From 2012 to late 2016, the Secure Livelihood and Research Consortium (SLRC) conducted research into South Sudan and six other countries to examine the relationship between state building and provision of public services, development of a state’s capacity, and support to sustain the livelihood of the population. Through various publications, to which Martina Santschi from swisspeace also contributed, the research project in South Sudan reveals that there is no direct correlation between the provision of public services and and the public perception of the state concerned. One of the findings of the research project was that the perception of state institutions is not negatively affected by international stakeholders playing a key role in providing public services. Access to services is far more important. It is precisely this indifference to the service provider that opens up opportunities for South Sudan. Nonetheless, the authors agree that any international support to strengthen the state and non-governmental stakeholders must emphasize – as part of any analysis or other activities – the local context, local structures and authorities, and the views and priorities of the population.