September 15, 2011
The New Republic of South Sudan: Primary Challenges, Paths to Development
Following a referendum in January 2011 that overwhelmingly supported
succession from Sudan, on July 9, 2011, the Republic of South Sudan celebrated its independence, recognized formally now as the world’s newest independent country. After decades of conflict that severely stifled development (South Sudan has among the lowest human development indicators in the world), South Sudan finds itself at a crossroads of opportunity and potential, though a long road of development challenges still lie ahead. Official institutions and governance structures are weak, and nascent development strategies demand large and sustained involvement from national and international actors. Religious communities have deep roots and provide many basic social services in areas ranging from education to trauma healing and reconciliation. Christian churches are in most areas among the strongest institutional presence. What development path should and will South Sudan follow? How far can this newly independent country harvest international best practices? What role will faith-inspired organizations play, and how can their contributions best be integrated into effective development policies?
The Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, and the World Faiths Development Dialogue hosted a discussion bringing together practitioners, policy makers, and academics to examine the complex intersection of development, religion, policy and practice in the newly independent Republic of South Sudan.
A summary report of the meeting is available here
Ian Bannon is currently Country Director for Sudan at the World Bank. Prior to this, he was Sector Manager of the Post Conflict and Social Development Unit in the Africa Region of the World Bank and manager of the Conflict Prevention and...
Jok Madut Jok is a senior fellow at the United States Institute for Peace, as well as a fellow of the Rift Valley Institute and a professor of African studies in the department of history at Loyola Marymount University in California. Jok was born...
Andrew Natsios is an executive professor and Scowcroft Institute Fellow at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University for the 2012-2013 academic year. A leading practitioner in the field of development, he previously...