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Democracy, Stabilization and Governance

Somali women in civil society advocating for education at the first budget hearing ever held in Somalia.
Somali women in civil society advocating for education at the first budget hearing ever held in Somalia

Transition Initiatives for Stabilization + (TIS+)

The TIS+ activity aims to increase Somalia’s stability through participatory processes that promote good governance and community cohesion.  Given the fragile nature of the political and security gains made over the last few years in Somalia, TIS+ maintains a continued focus on quick impact stabilization activities at the district and community levels, with a focus on targeted areas in the federal states.  At the same time, TIS+ supports Somalia’s goal of moving from crisis response and stabilization to medium and longer-term development by facilitating joint planning between community, government and private sector actors on shared goals.

TIS+ prioritizes engagement with government and communities within the Puntland, Jubaland, and the South West States of Somalia, Banadir Regional Authority, and the Sool and Sanaag regions.  The TIS+ activities focus on increasing stability in the country by improving the government’s capacity for service delivery and demonstrating good governance processes, thereby improving citizen confidence in government and reducing the appeal of violent extremism.

In coordination with government counterparts and community members, TIS+ staff and facilitators work collectively to select and prioritize stability projects.  The construction of roads, government buildings, parks, or installation of solar lights are some examples of projects that community members choose.  The projects are then implemented, monitored and evaluated together with the government and other stakeholders.

For TIS+, integrating gender and addressing equality across the program in a holistic manner is essential to the program.  However, it is not only about adding a woman’s component and increasing women’s participation into an existing activity.  Rather, it is about how experience, knowledge, and interests of women and men can actually affect programmatic objectives and anticipated results.  The TIS+ team supports the empowerment of women and girls, while addressing gender equality concerns in the development, planning, and implementation of all project activities.

See Fact Sheet.

Strengthening Somali Governance (SSG)

From 2014-2017, USAID, through the Strengthening Somali Governance (SSG) activity, supported the development of more effective and accountable government institutions.  In the first three years, this activity aimed to: improve the reach of government; systematize opportunities for representation and inclusion of citizen interests in the political process; increase the legitimacy of government institutions and representative bodies; and support women's empowerment and leadership.  In SSG’s final year, the focus has shifted solely to improving the legislative, representative and oversight functions of the Federal Parliament of Somalia (FPS).

See Fact Sheet.

Bringing Unity, Integrity and Legitimacy to Democracy (BUILD)

While Somalia is moving towards more inclusive institutions and systems, most citizens have never participated in a direct election. In February 2016 Somalis conducted an indirect electoral process where 14,000 delegates voted for MPs, and they in turn voted in a new president. The federal government of Somalia (FGS) has committed to one-person-one-vote elections in Somalia in 2020 and is in the process of reviewing its provisional constitution that may lead to a constitutional referendum to ratify the finalized document.

Somaliland has been conducting direct elections since 2002. However, the current cycle of elections was delayed multiple times. On November 13, 2017, Somaliland held a presidential election that was considered credible and well-organized by observers. This election was a step forward in multiple ways, including its expansion of direct polling to districts where it had not been undertaken before, and the use of cutting-edge technology to develop a clean voter registry.

Bringing Unity, Integrity and Legitimacy to Democracy (BUILD) aims to support electoral and political processes across Somalia by fostering increased citizen participation; building the capacity of election management bodies (EMBs) and other relevant government bodies to administer credible elections; and supporting the development of issue-based and viable political parties.

See Fact Sheet.

Somalis Harmonizing Inter-Intra Communal Relationships (SHIIR)

Many communities in Somalia are plagued by long-standing and deep-rooted tensions that have not been adequately addressed and have hardened over the years.  At the same time, many of these communities have experienced intense disruption due to violent external conflict, which has torn apart fragile social cohesion and undermined legitimate government structures.

USAID’s conflict mitigation and management program, Somalis Harmonizing Inter-Intra Communal Relationships (SHIIR), enhances community social reconciliation and promotes civic education and awareness so that Somali communities are empowered to actively participate in state building.

See Fact Sheet.

Last updated: November 23, 2018

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