Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP) has been recognised as a strategic priority in South Sudan to ensure an accountable and rights-based approach to response planning and to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of aid. This was demonstrated through the development and endorsement of the Humanitarian Country Team’s (HCT) Strategy on AAP in 2021, which aims to support the operationalization of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Commitments on AAP and Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) within the humanitarian response in South Sudan. It is further underpinned by the Grand Bargain, which calls for the systematic participation of affected populations in decision making that affects them.
Conflict sensitivity is recognised as an extension of the humanitarian principle of “do no harm”. There is wide recognition that humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding activities cannot be separated from the context of peace and conflict in which they are implemented, and that conflict sensitivity increases the likelihood of sustaining peace.
The 2007 OECD DAC Fragile States Principles3 requires proactive mitigation of INTRODUCTION Photo: Focus Group Discussion in Kapoeta, Eastern Equatoria State, REACH South Sudan, 2022.risks to and from agencies’ presence, strategy and programs while the 2011 New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States4 and the 2016 Sustainable Development Goals5 require international actors to directly and deliberately address drivers of conflict through their programming in fragile contexts.
The meaningful realisation of these commitments and principles necessarily requires the systematic inclusion of the perceptions of diverse groups of affected populations as an evidence base for the humanitarian response. Response planning must align with affected communities’ evolving priorities and perceptions regarding humanitarian assistance and its interaction with the context of implementation. This brief is based on AAP, protection and conflict sensitivity data from the 2021 expanded Food Security and Nutrition Monitoring System (FSNMS+) assessment6 and seeks to inform an evidence-based approach to community-centred, accountable, and conflict sensitive response planning to support the operationalisation of the HCT’s AAP Strategy. Recommendations in this brief have been endorsed by the Communication and Community Engagement Working Group (CCEWG) in South Sudan.