REACH Assessment Report - Community Perceptions of Humanitarian Assistance in South Sudan (February 2020)

Publication language
Date published
01 Feb 2020
Research, reports and studies
Accountability to affected populations (AAP), Conflict, violence & peace, Working in conflict setting, Engaging with affected populations, humanitarian action, Humanitarian Principles, Humanitarian-development-peace nexus
South Sudan

Eight years after independence, South Sudan is in the midst of a complex and protracted humanitarian crisis, one induced primarily by conflict and exacerbated by economic instability, natural disaster, and largescale displacement. 1 In 2020, an estimated 7.5million people are in need of assistance,2 affirming the continued presence of a largescale humanitarian response and the necessity of further interventions in affected communities across the country. Since the outbreak of civil war in December 2013, no part of South Sudan has been spared from what has become a protracted humanitarian crisis. Humanitarian efforts have included every sector and the nature of the response is steadily evolving to prioritizing durable solutions for affected populations.

Despite the fact that humanitarian agencies have been operating in South Sudan for over thirty years, there has been an absence in understanding how the aid community and the assistance it provides are perceived by affected populations. The lack of nuanced information on community perceptions regarding humanitarian assistance is a global issue and a key driver for the strengthening of Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP) initiatives across the humanitarian response. This failure to capture the attitudes, experiences, perceptions, and opinions of the South Sudanese population in relation to aid poses a collective ethical challenge to the humanitarian community as a whole. Beginning in mid-2019, REACH collaborated with several humanitarian partners3 in South Sudan to develop a research project aimed at addressing this information gap.

Fundamentally, this report seeks to support humanitarian actors with a comprehensive understanding of community perceptions towards the humanitarian response. This information is designed to serve as a benchmark so that implementers of humanitarian assistance can draw from the findings to strengthen programming based on a wide range of direct community perspectives and perceptions.