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Country Strategy Evaluation for UNHCR South Sudan

Country Strategy Evaluation

Country Strategy Evaluation for UNHCR South Sudan

October 2023
Evaluation period: 2018-2022

Please note, the South Sudan country strategy evaluation report is being presented in a PowerPoint format as a pilot for layered communication designed for online reading. The Executive Summary is available as a PDF file alongside individual report chapters and two learning briefs.
Read the report: Country Strategy Evaluation for UNHCR South Sudan

During the period covered by this Country Strategy Evaluation, the situation in South Sudan has remained volatile. Implementation of the peace agreement, signed during the 2018-22 period, has been slow and patchy. Although an increasing number of South Sudanese refugees have returned home from neighbouring countries, close to 2.4 million people are internally displaced, with the number rising in 2022 due to flooding and localized conflict.

UNHCR has had to address multiple emergencies during this challenging period, with a focus on protection as well as seeking durable solutions, at the same time as donor funding has fallen.

The purposes of this strategic, learning-oriented Country Strategy Evaluation were to:

  1. inform and adjust UNHCR’s new Multi-Year Strategic Plan (MYSP) for 2023 to 2025
  2. contribute to and improve the operation and effectiveness in South Sudan
  3. feed into UNHCR's contribution to joint planning and implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Framework of 2023 to 2025.

The evaluation found that UNHCR has performed well in a challenging environment in relation to its refugee mandate, supporting government institutions and a progressive national policy framework on asylum and refugees, as well as demonstrating adaptability to the dynamic context of South Sudan. Its performance has been weaker in prioritizing internally displaced population (IDP) protection, promoting self-reliance, Accountability to Affected People, context analysis, and conflict sensitivity.

As UNHCR expands its portfolio to support the search for durable solutions, and responds to a growing humanitarian caseload in an environment of declining resources, it must prioritize strategically to work to its comparative advantage: providing leadership on protection, fulfilling its mandate on refugees, and playing a catalytic role in promoting self-reliance and solutions, at the same time as pulling back from implementation and delivery in areas where others have a stronger comparative advantage. UNHCR needs to step up its emergency preparedness, particularly for flooding, and its partnership working in support of the Humanitarian Development and Peace nexus. Nexus-oriented programming is an opportunity to promote more transformative approaches to gender equality, including action on climate change.