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Bridging the Gap between Policies and People in Somalia: Introducing Policy Design Centers

Policies, programs, and projects that are designed and implemented to serve the needs of Somalia’s citizens often fail to achieve their objectives. Regrettably, this observation is so widespread and noted so often that it is easy to gloss over it as an area for dedicated attention. After all, there are many forces at work that prevent sound policymaking. However, even well- functioning and democratic states (like Canada and Denmark) have noticed that policies designed in closer cooperation with the population can create more nuanced, local, legitimate, and ultimately effective solutions that “designing from above” cannot achieve. Policy design centers are innovation initiatives that are being built and utilized worldwide and — with some adaption and creativity — could bring notable advances to Somalia and even to the region as a whole. This brief explains how policy design thinking has evolved globally, and the wider role of Policy Design Centers. It then focuses on particular needs that Somalia faces in this area, and the role that the Somali Public Agenda Center for Public Policy and Service Design is emerging to play.

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Siyaasadaha, barnaamijyada, iyo mashaariicda la naqshadeeyo, ee la hirgaliyo si ay ugu adeegaan baahida muwaadiniinta Soomaaliyeed ayaa badanaa ku guuldareysta ujeedooyinkooda. Nasiib darro, arrintani waa mid aad u baahsan, iyadoo marar badan la sheego in la fududeysto in ay tahay qeyb u baahan fiiro gaar ah in loo yeesho. Waxaa jira awoodo fara badan oo goobta shaqada ah, kuwaasoo caqabad ku noqda in la dejiyo siyaasad hagaagsan. Si kastaba, xitaa dowladaha leh hay’ado si wanaagsan u shaqeynaya oo dimuqraadi ah (sida Canada iyo Denmark) ayaa ogaaday siyaasadaha la naqshadeeyo ayadoo wadashaqeyn dhaw lala yeelanayo dadweynaha in ay abuuri karaan isbeddel la taaban karo, maxalli ah, dadweynaha ka turjumaya, ugu dambeyntiina xal waxtar ah leh, kaasoo “marka naqshadaynta xagga sare laga keeno” aanu ka guul keeni karin. Xarumaha Naqshadeynaya Siyaasadaha waa halabuurro cusub oo ay adeegsato dunida oo dhan— kuwaas oo haddii xoogaa halabuur iyo hirgelin laysugu daro u horseedi kara horumar la taaban karo Soomaaliya iyo xitaa gobolka oo dhan. Qoraalkan kooban wuxuu sharraxayaa sida fikirka naqshadaynta siyaasaddu u kobcay adduunka iyo kaalinta ballaaran ee Xarumaha Naqshadeynta Siyaasadda. Intaa kadib waxa uu diiradda saarayaa baahiyaha gaarka ah oo ay Soomaaliya wajaheyso iyo kaalinta Somali Public Agenda Center for Public Policy and Service Design ay u taagan tahay in ay cayaarto.

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Puntland Democratization: Process, Challenges and Ways Forward

There are opportunities and challenges associated with the Puntland democratization process, and important lessons that can be learnt from this exercise. Some of the key lessons include the inclusion of internally displaced people (IDPs) in the registration drive, the positive role of traditional elders (even when transitioning to full democracy and direct elections), the importance of initiating registration of persons at the Federal Member States level, and the encouraging experience of bottom-up registration of voters in Somalia.

This report proposes recommendations to different actors that, if implemented and considered by the stakeholders in the Puntland democratization process, could go a long way in enhancing and improving the transparency and quality of Puntland’s Local Government’s Elections and the democratization process as a whole. The recommendations include: that the Puntland government maintains its political commitment, which is crucial for the accomplishment of universal suffrage; that TPEC should keep up the momentum and avoid any conflict of interest going forward; that political associations must include women and youth in their organizational structures, and that they should offer alternative leadership and constructive criticism in theircampaigning and selling of their political agenda. Puntland civil society is encouraged to speed up and launch a coordinated awareness exercise in order to bridge the information gap. On the other hand, the study recommends other Federal Member States of Somalia to take the democratization process of Puntland as a benchmark and learn best practices from each other. The international partners should continue the goodwill and technical and financial support they have offered to Puntland’s democratization process.

Download the full report here

Waxaa jira fursado iyo caqabado la xiriira geeddi-socodka dimuqraadiyeynta Puntland, iyo casharro muhiim ah oo laga baran karo howlaha doorashooyinka dowladaha hoose. Casharrada muhiimka ah waxaa kamid ah in dadka gudaha ku barakacay lagu daro diiwaangelinta, doorka wanaagsan ee odayaasha dhaqanka, muhiimadda ay leedahay in laga billaabo diiwaangelinta dadka heerka Dowladaha xubnaha ka ah Dowladda Federaalka, iyo waayo-aragnimada dhiirri-gelinta leh ee diiwaan-gelinta cod-bixiyeyaasha Soomaaliya.

