Key Findings from Field Research on Acceptance in South Sudan

Larissa Fast
Save the Children
NGO associated?
This report is based on field research on acceptance as an approach to NGO security management in South Sudan. The research team explored three areas of an acceptance approach to security management: (1) how organizations gain and maintain acceptance, (2) how organizations assess and monitor the presence and degree of acceptance, and (3) how organizations determine whether acceptance is effective.
In general, acceptance as a security management approach is not well-developed among NGOs currently operating in South Sudan. Though many NGOs implicitly or explicitly use it as part of their overall security management approach, few have developed a comprehensive set of activities or indicators to implement or assess the approach and its effectiveness. Instead, informants indicated that acceptance is closely tied to meeting the needs of communities through programs and services. In this way, many NGOs and stakeholders see acceptance as needs-based. Approaching acceptance only from a programming viewpoint, however, limits its efficacy by focusing on community members and local authorities as the main stakeholders while not engaging other actors with the power to harm NGOs, and by confining implementation primarily to programming and not other units within an organization.