Reflections on the Joint Assessment Mission

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Oxford Department of International Development


The Joint Assessment Mission (JAM) Sudan was an open and consultative process – and has generated an impressive archive for students of post-war reconstruction – but has paid insufficient attention to justice and failed to offer a safety net for marginalised households. The so-called Government of National Unity, the Government of South Sudan and donors are committed, under the budget for development spending presented by the JAM in May 2005, to spending just under $8 billion in the next two and a half years. The budget is an interesting reflection of contemporary development thinking but also of continuing misplaced priorities. Building schools, health clinics and roads takes up the biggest chunk of the budget. When public expenditures suddenly soar, builders are the first beneficiaries. Land policy in southern Sudan is accorded $200,000 but, bizarrely, $48 million is allocated to the region’s media. So 240 times more will be spent on the media than on developing policies to avert the risk that land disputes will endanger peace. The budget doctors have allocated $119 million to the functioning of Sudan’s central bank but a