Warbixintani waxay usoo jeedinaysaa talooyin daneeyeyaasha kala duwan, kuwaasoo haddii ay tixgeliyaan, wax weyn ka tari karta sare-u-qaadista iyo hagaajinta daahfurnaanta iyo tayada Doorashooyinka Dowladaha Hoose ee Puntland iyo geedi-socodka dimuqraadiyadda guud ahaan. Talooyinka waxaa kamid ah: in dowladda Puntland ay sii joogteyso ka go’naanshaheeda siyaasadeed, taasoo muhiim u ah dhammaystirka doorashada; in TPEC ay sii waddo dardar- gelinta howlaha doorashada oo ay ka fogaato wax kasta oo carqaladeyn kara shaqada ama muujin kara eex iyo dano gaar ah; in ururrada siyaasadeed ay muhiim tahay inay ku daraan haweenka iyo dhalinyarada qaab-dhismeedkooda urur, iyo inay soo bandhigaan hoggaamin iyo dhaliil wax dhiseysa marka ay ololeynayaan ama iibinayaan ajendayaashooda siyaasadeed. Bulshada rayidka ah ee Puntland waxaa lagu dhiirrigelinayaa in ay dardar geliyaan oo ay billaabaan wacyi-gelin isku-dhafan si loo yareeyo baahida weyn ee loo qabo macluumaadka doorashada. Dhinaca kale, daraasaddu waxay ku talinaysaa Dowladaha kale ee xubnaha ka ah Dowladda Federaalka Soomaaliya inay halbeeg ka dhigtaan hannaanka dimuqraadiyadda Puntland oo ay ka qaataan tijaabooyinka ugu wanaagsan ee lagu guuleystay. Saaxiibada caalamku iyaguna waa inay sii wadaan taageerada farsamo iyo maaliyadeed ee ay ku taageeraan geeddi-socodka dimuqraadiyadda Puntland.

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Blog Writing Training for Somali Youth

In recent years, Somalia’s digital space has been widening. Hundreds of thousands of youth have been getting online for multiple purposes, but mostly to connect with the globe and to empower and educate themselves. This influx has partly been aided by Somalia’s cheap and high-speed internet. Therefore, the Somali Public Agenda Center for Learning and Development saw the need to acquaint these youth to better utilize the digital tools they already have to increase their employability, get connected with the rest of the world, and become a voice for their communities. This led to the idea for blog writing training.

Blog writing is a useful skill that can propel a person into many career opportunities. It allows someone to share his/her perspective on something, shed light on topics that are out of the spotlight of the media, protect their privacy, and satisfy their writing interests. These needs, along with many others, necessitated the SPA Center for Learning and Development to fill a skills gap. Read more

Fiscal Federalism in Somalia: Constitutional Ambiguity, Political Economy and Options for a Workable Arrangement

Somalia adopted a federal system in 2004 when the Transitional Federal Charter was adopted in Kenya. Since then, it has evolved into a provisional constitution, which was temporarily approved by the over 800-member constitutional assembly in Mogadishu in 2012. The devolution of power has exposed Somalia to recurrent disputes between the FGS and its constituent units over power and resource distribution. At the heart of a bitter and draining schism and bone of contention between the levels of government is fiscal federalism. This results from ambiguity inherent in the Somalia Provisional Constitution over this and other crucial matters. As this problem grows, this study sheds light on the state of fiscal federalism in Somalia, and the challenges that stand in the way of a workable agreement. However, it also proposes practical models and recommendations in resolving the existing disputes over fiscal federalism.

Download the full report here

Personal Reflection on My Internship at SPA

My three-month internship with the Somali Public Agenda (SPA) has come to an end. The internship was a great opportunity for me to acquire various skills and experiences. I am grateful for this opportunity at SPA. A few of the things that I learned while working with the SPA were discipline, respect and time management. Read more

Somalia’s Electoral Conundrum: An Alternative to the Mogadishu Model

This commentary explains the current impasse around elections in Somalia and proposes a potential alternative to the indirect elections of the September 17 ‘Mogadishu Model’ (which now appears unworkable). This alternative involves the extension of the Somali Parliament’s mandate for 2 years and the election of new speakers. These speakers would organize a parliamentary election of a President for a 2-year mandate. The president would then put together an inclusive government of national unity. This government would be tasked with organizing direct elections in Somalia after 2 years, in which the president elected by the Parliament would not be able to stand as a candidate. This is an unusual and innovative model which – inevitably – has its own limitations. Nevertheless, this commentary argues that the current electoral stalemate and extraordinary political circumstances require the consideration of such options. Read more

Training female researchers in Mogadishu

Research in Somalia is often male-dominated. Very few female researchers do participate in the design, data collection, analysis, and writing of research reports in Somalia. Most of those who participate in research conduct the data collection and do not get an opportunity for data analysis and contributing to the report writing. Somali Public Agenda felt the gender imbalance in the research field in Somalia and discussed how the organization can contribute to filling the gap.   Read more

What Lessons can be Learned from Somalia’s 2016 Indirect Elections?

