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Dec 11, 2009 - 1:27:37 PM


For Immediate Release                                                                                        Contact: Todd Dusenbery

November 30, 2009                                                                                                Sudan Program Manager  

                                                                                    Mobile : +249 913 175 683




Khartoum , Sudan From December 7-17th, 2009, the Forum of Federations will conduct a workshop on federalism for 20 academics from six Sudanese regional universities ( Bahr el Gazal, Al Dalang, Al Ghadarif, Blue Nile, Nyala, and   Red Sea) at the Rotana Hotel in Khartoum .


The course will be led by prominent academics and practitioners from Canada , Ethiopia , India , South Africa the USA ,, and several Sudanese experts. The objective is to enhance academic capacity on federalism in Sudan and to provide a more critical understanding of federalism and the challenges and opportunities for its implementation in Sudan . A further aim of the training is that these scholars’, already well established in their respective fields in Sudan , will be better able to contribute to the broader discourse on the role of federalism in peace and development in Sudan .


Course content will examine the principles, values and institutions within which a successful federation functions – the rule of law, a level of trust and reciprocity, and related institutions, such as electoral and party systems, executives, and legislatures. It will also cover how other relevant federations organize their affairs , and provide a continuing analysis and evaluation of Sudan ’s constitution, comparative perspectives, and the federal idea as it is taking shape in the country.




As the world’s leading network developing a body of knowledge on the practice of federalism, the Forum of Federations provides technical expertise to existing federal countries and others considering federal type arrangements. The Forum facilitates contacts among practitioners, academics, and institutions working on governance issues to build an international network fostering the exchange of experience on federal governance and to disseminate technical knowledge of interest to existing federations and of countries seeking to introduce federal elements. The Forum is supported by partner countries including Australia , Brazil , Canada , Ethiopia , Germany , India , Mexico , Nigeria and Switzerland


The overall goal of the Forum’s broader  program in Sudan is to s trengthen capacities to implement key federal components of the CPA and at the same time build the basis for a broader and deeper national understanding about and commitment to the role of federalism for sustainable peace in Sudan . The Forum’s work focuses on the following strategic areas:


The Forum of Federation’s project – Federal Governance and Peace in Sudan)-- is funded by Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). For more information, please visit our website at


Expert Biographies


Tania Ajam is a public finance economist with broad experience in the design, analysis and implementation of fiscal policy, sectoral public budget management and government monitoring and evaluation systems. Her principle areas of interest and expertise are intergovernmental fiscal relations, fiscal decentralisation, budget and public expenditure management reform, the restructuring of fiscal institutions and processes, monitoring and evaluation and the role of information technology in enhancing performance orientation, accountability and public oversight. She has a strong quantitative background in statistics and econometrics, as well as information systems. While lecturing at the School of Economics , University of Cape Town she set up AFReC (Pty) Ltd, a research-based training and consulting company affiliated to the University of Cape Town in 1999 and is currently it’s CEO . She has served as a technical advisor to the Presidential Review Commission in 1997, and since then has been involved in several policy and implementation processes around both the Public Finance Management Act of 1999, as well as the Municipal Finance Management Act of 2003. She has worked with National Treasury on their strategy for implementing performance budgeting in 2003. She is the Managing Director of PBS (Pty) Ltd, a company which design performance information systems and is currently participating in implementation for the province of KwaZulu Natal . Tania also serves on the Financial and Fiscal Commission, and chairs its Research and Recommendations Committee.



Michael Bell is a Research Scientist at the George Washington Institute of Public Policy (GWIPP) at George Washington University in Washington DC . His professional training is in public finance with a focus on state and local finance and intergovernmental relations. His recent interests have been on strengthening the capacity of local government in transition and developing countries. Prior to joining GWIPP he worked for 12 years in the federal government including positions with the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, the US Treasury Department and the House of Representatives. After leaving the government he worked at the Urban Institute before becoming a Principal Research Scientist at the Institute for Policy Studies at John Hopkins University . Here he served as Director of the Local Self-Government Project – an umbrella for activities designed to strengthen local self-government in transition and developing countries. He has been a Research Fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in Cambridge , MA (1996-2003) and was a David C. Lincoln Fellow from 2004-2006. He has edited (or co-edited) seven books including Erosion of the Property Tax Base: Trends, Causes and Consequences (2009). He has published a number of professional articles in a variety of journals including Public Finance, Urban Studies, Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Journal of Urban Economics, Public Budgeting and Finance and the National Tax Journal. He is also Executive Director of a non-profit organization, Coalition for Effective Local Democracy, which strengthens local democratic governance through citizen empowerment.



Sandeep Shastri is the Pro Vice Chancellor of the Jain University and Professor of Political Science.   He was earlier on the Faculty of the Department of Post Graduate and Research Studies in Political Science, Bangalore University where he taught from 1984 to 2002, Dean – Research and Social Science at the International Academy for Creative Teaching from 2002 to 2004 and Director of   the International Academy for Creative Teaching (iACT) from 2004 to 2008.   He is a visiting Adjunct Professor at the University of California at Berkeley and at the University of Central Oklahoma .    He completed his MA, securing the First Rank in 1982, M.Phil. in 1984 and Ph.D. in 1993.   He has to his credit 7 Books, more than 30 articles in edited books and 60 articles in refereed Research Journals, besides popular writings in newspapers and magazines.    His research is largely in the field of a) Election Studies b) Federalism; and c) Survey based research.   He is a well known election and political analyst and comments frequently in both the print and electronic media. He is currently the National Coordinator of the Lokniti Network a group of scholars involved in Survey based Election Studies in India.    He recently co-authored a study on the Indian youth which is based on the first ever survey of young people in the country. His empirical study of the Federal Second chamber in India (Rajya Sabha) is included in the World Encyclopedia of Second Chambers. He is associated with several prestigious international research bodies in the field of social sciences and education. These include the Comparative Study of Election Systems, World Values Survey, Institute of Public Integrity , Forum of Federalism and the International IDEA project on Civic Education.   Dr Shastri has lectured extensively across the world and spoken at Universities in more than 20 countries in all the six inhabited continents.



