Knowledge for Tomorrow: Cooperative Research Projects in Sub-Saharan Africa
Political, Economic, and Social Dynamics in Sub-Saharan Africa
sponsored by the Volkswagen Foundation
Cooperative Research Project
Governance and Social Action in Sudan after the Peace Agreement of January 2005:
local, national, and regional dimensions
After six years of research and training the Project "Governance and Social Action in Sudan after the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) of January 9, 2005" has ended. The interdisciplinary Research Project covering economics, political science, history and geography disciplines had two components, a research component and a training component.
In the Research Component the project partners (professors of the partner universities in Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Germany who were funded in their research programmes related to the project) and the students (PhD and Master students who were financed by the project) worked on specific issues of governance, reconstruction and development after more than two decades of civil war in Sudan. The purpose was to investigate into the conditions of reconstruction, development and governance reforms after the conclusion of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. This was done in order to follow up the actions and policies in Sudan in the transition period to the Referendum in South Sudan on Independence and then the Independence Declaration of South Sudan. Major issue was to derive lessons from the two peaceful periods of Sudan for future cooperation and development in Sudan - the period of 1972 - 1983 after the Addis Ababa Agreement and the transition period of 2005 2011 which started after the CPA of January 9, 2005. These were the only peaceful periods in the history of independent Sudan. Since the Independence Declaration of South Sudan on July 9, 2011 the hostilities between Sudan and South Sudan have intensified again (parallel to conflicts within the two countries).
In the Training Component the PhD and Master students participated in altogether 15 workshops in Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia and in Bremen, Germany to discuss research topics, methodologies and draft papers and chapters. New research methodologies and research concepts related to governance, development and the reconstruction of institutions were presented. Major results of the workshop presentations and of PhD and Master researches were published in the IWIM Book Series as numbers 15 and 18 (Link: IWIM Book Series) and in the IWIM Report Series as number 40 (Link: IWIM White Series Papers). With the exception of the Report Series Number 40 all other books are sales publications. Other research results from the workshops were published with James Currey (Link: http://www.jamescurrey.com/store/viewItem.asp?idProduct=13477). A further volume will be published on the results of the final workshops of the research project in Juba and Khartoum. Beside of the joint studies numerous publications were done by the Project Partners and by the Project Students on an individual basis. They will be listed in the Final Project Report.
The project was directed by Professor Karl Wohlmuth and by Dr. Elke Grawert, a former IWIM staff. The Project was funded generously by the Volkswagen Foundation with around € 800,000. The Project Coordinator over the six year period, Dr. Elke Grawert, is now preparing the Final Report on behalf of the Project Partners from Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia and Germany.
Dr. Elke Grawert, now working as a Senior Expert at BICC in Bonn, is organizing the next International Sudan Studies Conference to be held at the Rheinisch-Westfälische Universität in Bonn which is planned for July 2012. Professor Wohlmuth continues with a new Research Project on "Economic Policies in Sudan after the Referendum of 2011" (Link: http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/files/dateien/1666_neues_projekt_eco_pol_sudan.pdf). The purpose is to reflect on sustainable economic policies but also to investigate into new models of economic cooperation between Sudan and South Sudan.
The key elements in this research are governance, on the one hand, social action, on the other, and both are being investigated in a multi-level perspective.
Governance relates to the institutions, organizations, networks and activities that are involved in governing society in the region under consideration (Sudan and some neighbouring countries). Most of the participants in this project apply governance in the sense that it includes activities and structures aiming to creating and delivering common goods and services for the broader society. The actors of governance include public and private organizations, and the institutions established in order to govern after the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) are negotiated between actors of governmental organizations, between private actors, and between actors from both sectors. Actors and organizations involved originate from all levels, ranging from local up to supranational.
A minority among the project participants investigates rule, which has to be distinguished from governance. They try to figure out which actors and interests are de facto involved in governing the Sudan and interfere in or even undermine "governance" in the above sense.
