Transition Initiatives for Stabilization (TIS-Somalia)

Funding Level:                                                                                                                                                     
$115 million

February 2010 – March 2016

Activity Goals:

  • Promote stability and community cohesion through infrastructure improvements, and social and cultural activities
  • Strengthen relationships between Somali government officials, the private sector, and civil society organizations
  • Increase confidence in government

Activity Accomplishments:

  • Over 9,000 employment opportunities created to improve livelihoods, reducing the risk of youth joining extremist groups
  • 70 government-community dialogue events organized to build trust in the government and sustain activity impact
  • 111 government buildings constructed to improve government’s capacity to deliver vital services in the regions
  • 254 community projects contracted using transparent and fair processes that mitigate conflict and establish high procurement standards in Somalia
  • Over 20 reconciliation and social cohesion forums organized across Somalia, reducing the risk of conflict
  • Over 24 technical staff embedded in Ministries across Somalia to improve government capacity 

Implementing Partners:
International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI) work in close coordination with local and federal governments, civil society, and community members

Activity Locations:
Somaliland, Puntland, and South Central Somalia

USAID’s Transition Initiatives for Stabilization (TIS) program seeks to increase confidence in all levels of government through targeted, strategic interventions that improve service delivery and government responsiveness. Through TIS, Somali government institutions, the private sector, and civil society collaborate to design, evaluate, and deliver projects with a quick and lasting impact on the lives of Somali citizens in critical risk areas.

TIS gathers community stakeholders to collaboratively identify and prioritize the projects that will provide the greatest benefit to their communities. TIS assists communities to transparently select local contractors to implement each project, and ensures that communities and government counterparts are hands-on supervisors of the projects. This process ensures a higher level of Somali ownership, and improves collaboration between citizens and their government.

USAID, through TIS, is supporting over 650 projects in 16 of Somalia’s 18 regions, focusing on high-risk communities in hard-to-reach areas, particularly those liberated by the ongoing Somali National Army (SNA) and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) campaign.

TIS uses flexible funding and implementation mechanisms to ensure that activities respond to a community’s priorities and needs. With TIS programs, the process of determining priorities and jointly moving forward is as important as the activity itself. Examples of projects that have been funded through TIS include: rehabilitation of roads, government buildings, health clinics, schools, community centers, and stadiums; installation of street lighting and flood control; equipment and technical training for government administrations; entrepreneurial training and vocational education for youth; and cultural and athletic events. All of these activities were jointly chosen by communities and governments, and contracted in a transparent manner.

High levels of unemployment and lack of education among youth populations make them susceptible to violent extremist recruitment and sea piracy. To prevent this from happening, USAID, through TIS, supports youth engagement activities in sports and arts, as well as practical job skills training workshops. 

For example, in Mogadishu, USAID teamed up with district administrators and local sports committees to organize and provide equipment for district-wide tournaments dubbed “Sports for Peace.” Over the course of 9 months, over 500 fans from Mogadishu were able to celebrate and cheer for the first women's basketball tournament in 20 years, giving the community a sense of unity and offering youth a healthy alternative to extremism and crime.

In Puntland along the coastal areas, USAID partnered with three local administrations in Jariban, Hafun, and Banderbayla to launch an Alternative Skills Training program for 350 youth, including both males and females. The program trained youth in auto mechanics, electricity repair, tailoring, computer literacy, fiberglass repair, and launching small businesses. A group of the program’s graduates in Balibusle raised money to open the village’s first electricity repair shop that covers the entire village. Electricity installation is dangerous and causes many deaths, especially during heavy rains. One of the owners, Said Mohamed Dhubad, said, “On the day the electricity training started, there was not an electricity repair shop in our village. So the group collected money and opened an electricity shop. Before this, electricity installation was difficult, dangerous, and expensive. Now technicians just go and do the job and raise awareness of the risks of electricity and precautions it needs.”

In addition, USAID has helped regional Somali governments build meaningful relationships with local leaders in communities where the formal justice system has previously not been utilized. For example, in Somaliland, the Councils of Elders (Nabaddoon) have long served as the unquestioned authorities presiding over disputes. The ‘xeer’ traditional legal system has served as a conflict resolution mechanism in the absence of a strong judicial system. With the emergence of a regional democratic government in Hargeisa, cultural and legal friction arose between clan elders who have played this critical role for generations and the Ministry of Interior that has the legal mandate to provide national security and reconcile disputes among clans. USAID facilitated the Buroa Peace Conference on behalf of the Ministry of Interior of Somaliland. Nearly 200 participants from Sool, Sanag, Sahil and Togdhere regions attended this one-day dialogue session—the third such USAID-funded conference in Somaliland. These three peace forums served as the first such platforms that assembled elders and government officials to recognize each other’s roles in contributing to peace and conflict resolution, and enforcing the formal rule of law. Clan elders agreed for the first time to respect court findings as final, to recognize the jurisdiction of government law enforcement authorities, to view harboring criminals as a crime, and to turn over murder suspects to the government if ‘xeer’ arbitration fails.

 USAID Contacts:
Tyler Beckelman, Director
Tel: +254 20 862 2834

Cael Savage
Stabilization Team
Tel: +254 20 862 2037

Transition Initiatives for Stabilization:
Vishalini Lawrence
Chief of Party for DAI
Tel: +254 705 114 179

Ali Ibrahim
Deputy Program Manager for IOM
Tel: +254 733 770 125



Last updated: December 10, 2014

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