Ms. Christina Pita Lukudu is a legal counsel working for the Directorate of Public Prosecution in the Ministry of Justice of South Sudan, the world’s newest nation. She was among a group of Fellows who participated in the first cycle of the UNITAR South Sudan Fellowship Programme, launched in September 2015.
Ms. Lukudu’s country, South Sudan, continues to face numerous challenges in its efforts toward becoming sustainably developed and politically stable. Building the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for effective project management and leadership was the focus of the six-month UNITAR South Sudan Fellowship Programme, which was designed for junior to mid-level professionals from the public sector, civil society organizations, private sector, and academic institutions in South Sudan.
Participants, known as Fellows, learned to identify local needs and national priorities, as well as how to successfully design and implement projects intended to address them in ways that would help shape their nation’s path toward sustainable recovery and development.
Ms. Lukudu said, “I wanted to take part in the Fellowship Programme because my organization, the Ministry of Justice, continues to face many challenges that hinder efficient and effective delivery of essential services because of poor coordination, lack of funds and inadequate technical and professional training for personnel.” She recalled,
“I chose to participate specifically to obtain the knowledge and skills necessary for effective project management and leadership.”
Tailored to the current realities of South Sudan, the UNITAR Fellowship Programme consisted of three workshops: two in Juba, South Sudan, and one in Hiroshima, Japan. The workshops were also linked by training modules and participant-led projects, which focused on addressing contemporary issues challenging the developing Sub-Saharan country.
“UNITAR’s institutional capacity and experience in training on development issues in post-conflict countries gave me the confidence necessary to fully understand the needs of my country.”
“I gained practical and professional experience and skills through the Fellowship Programme. I found the results-based portion of the training to be the most effective for improving my work, as it provided a clear framework for project implementation. I have since been able to use the skills and tools daily in analyzing criminal investigations and writing memorandums.”
The impact of the training has reached beyond Ms. Lukudu, as she has been able to share the knowledge and skills she gained with her colleagues, allowing her team to work more efficiently. This teamwork has resulted in overall improvements in performance and speed in handling pending cases. She hopes to “continue using the leadership lessons to positively influence others in the effort to improve behaviors and attitudes with development work in South Sudan.”
The Hiroshima-based portion of the programme left a big impression on Ms. Lukudu, due to the city’s tragic history of the first atomic bombing during World War II and its subsequent rapid recovery. She said, “Seeing the post-conflict reconstruction story of Hiroshima, including the devotion of its people to peace education and memorialization of the tragedy for the benefit of future generations, gave me hope for the people of South Sudan.”
Through the UNITAR Fellowship Programme, Ms. Lukudu learned the meaning of unity and was able to build deep and meaningful relationships with her peers.
“Having previously been complete strangers, I felt that coming together with the other participants from the same country inspired us to work together for the betterment of South Sudan.”