Contribution of humanitarian organizations towards inter-communal cohesion: A case of Pageri county, South
Ogutu, Nyonde Otieno
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Humanitarian organizations have been in the forefront meeting the needs of the people in rebuilding the social institutions like schools, hospitals, roads and provision of emergency food services to famine-stricken population of the country. The study sought to determine the contribution of humanitarian organizations towards cohesion of the communities with a focus of Pageri County in Southern Sudan. The specific objectives that guided this study were to establish the nature of programs undertaken by humanitarian organizations, to determine the effectiveness of community projects initiated by humanitarian organizations and to assess the challenges facing Human organizations in fostering inter-communal cohesion in Pageri County, South Sudan. The study was guided by conflict transformation theory which is grounded on the work of Paul Lederach. A descriptive survey design was adopted for the purpose of a research design. Target population comprised of beneficiaries of the different humanitarian aid projects, government representatives, Non-governmental Organizations' managers, Civil Society Organizations' leaders and Religious leaders from Pageri County, South Sudan. A stratified sampling technique was adopted to select a sample size of 232 respondents from target population Purposive sampling was used to select the respondents for interview. Data was collected using structured questionnaires designed for selected sample. The quantitative data was then analyzed using both content and thematic analysis and presented in form of frequency tables, charts and graphs. The researcher made use of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 25 in the data analysis. The study found out that, humanitarian organizations are involved in peace building (21%), healthcare (17%), and dialogue and reconciliation (16%). The study also found out that, human rights advocacy and civic education has enhanced awareness of human rights and peaceful co-existence among different communities with a mean response of 2.975. the study affirmed that due to cash for work initiatives, more youths are involved in developmental programs and no longer prioritize conflicts as way of life as shown by a mean score of 2.950. Health services, educational programs, and livelihood programs being run by the humanitarian organizations were found to be effective in enhancing inter-community cohesion. The study further found that the main challenge to sustainability of intercommunity cohesion was the short-term programs, and little funding from donors. The study concludes that health, civic education, vocational training, agricultural related, peace building, business support, dialogue and reconciliation play a vital role in intercommunity cohesion. The study recommends that Community driven skills training centers to be supported by both the government and humanitarian organization to ensure there is division of labour. Programs targeting improved literacy in the different communities within the country should be enhanced and periodical assessment and monitoring of every humanitarian assistance program should be done by the donors to ensure there is accountability and transparency in every project undertaken in line with the intended results.