Strengthening Somali Governance

ACTIVITY OVERVIEW

From 2014-2017, USAID’s Strengthening Somali Governance (SSG) activity supported the development of more effective and accountable government institutions. In its 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 will shift solely to improving the legislative, representative, and oversight functions of the Federal Parliament of Somalia (FPS).

ACTIVITY AREAS

SSG worked collaboratively with parliaments, key ministries, and commissions to improve core management functions, such as financial management, human resources, planning processes, and public outreach to support the creation of strong and credible democratic institutions in Somalia and Somaliland.

SSG improved the capabilities of parliamentarians and government officials to deliberate on, amend, draft, analyze, and enact key pieces of legislation, and improved the administrative capabilities of government staff and civil servants to develop policies, effectively coordinate government systems, and efficiently manage daily operations.

Throughout the project, SSG engaged civil society and the media to increase citizen awareness of key political processes, such as the 2016-2017 political transition, along with supporting key legislation, government structures and activities, and increased understanding of the roles and responsibilities of executive and legislative officials to ensure greater transparency and engagement.

ACTIVITY IMPACT

SSG supported 16 draft laws advancing representative governance that were subject to substantive amendment and final vote in the legislature in the FPS and in Somaliland. Six of these laws were passed by the FPS, and five were passed by the Somaliland Parliament.

SSG provided skills development to both parliaments in legislative drafting and regulatory reform, as well as asset management policy and office administration. Priority legislation was used as an opportunity to introduce norms for staff research and analysis, information gathering, discussion and debate, legislative amendment, and committee reporting. SSG trained committees on the process and procedures for conducing public hearings, and supported four committees in successfully carrying out public hearings.

SSG also supported the FPS’ Budget and Finance Committee to review and finalize the first public financial management bill tabled in Somalia since 1961. In July 2017, SSG supported a public hearing on the FY2017 federal budget—the first of its kind. In Somaliland, the parliament was supported to hold public hearings on key public financial management and revenue bills, as well as the consolidated financial statements - the first-time financial governance legislation and financial statements have ever been presented for public comment. SSG provided technical assistance to the Federal Ministry of Finance to assess the revenue collected by line ministries, and to review existing payment systems. This resulted in greater transparency about the fees collected by ministries and the methods used to do so, and influenced the proposed federal FY2016 budget and the Telecommunications Bill, which was approved by the federal parliament in August 2017.

To improve the capacity of the executive branch and ministries to communicate with each other and the public, SSG supported five ministries in their implementation of communications strategies, including the development and maintenance of websites and trainings for staff on the use of social media.

SSG also supported greater government transparency and accountability by helping citizens understand the workings of government and how to advocate on behalf of their communities. SSG supported 71 forums throughout Somalia organized by local partners on key governance and legislative agenda items to facilitate an understanding of, and encourage support for these issues. SSG facilitated 17 engagement sessions between civil society and newly-elected members of the Federal Parliament. SSG worked with over 40 journalists in Mogadishu and Somaliland to build their capacity to better understand and report on governance issues. By advancing civil society organizations’ understanding of advocacy methods, improving their communication strategies, and building strong coalitions, SSG’s local partners advocated for a quota for women’s participation in parliament (now at 24%) and adoption of a policy for rights for persons with disabilities.

Last updated: October 24, 2017

Share This Page