Social action denotes the activities of groups of society related to the CPA itself, the changes brought about by the CPA, and in response to developments that are indirectly linked to the end of the civil war. The project participants who examine social action in our research look also into conflictive issues and the varying ways societal groups have been dealing with conflicts since 2005, compared to the period before the CPA was concluded. Their studies refer to societal groups within Sudan as well as across the borders, mainly to Ethiopia and Kenya. Social action analyses comprise local, national and the sub-regional level.
On this basis, the project is split up sub-topics which can be aggregated to the following five main research fields:
- Political participation and decision-making processes after the CPA
- Return and repatriation of internally displaced people and refugees after the CPA
- Continuing conflicts after the CPA
- Investment, reconstruction and capacity building after the CPA
- Sub-regional and international relations after the CPA
Since some of the researchers are not present at this conference, their topics are briefly mentioned here. The PhD projects will be presented by the researchers after this introduction.
General research objectives of this project are to generate knowledge about:
Social, political, cultural and economic processes in societies after the formal ending of civil war,
Ways to sustain peace on the basis of implementing a formal peace agreement with economic, political and development-oriented dimensions
Reasons and motives for renewed or ongoing conflict
Approaches and possibilities to transform violent conflicts into non-violent negotiations within the framework of a formally negotiated peace agreement between major warring parties,
Economic, social and political repercussions of ending a long-lasting civil war with regard to the sub-region.
Professor Samia Nour from the Economics Faculty of the Khartoum University in Sudan has done important research on the economic impacts of COVID-19 in her country. Her report “The Impact of COVID-19 on Households and Firms in the MENA Region: the case of Sudan” is part of an ERF (Economic Research Forum) Research Project: “The Impact of COVID-19 on Households and Firms in the MENA Region”, and it allows comparative analyses for MENA Region countries. Professor Nour supports the Sudan Studies at Bremen and is Book Reviews and Book Notes Editor of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook. Professor Nour will provide for a short Policy Brief version of the study for the SERG Discussion Papers at IWIM.
Professor Samia Nour writes about the content of her study (see the full study for download: Sudan Final Revised Draft – The Impact of COVID-19): “This paper discusses the impacts of COVID-19 on households and firms in Sudan as a case study of the MENA countries. The research applies descriptive and comparative approaches and uses new primary data obtained from the ERF (Economic Research Forum) COVID-19 MENA Monitor Household Survey (2021) and from the World Bank and Sudan Central Bureau of Statistics High Frequency Survey on COVID-19 (2020). Our results with data from the World Bank Survey on COVID-19 (2020) show the impact of COVID-19 on the employment status that appears from the loss of jobs for the majority and nearly two thirds of households during June – July 2020. We explain that the main reason for the households‘ loss of jobs, additional unemployment, and even the change of jobs was because of business / government closures due to coronavirus legal restrictions. The impact of COVID-19 also appears from the loss of payments for nearly a fifth of households, the loss of partial payment for nearly half of households, and the loss and the reduction of households‘ means of livelihood or sources of income since mid-March 2020 from non-farm family business, income from properties, investments or savings, and income from family farming, livestock or fishing. The impact of COVID-19 on micro, small and medium size enterprises appears to result from temporary or permanent closures of establishments, from substantial decreases in sales, or from stagnation in sales.
Our results from the ERF COVID-19 MENA Monitor Survey data (2021) show the impacts of COVID-19 on the labour market and on the working conditions that appear to result from the increase in temporary or permanent layoffs/suspension of workers, reduced working hours, reduced wage payments, and delays in wage payment for workers in Sudan between April 2021 and August 2021. These results are consistent with the results of other MENA countries. Between April 2021 and August 2021 the delay in wage payments has more than doubled; the temporary layoffs/suspension of workers have increased from nearly a tenth in April 2021 to nearly a fifth in August 2021. In August 2021, the employment status of workers in business indicates temporary layoffs/suspension of workers for nearly a fifth of the workers, while permanent layoffs/suspension of workers had reached nearly a tenth of the workers, and the delays and changes in wage payments had accounted for nearly a quarter of the workers.
