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August 25, 2020

Cooking oil in the Middle East. Tahini in the Mediterranean. Massage oil in Asia. Perhaps a garnish for a loaf of bread at a bakery near you. Sesame seeds are used in food and health products around the globe, and USAID is helping Somalia reestablish itself as an international exporter of this naturally tough crop.

August 6, 2020

This cross-sectoral youth assessment aims to capture the experiences, aspirations, challenges, and assets of Somali youth ages 15-30 and to identify effective programs, organizations, and partnerships supporting youths to reach their full potential. USAID/Somalia will use the data to inform its approach to working with youth in greater alignment with the Positive Youth Development (PYD) framework, incorporating findings into its 2019–2023 Country Development Cooperation Strategy. Assessment results also are intended to provide donors and development practitioners working in Somalia with information on opportunities and challenges for supporting youth’s journey from adolescence to adulthood. The recommendations outlined here are based on the findings of a desk review, 130 key informant interviews, and 30 youth-led focus-group discussions with 283 youth over nearly four weeks in three zones: Federal/South Central, Federal/Puntland, and Somaliland.

June 3, 2020

In Somalia, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is one of several approaches to improve access to justice following the collapse of state institutions and the civil war in 1990-92, as it addresses both transitional justice and is a supplement to formal statutory justice. ADR often denotes the use of customary justice processes as alternatives to fledging statutory court systems, involving clan (tribal) elders and inter-clan agreements (known as xeer in Somalia).

March 25, 2020

One of the thematic areas selected as a result of the inception phase analysis of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Expanding Access to Justice Program in Somalia (EAJ) was a focus on land disputes and grievances in Mogadishu. Disputes often start with the aggrieved parties addressing the elders in traditional institutions and may even end at the Supreme Court. However, at the same time, in the urban environment, elders often lack the mandate and power to resolve these issues and the judiciary plays a very small role in actually solving land disputes. Even where judgments are delivered, the police have shown little capacity to enforce them.

March 12, 2020

Over the past two decades, justice sector development has undergone an enormous transformation. The community of practice has broadly accepted that most ‘top-down’approaches to reform have been unsuccessful at improving institutional functionality or access to justice for marginalized or vulnerable populations. In response,the community has shifted its focus towards locally-driven reforms,centered upon improving service delivery and empowering end users. Rolling out such approaches in Islamic jurisdictions such as Somalia, however, has proven complicated. Shari’ah principles can sit in tension with internationally accepted justice norms,which has confronted practitioners with questions on the acceptability of engaging with systems that do not always conform to human rights standards.

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Last updated: August 25, 2020

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