support of the Netherlands Government, launched the project “Good Governance and Equity in Political Participation in Post Conflict Sudan” in September, 2005.

The main objective of the project is to contribute to good governance based on partnerships between men and women in the political sphere – partnerships that are instrumental in realizing human rights and achieving sustainable peace and development.

The specific objectives are:
• To enhance the capacities of potential Sudanese women leaders and institutions impacting women’s political participation;
• To raise the awareness of the Sudanese public regarding good governance principles and the importance of the political participation of women;
• To improve the conditions for gender-sensitive policy reform and formulation in order to achieve political participation by women.

Snapshots of the project's major achievements
• In collaboration with several national and international institutions, the project conducted the 6 following studies: 1) Leadership Training Needs Assessment in 2005; 2) Survey of Attitudes Studies in 2005; 3) Study of Key Government and Civil Society Institutions (CSOs) Impacting Women’s Political Participation in 2005; 4) Study of Civic and Voter Education in 2005; 5) Study of Budgeting, Planning and Social Service Delivery in 2005; and 6) Study of Political Parties Structures and Programmes.
• Developed materials and modules targeting different groups to be trained on the principles of good governance and the importance of gender equity.
• Strengthened capacities of 176 men and women of civil service, legal professions, civil society and youth to reach and sustain positions of leadership through leadership training.
• Trained 681 men and women on gender sensitization, including the importance of political participation by women, in the states of Khartoum, Red Sea, Kassala, South/North Kordofan, and North/South Darfur.
• Sent 6 Sudanese women to participate in the regional seminar on “Gender, Good Governance and Citizenship” that was held in Beirut between 23 April and 4 May 2006. The participants included women active in the political and public sphere, as well as a representative from each of the two UNDP project offices in the North and the South.
• In November 2006, organised two training sessions on gender for 98 participants representing the Ministry of Social Welfare; the Ministry of Labour; gender focal points in different ministries; and several civil society organizations.
• In January 2007, organised a workshop on “Gender, Good Governance and Strategic Planning” for 30 participants representing government ministries.
• In May/June 2006, developed the training materials and then conducted two gender training workshops for 50 participants from the Mutawinat Group, a national institution working on women’s legal aid.
• Supported the participation of 25 people at the “True Leadership and Persuasive Presentations” workshop held in February 2006, in Khartoum, by renowned performance trainer.
• In February 2006, established a committee to guide and oversee the content of the training modules, to offer technical assistance to training institutions, to ensure expert quality control of all materials and training implementation, and to evaluate the training packages delivered.
• Developed a Leadership Manual which was used to train 240 participants from 8 national institutions, the legal profession and political parties.
• In cooperation with Ahfad University for Women, conducted a training of trainers course for 16 participants. The trainers formed a leadership facilitators’ forum and started raising their own funds.
• Established six forums where women and men from different political parties, the legal profession, the media, civil society, youth, and leadership facilitators meet on a regular basis: 1) Youth Forum; 2) Media Forum; 3) Women in Major Political Parties Forum; 4) Women Legal Professionals Forum; 5) Women in Civil Society Forum; and 6) Leadership Facilitator Forum.
• Funded a five-month training course for 50 students from journalism departments, student unions, and the members of the Youth Forum, by Teeba Press, the journalism training centre. Young men and women were trained in all the skills of the trade: writing, editing, computer use, photography, image treating, and management, in addition to undertaking a one-month in-house training with a major Sudanese newspaper.
• As a result of the journalist training, students founded and produced Manbar Al-Shabab (the Youth Forum), the first monthly newspaper by Sudanese youth in Sudan that encapsulates the principles of good governance. For each issue, Teeba Press printed 5,000 copies of the free newspaper and ensured their distribution in Khartoum State’s schools, universities, youth NGOs and cultural centres.
• Helped women from political parties, legal professions, civil society, youth and students and media forums to attend tailored English courses.
• Developed a strong partnership with the Sudanese media, and is currently supporting a series of TV and radio programmes covering topics such as good governance principles, women’s political participation, women and media, and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
• In contributing to enhancing capacities of women in leadership and political participation, a dialogue platform for Political Parties' and Leadership Facilitators' Forum was formed.
• Developed and produced “Gender Mainstreaming and Good Governance” manual to be used for civil servants training facilitated by the Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Child Affairs with an intention to promote gender mainstreaming within the public sector.
• Coordinated and supported presentation by 16 political parties on “political parties’ position on women quota and election” through the project’s Political Parties’ Forum. The Forum’s negotiation on the forum of the chosen system of women’s list in the election led to reaching the minimum agenda and agreement among women from different political parties.
• Produced a manual on “Voter Education for Youth, Women and First Time Voters” in December 2007 in partnership with the National Endowment for Democracy, US Institute for Peace and the East Nile University College.
• Trained 25 parliamentarians and 25 legal professionals on elections in partnership with Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Child Affairs and Women Centre for Human Rights.
• Provide English courses for 11 members of the Women in Political Parties Forum as a continuation of the capacity development process which started off in 2006.
• Group of 16 members of the Women in Political Parties Forum have been successfully trained and completed the courses for basic Computer skills at the Cambridge International Training Center.

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