The South Sudan Technical Assistance Program (SSTAP) strengthened capacities at both the central and state levels to develop policies and plan and implement programs to increase both access to and the quality of education. SSTAP’s capacity-building efforts were consolidated into five areas: planning and budgeting, financial management, communication and coordination, human resources planning and education material.
During its first phase (2005–2007), which started after the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) brought relative peace and autonomy to the south after decades of civil war, FHI 360 experts focused on improving the capacity of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (now called the Ministry of General Education and Instruction). During its second phase, SSTAP extended its support to the 10 state Ministries of Education.
The program worked through a mentoring approach that supported on-the-job training and learning-by-doing. In this model, state advisors (senior technical advisors and program officers for education) worked alongside ministry staff to build their professional skills. This approach allowed considerable interaction and knowledge sharing in the actual working environment of state Ministries of Education, enhancing education officials’ capacity as well as central and state-level institutional development. The project also introduced in three states a small grants program — a pilot activity to determine if the state Ministries of Education had the administrative and financial capacity to manage grant activities independently without any assistance from SSTAP.