Bigging up U.P. (Unified Presence)
Remember, remember the 1st of November – the day that Save the Children achieved a Unified Presence (UP) in Southern Sudan. While you guys are getting ready to burn yourselves with sparklers and choke on bonfire smoke, we’ve been toiling in the heat of Southern Sudan to bring together the three Save the Children organisations present in Southern Sudan.
The idea of UP is to join together different Save the Children national organisations who are operating independently in the same country. For many years Save the Children UK, Save the Children US and Save the Children Sweden have been delivering programmes in Southern Sudan. But now all three have come together to work under the common banner of Save the Children in South Sudan (SCiSS) – and very soon we will see the benefits of unification in terms of more efficient and effective programming. Unifying will give us a huge scope of activity, both geographically and sectorally, as we now have a presence in all ten states of Southern Sudan, and are operational in nine of them.
The unification of programmes is going on around the world, as we rationalise our presence in a number of countries. To mark the occasion in South Sudan we had a ceremony to which key individuals from the Government, donor agencies, the UN, local partners and other INGOs were invited; the Minister for Gender was the guest of honour.
Field bases also arranged celebrations across the ten states of Southern Sudan.
Although the move to UP makes complete sense, in practice it’s not been plain sailing; but through the extremely hard work and joint vision of many of our staff, the process has been as smooth as we could have hoped. And UP will help us do what we do, but do it better: provide immediate and long-lasting positive change for the children of Southern Sudan.