Attainment of social insurance decreased from nearly a third of all households in April 2021 compared to nearly a quarter of all households in August 2021. Our results concerning the temporary or permanent closures of business due to factors related to COVID-19, the reduction in business working hours, the challenges facing businesses due to loss in demand, and the declining access to customers due to mobility restrictions in Sudan are consistent with the results across other MENA countries. From policy perspectives our findings indicate that the most common types of support in Sudan were business loans, salary subsidies, and reduced/delayed payment of taxes; these results are also consistent with the results in other MENA countries. Our findings regarding the limited provision of social protection (social insurance) and regarding the importance of supporting social protection for workers in Sudan are consistent with the findings in the other MENA countries. The major policy recommendation is for increasing government support to manage COVID-19 economic and social impacts on workers in Sudan.”
The reports on the impacts of COVID-19 and the following other reports on education, digital transformation, and technological capabilities written by Professor Samia Nour were relevant for policymakers in Sudan and in other MENA Region countries:
1. The United Nations Educational, Scientific And Cultural Organization (UNESCO), UNESCO Regional Bureau for Sciences in the Arab States, Consultancy Research Report “Issues of inclusion and capabilities for establishing the knowledge societies and the potential role of open science in the Arab States”, UNESCO Cairo, Egypt, (July – November 2021) (in Arabic).
2. The Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), Consultancy Research Report “Innovation and Technological Aspects in the Islamic World”, Chapter 3 in: ICESCO, “The Possible Futures of the Islamic World in the fields of Education, Sciences, Culture and Technologies”, ICESCO, Rabat, Morocco (April – November 2021).
3. Economic Research Forum (ERF) for Arab countries and Turkey, Research Project in collaboration with South-South Global Thinkers – A Global Coalition of Think Tank Networks for South-South Cooperation (SSC), Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), “South-South Cooperation - Technology and Digital Transformation in the Arab Countries”, The Economic Research Forum (ERF) for the Arab countries and Turkey (ERF), Cairo, Egypt (July 2021- January 2022).
4. Economic Research Forum (ERF) for Arab countries and Turkey and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) Programme Joint Research Project, “The Impact of COVID-19 on Households and Firms in the MENA Region: the case of Sudan”, The Economic Research Forum (ERF) for the Arab countries and Turkey (March 2021– January 2022).
5. Economic Research Forum (ERF) for Arab countries and Turkey and International Labour Organization (ILO), “Second Report on Jobs and Growth in North Africa: the Impact of COVID-19 in North Africa: Sudan Country Chapter (2022)”, Advancing the Decent Work Agenda in North Africa (ADWA) (August 2021 – February 2022), as the part of the ERF-ILO ADWA Project (2020-2023). (Co-authors: Caroline Krafft, Samia Mohamed Nour, and Ebaidalla Mahjoub).
6. Economic Research Forum (ERF) for Arab countries and Turkey and International Labour Organization (ILO), “First Report on Jobs and Growth in North Africa: Sudan Country Chapter (2020)”, Advancing the Decent Work Agenda in North Africa (ADWA) (April 2020 – August 2021), as part of the ERF-ILO ADWA Project (2020-2023). (Co-authors: Ebaidalla Mahjoub and Samia Mohamed Nour).
Links to important partners of these projects:
ERF/Economic Research Forum for Arab countries and Turkey: https://erf.org.eg/
ADWA/Advancing the Decent Work Agenda in North Africa: https://www.ilo.org/africa/technical-cooperation/WCMS_673349/lang--en/index.htm
ICESCO/Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization: https://www.icesco.org/en/
AFD/Agence Française de Développement: https://www.afd.fr/fr
SERG Discussion Papers at IWIM: http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/sudan_economy_research_group/
The Sudan Research Group (SRG) has now released its conference report on the first conference held in Khartoum, Sudan which took place some months after the Sudanese Revolution and the instalment of the Transitional Government. The title of the report is “Towards Sustainable Inclusive Development in Sudan“. The participants were divided into eight clusters to discuss 31 papers around the Conference’s main themes: 1- Macroeconomic Management for Inclusive Development; 2- Bringing the Productive Sectors back in Sudan; 3- Governance and Institutions; 4- Management of Natural Resources; 5- Sustainable Infra-Structure; 6- Social Policy and Public Service Delivery; 7- The Role of the Private Sector; and 8- Gender. The Report was published in 2020 and contains Recommendations on Macroeconomic Issues, Reviving the Productive Sectors, Governance and Institutions, The Management of Natural Resources, Sustainable Infrastructure, Social Policy and Public Service Delivery, and the Private Sector. There are specific recommendations to the Transitional Government, to the Ministry of Finance and to other competent ministries, to International Donors, and to Civil Society Organizations. The full report contains information about all the clusters of the conference.
