Following the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), scrupulous and impartial public expenditure management has never been more imperative. Public expenditure management considerations should not be limited to how spending of resources is planned but would necessarily include how such planning is translated into action, i.e. how the budget is implemented and reporting/monitoring aspects of such implementation. As such, UNDP Sudan put up a call for proposals for the project “Public Expenditure Management (PEM) in Sudan” as part of the Participatory Economic Policy Reform Project which is jointly funded by the World Bank, CIDA and the UNDP. The overall goal of the project is to create a consensus among those concerned with public expenditure on the most appropriate mechanisms for managing public expenditure and relating it to pro-poor spending and the achievement of MDGs in general. Particular attention was given to the strengths and weaknesses of the existing public expenditure management practice ...

One of the major obstacles that have been identified as impeding the growth of the microfinance sector in Sudan is the stringent demand for sufficient guarantees and securities to cover the risks that can ensue in any business deal. It is well known that small and micro borrowers/entrepreneurs, in general, and women within this category, in particular, have particular difficulty in presenting the needed guarantees simply because they do not possess them. In recognition of the constraining capacity due to collateralization or lack thereof, the Central Bank of Sudan (BOS) commissioned a study on “Collateralization and Guarantees in the Expansion of Microfinance Services in Sudan”. This was assigned to Unicons Consultancy in July, 2007. The Objective being to define and make recommendations on attributes for successful utilization of alternative collaterals and guarantee systems – at end-user level, as well as at the institutional (MFI) level - needed to stimulate greater provision of microf ...

In recognition of the importance and centrality of public finance issues to peace in Sudan, the wealth sharing agreement that accompanied the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) outlined a new basis for intergovernmental fiscal relations stipulating the following: “The wealth of Sudan shall be shared equitably so as to enable each level of government to discharge its legal and constitutional responsibilities and duties” Accordingly, the Fiscal, Financial, Allocation and Monitoring Commission (FFAMC) was established in November 2005 by Presidential decree in accordance with the stipulations of the CPA and the Interim National Constitution (INC). The operations of the FFAMC are deemed a major requirement of the CPA [Article 8 of the Wealth Sharing Agreement] and Interim National Constitution in order to ensure transparency and fairness both in regard to the allocation of nationally collected funds to the states/regions and the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS). This has been further re-affirm ...

UNICONS formulated the Operational and Business Plan for the establishment of a microfinance institution (MFI) in Southern Sudan at the request of a renowned Sudanese Business (Haggar Holding Company Ltd). This Group of Companies decided to set-up the MFI as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility Program. Three locations were selected, to launch the project which would eventually increase to ten, one in each of the Southern States. The aim was to provide financing for small and micro entrepreneurs for the creation of sustainable livelihoods for local citizens and communities throughout Southern Sudan. The MFI is to engage in and play an active role in developing rural areas; creating widespread employment and reducing poverty particularly in the rural areas of Southern Sudan. One objective was to link agricultural activities of Haggar Group along with Ivory Bank’s, whose Board of Directors was also chaired by the Haggar Group Chairman. Our mandate was to avoid towns where microfinance programs ...

It is increasingly upheld that skills produced in large part through formal education are important to increasing productivity, economic competitiveness and growth. In spite of these benefits, there are challenges to the value placed on education by both individuals and societies. Unicons, on assignment from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) in Jeddah, conducted a study on the Effects of Education on Productivity Growth in the Arab region. Focusing on two countries – Sudan and Egypt - the study provided an analysis of the effects of education on productivity growth and highlighted the major challenges to enhancing productivity in relation to education. The study was instrumental in identifying ways and means for removing obstacles to education for the improvement of productivity in the IDB member countries from the Arab region. The study also provided tangible policy recommendations to the IDB for the purposes of linking increased education to productivity growth in its member countries. Unicons s ...