Current Research Projects

Engaging Community Voices in Protection Strategies: 
An Appraisal of the United Nations’ Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)

Sudd Institute & The Stimson Center


January 2012 - December 2013


The Sudd Institute is working with the Stimson Center to assess the peacekeeping strategies that the UN uses to protect civilians in South Sudan. The study has two primary goals:


  1. To evaluate whether the new policy guidance from the UN Headquarters on how UNMISS can protect civilians is being implemented successfully in the field. Is this policy making a real difference to civilians under threat?
  2. To identify best practices for UN peacekeepers to engage local communities and visa-versa. This dialogue ensures that the views of beneficiary communities are taken into account in the UN peacekeeping protection strategies.

The study focuses on Aweil North County, Northern Bahr el Ghazal State, given its vulnerability to conflict and the presence of UNMISS teams. Field work began with a suvey in April 2013 to gather information what local communites believe are the most prevalent threats to their security and get a better understanding of how they view various security forcers, including UMISS, the SPLA and the SSPS. Sudd Institute staff surveyed over 700 households was selected using the 2008 Census frames known as the Enumeration Areas (EAs).

A report on the findings is expected in late 2013.


Mapping Conflict Motives

Sudd Institute and the International Peace Information Service (IPIS)


May 2013 - September 2013


The Sudd Institute and the International Peace Information Service (IPIS) are conducting a study to better understand the motives for conflict along the border between the two Sudans. To reduce and find peaceful solutions to armed violence, interveners need a clear understanding of the causes of violence. However, because conflict most often occurs in areas that are remote and often impassable very little reliable information on conflict events and drivers exist.


This study will fill that need by using GIS mapping technology to record and spatially map instances of conflict along the border between South Sudan and Sudan. Using this information, as well as interviews with local communities, this study will develop a comprehensive data base from which to analyze conflict patterns.


From the data, the team will also produce digitial maps that will include key areas that could be targets of warring parties the location of natural and economic resources, like water and arable land, the location of certain ethnic communities or historical boundaries, and political centres. Superimposed will be a map of all military or violent actions which occured and the human rights abuses committed by warring parties across this terrority. The goals is for these maps to be useful to policy-makers in improving their violence preventione efforts.


The Sudd Institute's area of concentration for this report will be Unity and Warrap states. IPIS and other partners are working in other areas, including Abyei.