The Sudan Research Group (SRG) writes about its mandate: “The Sudan Research Group is a UK-based voluntary organization. It was formed in 2003 by a group of academics and researchers who felt a pressing need for a specialized network that brings together multidisciplinary academics, researchers, activists and policy makers in a forum devoted to in-depth discussions of the key and pressing issues that face the country. Dedicated to impact, it aims to produce and promote research and scholarship that may inform home-grown policies to address the country’s urgent economic, political, and social needs.” And the SRG reports about the conferences: “The main conferences and events organized by the Group so far include “Economic Challenges in Post-conflict Sudan” (2004), “Institutional and Governance Requirements for the Future Development of Sudan” ( 2005 ), “Education and Capacity Building” (2006), “Assessing the Peace-building in Darfur”, (2008), “General Education Crisis in Sudan” (with an Open Themes Group), (2016), Training in Communication for Sudanese NGOs” (2019), and a series of Webinars.” Then, “Towards Sustainable Inclusive Development in Sudan” (2019) was the first conference that SRG was able to convene in Sudan after the Sudanese Revolution which started in December 2018. It was convened for June 2019, but was then postponed to November 2019 (SRG 5TH Meeting Tentative Agenda).
About the Report on the SRG Conference November 2019 in Khartoum, Sudan: “The Sudan Research Group (SRG) is pleased to introduce a summary of the proceedings of its Fifth Conference, with the title “Towards Sustainable Inclusive Development in Sudan”. Held only three months after the formation of the Transitional Government that followed the end of three decades of dictatorship, the conference sought to provide a neutral space for open discussions that help in shaping the agenda for change. More than 160 researchers, policy makers, private sector and civil society participants engaged in three days of constructive - and sometimes heated debate - about immediate reform programs and long -term development policies. This report provides a brief summary of the discussions on the key themes of the conference and its substantive findings. It should be noted that the messages and ideas summarized are not intended to indicate a consensus and they do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the SRG”. The report is available for download as a PDF under: Final SRG 5th Conf. 2019. Professor Karl Wohlmuth had the privilege to be invited to the conference as a speaker for the cluster Infrastructure. Professor Wohlmuth follows the studies and projects of the SRG carefully.
Dr. Gamal Al-Tayib from UNECA in Addis Ababa is one of the founders of the SRG.
Another important development about Sudan as two thinktanks are cooperating: SRG is joined by SWEA in development work
In the new Sudan independent NGOs can be founded and have space for action. SWEA (see below) is now ready to mobilise the women economists. There are links between SRG and SWEA. SERG in Bremen is cooperating with these groups.
Sudanese Women Economists Association (SWEA): Empowering the Women in the Peripheries through Capacity Building Projects
Women economists work together for a peaceful and prospering Sudan. Sawsan Musa Adam Abdul-Jalil from the Ministry of Finance in Khartoum, Sudan is a co-founder of the Sudanese Women Economists Association (SWEA). SWEA was founded in June 2020. SWEA is collaborating with the Sudan Research Group (SRG) in a capacity building project. The first (and so far the only) project was an online training on a research proposal writing for the students of Nayala, El Fahser, Gedaref and Kassala, but much more is in the pipeline. Sawsan Musa Adam Abdul-Jalil from the Ministry of Finance in Khartoum, Sudan is working now with the Aid Coordination Unit of the Ministry to restructure their strategy. We cooperate from the SERG in Bremen with SRG and SWEA to learn more about the reforms ongoing in Sudan and to support the process of change in the country. It is intended to cooperate on the new Yearbook project of the Research Group on African Development Perspectives Bremen (see the International Call for Papers Volume 23).
