The SLRC South Sudan programme has been working since 2012 to identify and understand the realities of livelihoods, access to basic services, and perceptions of governance in post-independence South Sudan. This briefing paper summarises findings from the publications of SLRC South Sudan over the life of the programme. Key findings include:
State-building involves highly political, long-term, internal processes. The presumed link between service delivery and people’s improved views of the state was not straightforward in South Sudan even before its decline into the current armed conflict.

Before the return to widespread armed conflict, people’s reported priorities were physical security, perceived fairness in resource allocation, and any access to services, regardless of whether they were provided by the state. In the future, both internal and external actors should prioritise resources and capacity at the local level, and enhanced information for and participation of local authorities and communities.