CSF Better Aid Update No. 1

Good afternoon,

In this first edition of our monthly Better Aid newsletter we are sharing a round up of blogs and events that are useful for aid actors in Sudan to better understand the complex contexts in which they are working and improve the impacts of aid.

If you have been forwarded this email, please sign up here if you would like to receive these CSF Better Aid Updates going forward, and to learn about upcoming events, roundtables and trainings that are open to aid actors in Sudan.

Better Aid blogs

Caught in transition: food aid in Sudan’s changing political economy

Susanne Jaspars and Youssif El Tayeb

This report by Susanne Jaspars and Youssif El Tayeb provides a preliminary analysis of changes in the political economy of food aid in Sudan since the 2019 revolution, providing recommendations for aid actors to be more conflict sensitive.

A cure worse than the disease? Learning from recent failures to develop a COVID-19 response fit for Sudan

Kholood Khair

When COVID-19 began to spread globally in early 2020, Sudan was just embarking on its nascent political transition. A year later, Kholood Khair took stock of the way the government and aid sector responded, often in ways that were divorced from the realities of Sudanese people, especially those who were displaced or living in rural areas. This blog highlights a few of the lessons learned since, while offering a few ideas to help ensure the same mistakes aren’t repeated.

Windows of opportunity: 4 ways that aid can either help or hinder Sudan’s transition

CSF Team

In addition to the daily challenges that all aid actors in Sudan must navigate, there are a number of deeper issues where aid has the ability to affect Sudan’s longer-term transition. We have identified four key areas where the aid sector has the potential to either contribute to conflict or peace: 1. Localising aid in a conflict sensitive way; 2. Land, livelihoods and conflict; 3. Aid, politics and power; 4. Working with the marginalised. In this blog, the CSF team goes through each, highlighting how each involves opportunities and risks for the aid sector relating to conflict.

Aid in the big picture – what will our impact be on Sudan’s transition?

CSF Team

In our first blog, the CSF team outline the mission of the facility and its relevance at this critical time for Sudan. International aid has played a significant role in Sudan for many decades and is now integrated into the fabric of its society and economy. It interacts with short-term and long-term economic, political and conflict dynamics in ways that are often overlooked. Yet the new political space for transition does not remove the challenges, but does offer new opportunities for donors and implementing agencies to develop and adopt more conflict-sensitive practices and policies.

Capacity support

Course: Introduction to Conflict Sensitivity

It’s crucial to have an understanding and develop skills on what conflict sensitivity looks like in humanitarian aid implementation. Our “Introduction to Conflict Sensitivity” course, a three-hour online facilitated training session, offer an insight into the core concepts and principles of conflict sensitivity. We facilitate your understanding of conflict analysis and how to apply this to the complex dynamics surrounding aid workers in the Sudan context. This introductory course will help you to embark on a learning journey on how to improve aid’s long-term impact in Sudan.

Email us at for more information.

Photo credit: Motaz Altahir/Flickr

Course: Understanding Sudan context

Would you like to better understand the current Sudan context? Especially in terms of:

  • Cultural and social dynamics – including ethnicities, traditional authorities, gender, youth, religion and local government.

  • Current conflict dynamics and historical conflict drivers.

  • Impact of aid interventions.

Then email us to sign up for the Sudan context course! This full day course, offered online, will help you to gain an awareness of overarching conflict issues and also help you understand relevant timelines, events, processes, prominent persons and relationships, cultures and conflict.

Photo credit: Nina R/Flickr

Convening and outreach

In early March, the CSF convened a roundtable discussion on the The Juba Peace Agreement: Anticipating practical implications for humanitarian aid operations in Sudan, in partnership with OCHA. Follow up events are planned together with OCHA. We will organise regional roundtables which are tailored to each specific region, prioritising in three regions: Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile, and Eastern Sudan.

In early May, the CSF convened a roundtable after analysis was carried out by Dr Susanne Jaspers and Youssif El-Tayeb on the Dilemmas of Food Aid: How to avoid harm and maximise benefits in post-revolution Sudan. The aim of the analysis report is to provide a preliminary analysis of changes in the political economy of food aid since the revolution, and to assist aid actors to navigate the dilemmas of distributing food aid in Sudan. This report has been posted on the CSF website here.

At the moment, the CSF has commissioned analysis on the intersection between climate change and conflict dynamics in Sudan, and explore the implications this may have for the aid sector.

The Conflict Sensitivity Facility (CSF) does not attempt to verify or substantiate any claims made within these publications. The opinions found therein are the responsibility of the authors themselves, and do not necessarily reflect those of the CSF.

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