Since becoming independent on 9 July 2011, South Sudan has faced many challenges. Poor harvests have led to severe food shortages, and there have been continuous conflicts across the border with Sudan. In September 2011, intense fighting broke out in the Blue Nile State of Sudan between the Sudan Armed Forces and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (North). Thousands of people fled the fighting, and over 30,000 refugees arrived in the camps in Jamam, a village in the remote Upper Nile State of South Sudan. Since November 2011, Oxfam and other humanitarian agencies have been responding to emergency needs of refugees displaced from Blue Nile.
Drawing on an independent review, this summary report reviews the speed and quality of Oxfam’s intervention in the first seven and a half months of 2012, and responds to questions raised by other humanitarian actors including UNHCR and MSF about its performance. The aim of this summary is to contribute to organisational learning on the implementation of humanitarian interventions. It acknowledges Oxfam’s achievements, but also addresses challenges about the nature of its response. The summary draws together key points to aid understanding of the context of this programme, and critically examines what Oxfam and others could do differently to deliver rapid, good-quality emergency WASH programmes in the future. It summarises findings from an independent review, and makes recommendations for policy and practice that could have enhanced the Maban response, and will help to improve the quality of further programmes by Oxfam and other agencies working in complex, fragile environments.
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