Sudan Democracy First Group

Strategic Objectives

  • Contribute to the building of an inclusive civic movement evolving around democracy, peace, accountability and balanced development;
  • Strengthen coordination and networking among civil society groups, social and political movements and democratic initiatives and to facilitate engagement in peace and political processes;
  • Put governance, accountability, just peace and democracy on the agenda for constitutional and state reform;
  • Provide a rapid and flexible response to unforeseen needs which strengthen independent civil society actors/initiatives.

Review of the Past Strategic Period


Between 2013 and 2016 SDFG’s voice, and its research, advocacy and analysis from an indigenous Sudanese perspective, became recognized and heard by a variety of national, regional and international actors. SDFG managed to develop a unique approach among traditional civil society in Sudan in actively working with political actors and becoming involved with political processes around issues of accountability, democratic reform, peace processes and governance. As part of this, SDFG promoted the participation of civil forces in political processes and strengthened civil society in interventions in the political sphere. Coordination and networking between civic forces was also conducted. This has resulted in hearing the voice of independent civil society in political platforms, and it becomes a main pillar in political processes.

SDFG also successfully contributed to building a bridge between civil society in the center, and the marginalized areas and peripheries of Sudan. These efforts were supported by training and capacity building for civil society in the conflict areas, and for youth, to create stronger connections and networks. For example, SDFG has been working in Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan since 2012. SDFG has led several capacity building and training exercises in both government and non-government controlled areas, as well as in the refugee and IDP camps on organizational and project management, and technical aspects. This work aimed to empower grassroots civil society together to promote collaboration and a shared vision among actors. These activities have empowered civil society from the conflict zones to be more vocal and strong to express their issues and to closely coordinate with their counterparts in the center.

In 2014 SDFG initiated the “Sudan Transparency Initiative” as a platform to implement effective, non-violent anti-corruption campaigns in Sudan and to mobilize a wider demand for accountability and reform. The “Sudan Transparency Initiative” has focused on addressing both grand corruption and petty corruption, as well as the general lack of transparency and accountability in public and private sectors through research capacity building and information sharing.

Internally, SDFG restructured several approaches to its work, which lead to more effective and impactful project planning, design and implementation. For instance the participation of staff in project design and planning has positively impacted on SDFG’s successes.



SDFG regularly assesses the impact of its work both in regard to the interventions and its institutional capacity. Several obstacles presented during the last strategic intervention period.  SDFG moved away from its strategic direction during some part of this strategy period, tending to priorities technical traditional interventions and avoiding political engagement over the more activist political participation and grassroots engagements which has inspired its establishment. This led to serious debate and intervention by the Board of Directors, ultimately leading to a retrieval of SDFG’s original strategic goals, partners and methods of works.

Among the constraints experienced was the reluctance by some actors to accept the role of civil society in political processes.  Political participation and engagement with political forces remains a contentious issue among traditional NGOs.

Further constraints were posed by the limited availability of resources, alongside major shifts of funding priorities among donor organizations. The emphasis on project-based funding and a shift by donors to a multi-country approach has impacted funding sourcing.

The process of creating a unified civil society movement also presented challenges. These included divisions among civil society groups, complex relations with political and actors, ethnic politics and imposing of donors’ agenda. SDFG would have liked to have made more progress over the past strategic period in contribution to the building and consolidation of a unified civic movement.


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