Drawing on interviews and observations conducted in South Sudan in 2020-21, this report explores how South Sudanese NGOs and local government actors responded to the Covid-19 pandemic. The authors argue that unfilled local government positions undermined the Covid response in some areas, yet different public authorities stepped in to create a degree of continuity and ‘governance without government’.

The report also highlights how the pandemic response impacted NGOs’ existing projects and priorities. Funding was often suspended or cut, and trust in aid workers threatened because of fears they might on the one hand pose an infection risk, and on the other that they were prioritising Covid-19 over more pressing local concerns.