Influnece of civil society organizations in promoting democratic governance :A Case of select civil society organizatins in Juba, South Sudan
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Civil society organizations play an important role in promoting democratic governance of a country and this can only be achieved if all governance organs operate in a transparent manner. The aim of this study was to assess the contribution of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in promoting democratic governance in the Republic of South Sudan by focusing on two CSOs and their operating environment. The study was guided by the following specific objectives: to investigate the strategies used by CSOs in promoting democratic governance Juba, South Sudan, an examination of the effectiveness of the strategies used by CSOs in promoting democratic governance in South Sudan and the efficacy of the existing laws and policies in promoting CSOs work of supporting democratic governance in Juba, South Sudan. The theories used in the study were the Network Theory of Governance and the Social Capital Theory. In terms of methodology, a descriptive survey design was adopted to help the researcher determine the extent to which the independent variable was related to the dependent variable. Target population comprised of people drawn from two CSOs, the Ministry of Justice and local residents from Juba, South Sudan. From this target population, a sample size of 384 was obtained to participate in the study. Key informants were purposively selected from among the CSOs leaders, Ministry of Justice officials and opinion leaders from the payams comprising Juba city. Simple random sampling and stratified sampling procedures ensured an appropriate sample was obtained. After data was collected using questionnaires and interviews, it was analyzed using descriptive statistics and content analysis for quantitative and qualitative data respectively. From the findings, the study established that CSOs were involved in promoting democratic governance in South Sudan through various strategies such as training of state officials to improve their efficiency in service delivery, presenting petitions to parliament on behalf of citizens, supporting public participation in decision making and implementation and bridging provision of goods and service delivery gaps. The study further established that these strategies had been effective as reported by majority of the respondents who noted that there was improved cooperation and collaboration between government agencies, CSOs and the general public in deciding and implementing projects and programs. Though the strategies had been fairly effective, the findings indicated that more needed to be done in terms of developing and implementing policies and laws that specifically support the work of the CSOs especially in the promotion of democratic governance in the country as there was only one general law. The findings are very important to government officials in the ministry of Justice and parliament as they will know the gaps they need to fill in especially on law making and policy formulation as well as academicians who may want to conduct further research in related areas.
Africa Nazarene University