South Sudan

Arts and Communication for Legal Awareness in South Sudan

‘We started to touch what a ‘Just world’ might feel like. In South Sudan its nearly impossible to picture this.’
Dominic Lado, South Sudanese Theatre Organisation, Creative workshop, Juba September 2015

Arts for Action provides support to the British Council managed Access to Justice Programme in South Sudan. In 2015, a scoping exercise mapped communication and awareness raising mechanisms. This aimed to:

  • Understand which organisations and companies are using the arts and media for development effectively: building evidence of what already works in South Sudan.
  • Map the channels of communication and outreach available for use by the programme.

–         Assess technical capacity of local organisations to deliver local awareness raising and media action.
–      Assess needs of local practitioners to deliver effective legal awareness activity involving any or a combination of the following:

o   Social research processes
o   Forum theatre and community engagement
o   Local media
o   Print media
o   Visual materials
o   Radio programming
o  Video and film
o  Music and Jingle production

From this, a series of recommendations were made for developing a participatory and needs-based strategy, which considers both how the programme itself communicates, and how communication and outreach is applied to achieve programme goals.

Research was carried out with the idea that a communication strategy will encompass mass media communication tools for national awareness, and localised in-depth community education and action intended to genuinely build legal knowledge and the application of it.

The Arts for Action approach to scoping was to combine meetings with workshops. To ensure that all advice provided to the British Council was based upon priorities of South Sudanese nationals, rather than a non-national consultant’s external view, participatory, people-centred processes formed a key part of the assignment.

A workshop that brought together arts, media and human rights organisations, explored causes and consequences of injustice South Sudan, envisaged what a ‘Just world’ might look like, and plotted tangible action.

This particular meeting of arts groups, media houses, human rights defenders and NGOs from around the country was the first of its kind, and not only brought people together from across different sectors and geographies, but from different ethnic groups also.

‘I don’t know what she has done, but I love all of you! This has been a very special meeting of minds, and hearts. We also developed activity plans that show what we can do to help realise justice for people in South Sudan.’ John Malith, Project Officer, CEPO (Community Empowerment for Progress Organisation)

Click here for Scoping Report

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