The Sudanese Women Economists Association (SWEA) is becoming an important partner for democratic development, inclusive growth, and economic change in Sudan.
Source: Website SWEA
About the Mandate of SWEA:
“The Sudanese Women Economists Association (SWEA) was founded in June 2020, on the ground of redeeming the prevalent gap of women economists participation in the policy and academic spheres in Sudan. Fuelled by the enthusiasm of its founders and members, SWEA aims at building capacities, encouraging and amplifying the contribution of women economists, and of young women pursuing degrees in economics. SWEA strives to achieve this by providing a platform to convene Sudanese women economists, offering networking opportunities and enriching the economic research space by the contributions from its members.”
The Vision of SWEA:
“SWEA’s vision is to advance Sudanese women economists’ participation in academic and public policy spheres in Sudan. Our aim is to promote solidarity between Sudanese women economists across generations, as a key step to build capacity of young women in economics and to amplify the voices of Sudanese women in economic research and practice.”
The website of SWEA is: https://sweasd.org.
Source: Website SWEA
Professor Samia Nour from the University of Khartoum, Sudan has published (in cooperation with Dr. Eltayeb Mohamedain) a working paper and two policy briefs on Food Security and Agricultural Development in Kassala State, Sudan. These are publications of the CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute). The CMI Sudan Working paper Number 1 (21 July 2020) and the two CMI Policy Briefs (21 July 2020) are of interest as the focus is on research done by regional universities and for advice to policymakers in peripheral regions in Sudan. The two policy briefs are based on the findings in the CMI Sudan working paper number 1 (21 July 2020) that analyses agricultural development and food security with the use of survey data from Kassala State. This research is conducted as part of the Agriculture and Food Security cluster in the Assisting Regional Universities in Sudan (ARUS) programme. The ARUS programme is a collaboration between CMI, the University of Khartoum, Ahfad University for Women, the University of Bergen, and several regional universities in Sudan. The programme is funded by the Norwegian Embassy in Khartoum. The importance of these studies is that regional universities in Sudan are participating, and that key issues of peripheral areas like food security and agricultural development are more deeply researched.
Professor Samia Nour is now also Book Reviews/Book Notes Editor of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook. She has advised the editors of volumes 20 (2018) and 21 (2019) and is Unit editor and Volume Editor for volume 22 (2020/21). She is also collaborating with various international research organisations. She has recently published in the SERG discussion papers of IWIM on Sudan’s revolution (see Number 44 of the SERG discussion papers with the title: “Overview of the Sudan Uprising”: http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/sudan_economy_research_group/).
Access to these three CMI publications (see links below) which are co-authored by Professor Samia Nour:
CMI Sudan Working Paper Number 1: “Food Security and Agricultural Development in Sudan: The case of Kassala State”, CMI Sudan Working Paper Number 1, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway, 21 July 2020, pp. 1-113. Link: Food Security and Agricultural Development in Sudan: The case of Kassala State
See the Abstract (shortened) below.
Sudan CMI Policy Brief Number 3: “Food Insecurity in Sudan as seen from Kassala State ”, Sudan CMI Policy Brief Number 3, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway, 21 July 2020, pp. 1-4. Link: Food Insecurity in Sudan as seen from Kassala State
“This policy brief discusses the incidence of food insecurity, explores families’ survival strategies, and recommends measures that may combat food insecurity.”
Sudan CMI Policy Brief 4: “Agricultural development and food Security in Sudan as seen from Kassala State”, Sudan CMI Policy Brief Number 4, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway, 21 July 2020, pp. 1-4. Link: Agricultural development and food Security in Sudan as seen from Kassala State
“This policy brief uses data from Kassala State to assess the close link between agricultural development and food security, and investigates factors and policies that can strengthen agricultural development, thereby increasing food security in Sudan.”