Richard Simeon is Professor of Political Science and Law at the University of Toronto . A fellow of the Royal Society of Canada,   Professor Simeon's primary interests and writing have been on Federalism, Public Policy and the Constitution in Canada, together with a larger interest in the interactions between state and society.   His current research and writing is focused on federalism and constitutionalism in divided societies, democratic consolidation, and relations among language groups around the world. Professor Simeon is a Member of the Advisory Committee of the Club de Madrid, an international organization of former Heads of state and government dedicated to democratic transition and consolidation. Professor Simeon received his BA degree from the University of British Columbia , and his PhD from Yale University . Prior to joining the University of Toronto in 1991, Professor Simeon was Professor of Political Studies at Queen's University where he was also Director of the School of Public Administration (1985-91) and of the Institute of Intergovernmental Relations (1976-83). In 1998 and 2006-2008 he was William Lyon McKenzie King Professor of Canadian Studies at Harvard University . He has written widely and been a frequent contributor to public debates on these matters. One of his early works was Federal-Provincial Diplomacy: The Making of Recent Policy in Canada (1972, reprinted in 2006), it was awarded the Martha Derthaick award of the American Political Science Association as “a book of lasting significance” on federal studies. More recently he has published Political Science and Canadian Federalism: Seven Decades of Scholarly Engagement (2002) and Language Matters with David Cameron (2009). Simeon has worked with scholars and practitioners in South Africa , Iraq , Sudan , and Kenya .


Jaap de Visser is an Associate Professor at the Community Law Centre (University of the Western Cape , Cape Town ). He specialises in local government, federalism, decentralisation and intergovernmental relations. He is co-author of Local Government Law of South Africa and has published and presented papers locally and internationally in the abovementioned fields. Prof. De Visser is the co-convener of a Masters programme on local government and decentralisation at the University of the Western Cape . He supervises research projects on decentralisation in Uganda , Ethiopia and Zimbabwe . Prof. De Visser has built up practical experience as a consultant to local and international organisation and state organs. He has acted as a consultant for the provincial Department of Local Government in the Western Cape , the City of Cape Town and many other local authorities, South Africa ’s national Department of Cooperative Governance, the World Bank, Forum of Federations and many other organisations. He has extensive experience as a trainer and facilitator and has conducted numerous workshops in South Africa and abroad.



Vinod Vyasulu is a Consulting Economist who has been taking up assignments with various agencies in relation to ongoing economic issues and development projects for the past 10 years. He has worked with the ILO, the World Bank, the UNDP, various bilateral agencies, and public and private institutions in India . His focus has been on field based research in many states: Karnataka, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, where he has been involved in more than one assignment. He was part of the World Bank team that studied decentralisation in several Indian states, including MP. He was also involved in the redesign of the Panchayati Raj department in Orissa as part of the DFID initiative there. Decentralisation has been a point of interest for Professor Vyasulu for several years now. Currently he is associated with the Centre for Budget and Policy Studies, Bangalore , an independent, non-partisan research organisation focussing on issues of local governance and development. Prior to his consultancy work he held posts at the Reserve Bank of India as Chair Professor, and as Head of the Social Services Management Unit, at the Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore . As well as publications in various journals Dr Vyasulu has recently published two books; Panchayats, Democracy and Development, Rawat Publishers, Delhi etc, 2000 and Estimating District Income In India, Macmillan, Delhi, 2003 [with Rohini Nayyar and Meenakshi Rajiv]



Marie-Joëlle Zahar is associate professor of Political Science at the Université de Montréal. A former director of the Université de Montréal’s Middle East Network, h er research interests include conflict resolution, civil wars, peacekeeping and post-conflict reconstruction.   She is co-editor with Stephen Saideman of Intra-State Conflict, Government and Security: Dilemmas of Deterrence and Assurance (Routledge 2008) and has published articles in academic journals such as the Journal of Peacebuilding and Development, Südosteuropa, Critique internationale, International Peacekeeping and The International Journal as well as several chapters in edited volumes on conflict resolution and peace implementation. She is currently completing a book manuscript entitled Liban: les défis de la paix ( Lebanon : The Challenges of Peace, forthcoming at the Centre d’études et de recherches internationales, Sciences-po, Paris and Éditions Autrement) focusing on the impact of foreign interventions on peace building and post-conflict reconstruction in Lebanon . Zahar has held research fellowships at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation and the Munk Centre for International Studies (University of Toronto) and the Centre d’études du monde arabe moderne at the Université Saint-Joseph (Beirut).   She has also been visiting professor at Université Lyon II and the Institut d’études politiques de Lyon. She has consulted for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and served as adjunct faculty at the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre.



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