Summary notes on the MENA NGO fora meeting, held in Amman (Jordan) on July 2-3, 2014
The peace agreement and the establishment of a government in south Sudan pose new challenges to established means of NGO coordination. Working under a tripartite agreement between the UN, Government of Sudan (GoS) and the SPLM meant that NGOs, which came under the umbrella of the UN, were unequal partners. With the establishment of the Forum and the SC, NGOs could use their collective voice to greater advantage. Unfortunately, the OLS/non-OLS distinction – which the UN was obliged to maintain rigorously until the peace talks were well underway – created artificial divisions and rivalries which undermined coordination between NGOs. Lack of international political recognition of the SPLM’s de facto government complicated attracting funding. Lacking a viable tax base, and in the absence of effective governance and regulation, the local authorities resorted to taxing NGOs directly and indirectly – behaviour which was tolerated, and even encouraged, by some donors.