Abstract (shortened) of Sudan Working Paper 1, 21 July 2020
Food Security and Agricultural Development in Sudan: The case of Kassala State,
by Prof. Dr. Samia Mohamed Nour and Dr. Eltayeb Mohamedain, Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (Sudan Working Paper 2020:1)This research discusses the relationship between agricultural development and food security, the determinants of the supply of food and of the demand for food, and the determinants of food insecurity in Kassala State. In so doing, it provides a significant contribution to the current literature. Used are new primary data from a Food Security Household Survey which was conducted in Kassala State (2019). It was found that the majority of households are food insecure (77%), out of which 32.9% of the households are severely food insecure, while fewer households are fully food secure (23%). There is a large variation in households' food insecurity between localities, with rural Kassala having most of the food insecure households. This may be explained by the variation in monthly income between localities.
Three hypotheses are examined. A first hypothesis is verified that the most significant determinants of production of food are the size of agricultural land, the available livestock, and the irrigation systems. There is support for the second hypothesis that the family's own production of food and the household income have positive effects on food consumption. It is found that the significant determinants of the production of sorghum (the main staple food) are the size of agricultural land and the available livestock, and that the significant determinants of consumption of sorghum are the family's own production of sorghum, the household income, and the family size. For small farmers, their own consumption of sorghum is to a larger extent determined by their own production of sorghum. Therefore, enhancing production of sorghum among smallholders would contribute to enhancing consumption of sorghum and hence supporting food security. The third hypothesis is verified that better working conditions of the farmers are crucial for family own production of food and are then supporting food security; the probabilities of households being food secure increase with better working conditions for higher family own production .
Investigating the gender gap related to food production and food security has led to the results that male-headed households produce more food and are more food secure than female-headed households. Some reasons for this observation are analyzed. Also, it was found out that agricultural production is impeded by the lack of agricultural land, the cultivation of only few crops, an insufficient irrigation system, and shortages of agricultural services, which are mainly related to the provision of agricultural technology. Therefore, the major policy implication is that measures aimed at increasing household incomes and enhancing family own production of food are important for eliminating food insecurity. Recommended are therefore policies that may increase household incomes and may enhance smallholders' own production of food. Relevant policy instruments may be increases of agricultural land ownership, increases of the size of cultivated land for smallholders, more diversification of agricultural food crops, an improvement of irrigation systems, measures for enhancing female participation in agricultural activities and food security, steps towards improvement of agricultural services, mainly related to the adoption of technology, improving access to clean drinking water and proper sanitation systems, and, in general terms, improved infrastructure which may help in access to food, to inputs, and to production requirements.
Professor Karl Wohlmuth from the University of Bremen and UNMISS (United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan) have agreed to cooperate in assessing the situation with regard of peace, security and development in South Sudan. UNMISS has a mandate since 9 July 2011 to consolidate peace and security and to establish conditions for development (see the link to UNMISS: http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/missions/unmiss/). Professor Karl Wohlmuth and a representative from UNMISS have recently agreed in Bremen to exchange information and to assess the situation in South Sudan. Professor Wohlmuth works since 1978 on development in Sudan, researching on economic development and the political economy of Sudan. Since 2005 the professor researches on the implications of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the North and the South, and since 2011 he works about the modalities of a strategic cooperation between Sudan and South Sudan (see the link: Sudan Economy Research Group/SERG and the project Economic Policies in Sudan after the Referendum of 2011). Recently a documentary film by ARTE has shown the tremendous difficulties to establish the foundations for a viable state of South Sudan (see the link to the film by ARTE: http://www.arte.tv/guide/de/045315-000/suedsudan-geburt-eines-staates#details-photos, and see also the Documentary Film "South Sudan - Birth of a State"). Any progress will depend on a strategic cooperation between Sudan and South Sudan as the border region between the two countries is so important for peace, security, growth and development in both countries.
Recent IWIM Book Series Publication on Sudan: A new Book on Reconstruction and Development in Sudan, with special emphasis on South Sudan, was released some days ago by the publisher (see left); the author analyses the conditions and perspectives of institutions and of investment in Sudan, applying a New Institutional Economics Approach. Panel Econometrics Methods and Doing Business Surveys were used. The Research Programme was supervised by Professor Karl Wohlmuth, and it was financed by the VolkswagenStiftung.