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Integrity Director Anthony Ellis and Conflict Specialist James Khalil visited Cairo last week in order to talk to local partners and identify a team of independent consultants. With events progressing very rapidly in the aftermath of the revolution there is a substantial demand for population research with a focus upon security, politics and socio-economic development. This proved to be a very fruitful visit, and we would like to thank all of the people who took time out from their schedules to meet with us and share their perspectives on the research environment.
The Association of Media Development of South Sudan (AMDISS) is getting ready for independence. AMDISS is preparing to re-open its media centre and welcome the local and international press in time for July 9 when South Sudan becomes independent from the north. Integrity is working with AMDISS and donor Norwegian People's Aid to get the centre up and running again after a period of hiatus. In addition to the media centre, AMDISS is playing a crucial role in advocating for free and fair press laws in this newly-independent nation.
Integrity Research and Consultancy was commissioned by Cordaid in May 2011 to undertake a feasibility assessment for the development of a research-training programme in South Sudan. Marc Buchner, our Head of Office, and Augustino Ting, one of our local consultants and himself a PhD candidate in demography, started with a gap analysis assessing the specific needs and appetite for the development of a research training programme.
They began with a review of the existing research sources and capability in place, and then conducted a supplementary survey in order to identify current needs and the appetite for support from stakeholders conducting and requiring research and research training in South Sudan. On establishing those needs the study had a secondary goal of establishing what such a programme would be like, and how it might be implemented. The study sought to arrive at practicable recommendations to solve key institutional problems affecting progress in this area.
A mixed quantitative and qualitative methodology was employed to gain coverage of general trends across the research-training environment and understand more specific challenges and impressions of the individual departments, organisations and individuals interviewed. Interviews were undertaken with a large sample of representatives from relevant government ministries, departments, commissions and other key stakeholders, including members of the international community.