July 2012|Ben French and Nicholas Travis|Country Learning Notes,

This Country Learning Note explores the 2009 Juba Compact (hereafter the Compact) in an effort to understand what factors might determine the overall success of a compact.


  • Compacts between governments and development partners have been identified as an important tool for implementing the New Deal for Fragile States.
  • In 2009, South Sudan faced a crisis sparked by the rapid drop in the price of oil and a concurrent rise in food prices. This situation required a joint response from the Government and development partners which resulted in the creation of the 2009 Juba Compact.
  • While the original purpose of the Juba Compact was to coordinate donor and Government responses to the crisis, it rapidly evolved into a mechanism for examining a wider range of governance and transparency issues.
  • There are a number of lessons that can be drawn from South Sudan’s experience of the Juba Compact. These are: keep it simple and focused; stick to a relatively short horizon with realistic timelines; do not be overambitious; and fragility should not lead to unrealistic concessions.



The Country Learning Notes series is intended as a tool for policy makers and practitioners to learn from the experiences of other countries. Each note focuses on a specific country and a particular policy area, documenting the challenges faced and decisions taken to overcome them.

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