South Sudan Acting Minister for Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development Kwong Danhier Gatluak said the CSSOs have significantly improved service delivery in strategic planning and healthcare.
“The initiative is being felt all over the civil service in South Sudan. The CSSOs are doing their best to serve our country by mentoring and coaching our civil servants.”
Citing the government hospital in Malakal, Upper Nile State, Gatluak said that services had greatly improved at the hospital which hosted the support officers.
There were about 200 Civil Service Support Officers under the initiative of Inter Governmental Aid on Development with funding from Norway through UNDP. The officers from Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia are attached to government institutions, commissions and agencies.
The Acting Minister is urging South Sudanese civil servants to ensure they cooperate make use of resourceful specialists by learning from them through the IGAD program.
The acting Minister was speaking at an RSS/IGAD Project Executive Board meeting in Juba. The initiative is now in its second year of implementation.
He clarified that the role of the CSSOs is mentorship and they are not meant to take up jobs meant for South Sudanese.
Gatluak said that the officers from the three IGAD countries have been to South Sudan chiefly to facilitate knowledge and skills transfer to their counterparts in the South Sudan civil service after which they will return to their respective countries with a possibility of calling them back any time their services are needed again.
IGAD’s Project Manager Catherine Waliaula urged government institutions hosting the CSSOs to reduce the high staff turnover saying frequent transfers have adversely affected knowledge transfer.
The Manager recommended enhanced coordination between the Ministry of Labour and Public Service which is steering the initiative and receiving institutions to facilitate the effective work between the CSSOs and their South Sudanese counterparts.
She advised the host institutions to put more effort by providing adequate tools and equipment.
“There is also need for coordination within the government of RSS at both horizontal and vertical levels to ensure that all relevant institutions and personnel know the objectives and limits for the IGAD Project for example that IGAD does not provide hardware such as buildings and office equipment,” she said.
Those in attendance during the meeting included IGAD’s Country Director Mohammed Abdelrahman, Kenyan Assistant Minister for Public Service and two Ambassadors from Uganda and Ethiopia.