Supporting South Sudan’s Independence Through Media Outreach, Workshops and Concerts

Participating in activities leading up to South Sudan’s “birth of a new nation” was an extraordinary experience for everyone involved. This was no exception for the MSI SUPPORT team contracted to support USAID in South Sudan.

The South Sudan development and outreach (DOC) officer coordinated very closely with the State Department’s Public Affairs Officer (PAO) to ensure all press-related materials were developed and distributed. The DOC officer’s primary responsibility was working with international journalists covering the events for the U.S., including the New York Times, CNN, Reuters and AP.

“Our priority in South Sudan is to foster good governance and lay the foundation for strong private sector-led, sustainable, and broad-based economic growth that benefits the population,” said Ambassador Barrie Walkley, Consul General to South Sudan.

This message of good governance was received by local and global audiences with the aid of the DOC officer and State Department’s PAO.

The MSI team also supported the Mission during the five days leading up to July 9. With the marking of America’s own Independence Day July 4, a reception was set up by MSI’s travel and events coordinator with MSI’s education specialist serving as a master of ceremony. Other MSI staff joined in the festivities to ensure that VIP guests enthusiastically participated in the event.

On July 5, MSI staff joined Department of State to host a workshop for local musicians. A free concert was held that evening as part of the week’s celebration. That same week, the Chief of Party, who has worked in Sudan ten years and is a former member of the Sudan Task Force, attended a reunion with former colleagues who helped usher in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005.

The end of July featured MSI’s Certificate Course in Evaluation to develop and enhance local capacity to evaluate donor funded programs. The 24 participants represented USAID implementing partners, USAID from South Sudan and Sudan, as well as Republic of South Sudan staff. This training is part of the legacy of enhanced capacity that MSI’s SUPPORT project will leave in South Sudan when it closes in March 2012.

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