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South Sudan Peacebuilding Opportunities Fund

Alfred Sloley

DFID’s South Sudan Peacebuilding Opportunities Fund (POF) is jointly implemented with CAFOD-Trócaire in Partnership (CTP) and Forcier Consulting. The programme is envisaged to establish a scalable, adaptable, and contextually-driven mechanism to pursue peacebuilding objectives in South Sudan.


Conflict has been one of the key drivers of South Sudan’s economic and humanitarian crises, and a key brake on the nation’s development. Having achieved independence from Sudan in 2011, the newly independent nation descended into violence conflict in December 2013 that progressively spread across the whole country causing destruction and massive population displacements, particularly to northern Uganda.

The signing of a peace agreement and the formation of a Transitional Government of National Unity in February 2020 are major steps in leading the world’s newest nation towards peace, security and development. Conflict dynamics are complex, with multiple layers of conflict at national and sub-national levels, the resolution of which POF will seek to support in project locations.

Our Approach

The approach to peacebuilding is designed around three funding windows which prioritise investment in organisations and civic approaches four sub-national locations (Bor, Bentiu, Rumbek, Torit in diagram below), in targeting youth who are particularly vulnerable to mobilisation by armed militias, and in supporting opportunities at the national level.

Learning is at the centre of POF’s adaptive programming. In the different locations, we start with small, iterative interventions that target the programme outcomes. In the process, the team actively documents learning, sharing within the location teams as well as across locations. Over time, the area team, with local partners on the one hand, and the wider POF team on the other, evolve the activities in the direction of what’s working, and inevitably scale down other activities for which there is little or no evidence of the intended impact.   

Currently, the POF is focused on:

  • Understanding and addressing the factors preventing the return of refugees from northern Uganda, and internally displaced people living in Protection of Civilian sites and other locations of displaced populations at sub-national level;
  • Supporting youth at risk of mobilisation through engagement with cattle camp youth in Lakes State, and developing deeper understanding of the risks faced by this group and the potential to support transformation and ambition articulated by the youth themselves;
  • Understanding the impact of illegal logging at national level, and offering appropriate support to affected communities. Undertaking a review of national peace processes and initiatives since 2012 to identify lessons and learning applicable to the current peace process.


The POF seeks to deliver outcomes which ensure that targeted communities are more harmonious and resilient to conflict, and that political, socio-economic, and cultural institutions key for handling conflict and establishing the conditions for sustained peace are strengthened and more inclusive. As such the desired impact will see stronger national capacity to manage conflicts without violence, and a reduction in violence in targeted areas.