Five years of conflict and economic crisis in South Sudan has plunged more than half of the population into severe food insecurity, triggering widespread population displacement. Following the 2018 launch of ACTED’s Mobile Team, those displaced are now able to play a leading role in managing the response.
When people are forced to flee an area following an emergency, they will usually either move directly into an established camp or an informal settlement, which could be anything from a tent, an unfinished house or a disused school. Most of those forced into displacement will have left in a hurry, bringing little in the way of supplies or money to support themselves and their families, hence the need for immediate assistance. Those unable to access well-established camps are traditionally less able to access essential services like clean drinking water, food and medical assistance. They constitute 84% of the internally displaced population in the country.
To ensure that affected communities have the capacity to shape and manage their own response to displacement, ACTED has created a Camp Coordination and Camp Management Mobile Team to provide training and tools to facilitate the improved coordination of service delivery in new and protracted areas of displacement across the country.
The Mobile Team carries out a number of functions such as establishing site committees made up of men and women from the displaced community who will represent their community and advocate for tailored assistance on their behalf. These teams also train community members in the maintenance of the displacement sites, teaching skills such as the renovation of camp latrines and fencing. The team also assists the most vulnerable households by moving them where possible into newly built shelters.
In addition to these activities, the Mobile Team plays a direct role in mapping displacement sites to monitor the level of service provision. The team then shares this information among stakeholders, such as local authorities and NGOs, to avoid the duplication of efforts. ACTED has pushed to involve Sudanese NGOs in all day-to-day site management activities, facilitating the transition to self-management and ensuring support when needed.
ACTED’s Mobile Team is making a meaningful difference in South Sudan, both through improving the coordination of life-saving assistance, and through ensuring that communities facing protracted displacement can take the initiative in shaping and implementing the management and improvement of formal and informal settlements.