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Integrity was recently invited to present at the conference - "Oil for the Good of the People of South Sudan," organised by Norwegian People's Aid in Malakal, Upper Nile State, South Sudan. Marc Buchner, our Head of Office in Juba, presented initial findings from Integrity's research into the corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices of oil companies and consortia in South Sudan.
The research draws on a series of interviews with company representatives, investigating the complexities of delivering effective CSR when faced with significant economic, political, infrastructure and cultural challenges. Initial findings include:
- A gap in the understanding of oil companies on how CSR practices can fuel or diminish conflict in South Sudan, and a resulting lack of ownership over conflict mitigation strategies;
- How complex management structures of Joint Operating Ventures or oil consortia can diminish accountability and perpetuate confusion over responsibilities towards community development;
- Challenges faced by the oil companies and consortia in dealing with a nascent and complex, federalized political system.
The conference was well attended by a range of NGOs, government and oil company and consortia representatives. Conference participants were keen to discuss how CSR practices, as well as relations and cooperation between key stakeholders, could be better developed and supported.
Integrity's report will be published in September 2011.
Integrity has instigated the development of an Oil Working Group in Juba, South Sudan. The second meeting was attended by a variety of international organisations and local civil society groups. As well as being a forum for information exchange between like-minded partners, consensus was reached on developing an objective driven agenda. The main areas the group will seek to move forwards are collaboration on research and projects, developing advocacy agendas and building consolidated capacity with civil society in order to increase understanding and accountability.
The creation of the group falls in line with Integrity ‘s proposal to develop a National Oil Committee comprising the three key stakeholders of civil society, oil companies and the government, engaging side by side on challenges and debates about South Sudan's oil sector. The next meeting will be held on September 27th. If you would like to take part please email our Head of Office Marc Buchner at email@example.com
Integrity is working with the Union of Journalists in South Sudan (UJOSS) to develop the union’s strategic plan for the next five years.
Head of Design, Monitoring and Evaluation Martine Zeuthen traveled to the towns of Torit, Wau and Malakal as well as to the South Sudanese capital Juba to interview journalists and editors about their expectations of the union, which was formed in 2008 but has struggled with funding and administrative issues.
The research showed that the majority
of journalists, and editors, lack even the most
basic of training and frequently suffer from
threats and harassment from the government and security forces. Lack of transport and equipment are also serious problems. With its mandate to protect its members and encourage more professional reporting, this is something that UJOSS is determined to address.
Integrity will use the research findings
at a September workshop with union members where the strategy will be fully developed.