Partnerships can be defined as inter-organizational relationships in which actors from two or more spheres of society (state, market and civil society) are involved in a collaborative process through which these actors strive for a jointly defined goal. Partnerships can be formed between businesses and NGOs, business and government, NGOs and other civil society members/communities or government and communities to address an issue common to both parties and for mutual benefits to the parties – partnerships add value to all the parties involved. Businesses may also engage directly with communities, but in practice, NGOs often broker or serve as liaisons between businesses and communities.
a) Reduction in Funding
The funding for the humanitarian needs in South Sudan has decreased from a high of US$2.02 Billion in 2014 to US1.5 Billion in 2017. For the year 2018, $800 Million has been received as at August 2018, representing 41.3% of the 2018 appeal funding / requirement of US$ 1.7 Billion. This reduction in funding has led to bilateral and multilateral donors and governments looking into ways of achieving more impact at lesser cost, and partnerships especially with local organizations has been mooted as one of the ways in which this could be achieved.
b) Grand Bargain Commitments
The Grand Bargain is a set of commitments made by fifteen of the largest donors and fifteen of the largest aid organizations at the World Humanitarian Summit in May 2016. The commitments include instituting mutually reinforcing reforms aimed at better serving people in need. The key among these commitments is giving more money directly to frontline responders and local actors, localizing humanitarian preparedness and response. This means reallocation of resources in the international aid system towards national and local NGOs and first line responders. The major donors in South Sudan have all embraced these Grand Bargain commitments as shown in their annual strategies. They are therefore pushing the national NGO’s to go into partnerships with national/ local NGO’s to ensure that more funding is channeled to such.
Subsidiarity refers to a situation where those close to a problem are better placed to solve it and in this case the need for local NGOs to support communities since they have knowledge of these communities. International NGO’s face increasing access constraints to their work in South Sudan. This has affected their ability to access the vulnerable at the lowest level. The access constraints are primarily due to
The government is also demanding that certain posts be nationalized. Many state governments and their county governments have also introduced fees and taxes – from employee income tax, to tax/ fees on vehicle rental and road use, as well as price controls for items required for humanitarian purposes, such as wooden poles. These measures have sometimes been coupled with tight restrictions on UN and NGO hiring and procurement procedures, including insistence on hiring or contracting within the county or state, and participation by the authorities in recruitment. Attempts to question or resist these demands have been met with violence or expulsion.The local/ national NGO’s do not face such constraints as detailed above and this makes them suitable as front line responders in most emergencies and interventions.
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