Somalia is heading into another indirect election in 2020-21. It is a familiar process and one that was undertaken almost four years ago. Many lessons can be learned from the 2016 indirect electoral implementation process. In 2016, candidates for the House of the People of Somali Federal Parliament covered some important logistics, travel and accommodation costs for the electoral delegates (which in part is believed to have helped them get elected); there was no scheduled time for meetings between candidates and the voting delegates; and the date and time for voting of each seat of the House of the People was unilaterally decided by the state election implementation teams. In 2016, the proportion of women in parliament was increased from 14% to 24%, which was a significant increase. This was one of the positives of the 2016 indirect elections and similar efforts could be made this time around to raise this to the 30% female quota target. This brief analyses the implementation process of the 2016 indirect elections and concludes with policy considerations. These include: prohibiting  candidates to handpick electoral delegates; providing the necessary logistical and accommodation support to the delegates on time; arranging a formal campaign  schedule for voters and candidates; publishing the election schedule for each seat of the House of the People in advance; allowing the media and election observers to be present during the voting, and monitoring and reporting irregularities and fraudulent practices throughout the election process.

Download the full brief here

Soomaaliya waxa ay galeysaa doorasho dadban mar labaad sanadka 2020-21. Waa hannaan la yaqaanno oo la qabtay ku dhowaad afar sano kahor. Casharro badan ayaa laga baran karaa geeddi-socodkii hirgelinta doorashooyinkii dadbanaa ee 2016. Sanadkii 2016, qaar kamid ah musharraxiinta Golaha Shacabka ee Baarlamaanka Federaalka Soomaaliya ayaa bixiyey kharashaadka saadka sida safarka iyo hoyga loogu talagalay ergooyinka doorashada (taasoo qeyb ahaan la rumeysan yahay inay ka caawisay doorashadooda); ma jirin wakhti loo qorsheeyey kulamada musharraxiinta iyo ergooyinka; taariikhda iyo wakhtiga loo codeynayo kursi kasta oo kamid ah Golaha Shacabka waxaa go’aamiyay hal dhinac oo ah kooxaha fulinaya doorashooyinka. Sanadkii 2016, qoondada haweenka ee baarlamaanka ayaa oo markii hore ahaa 14% ayaa laga dhigay 24%, taasoo ahayd koror aad u weyn. Tani waxa ay ahayd mid kamid ah waxyaabihii wanaagsanaa ee kasoo baxay doorashadii dadbanayd ee 2016; dadaallada noocan oo kale ah ayaa sidoo kale la samayn karaa markan si sare loogu qaado saamiga lana gaarsiiyo hiigsiga qoondada haweenka ee ah 30%. Faalladan kooban waxaa uu falanqeynayaa hannaankii hirgelinta doorashooyinkii dadbanaa ee 2016, waxaana uu soo jeedinayaa talooyin tixgelin mudan oo ay kamid yihiin: ka mamnuucidda musharixiinta in ay gacan ku yeeshaan xulista ergooyinka doorashada; in wakhtigeeda lagu bixiyo saadka loo baahan yahay iyo hoyga ergada; diyaarinta jadwalka ololaha rasmiga ah ee cod-bixiyeyaasha iyo musharraxiinta; daabacaadda jadwalka doorashada ee kursi kasta xilli hore; u oggolaanshaha warbaahinta iyo kormeerayaasha doorashada in ay goobjoog ka ahaadaan xilliga cod-bixinta, iyo la socoshada iyo soo gudbinta khaladaadka inta lagu guda jiro hannaanka doorashada.

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Evaluating the Governance of the Covid-19 Response in Somalia: A Call for Inclusive and Transparent Decision-making

The Covid-19 pandemic spread across Somalia and again exposed the fragility of public institutions. There are limited laboratories that can be used to test the Covid-19 samples. The number of samples tested was minimal in number, and the positive, recovered, and death numbers reported likely do not reflect the actual number of people who contracted the virus and the actual deaths from the coronavirus. The national Covid-19 response was understandably minimal, and was/is only limited to Mogadishu, the seats of regional states, and few other major towns. Although some governance measures were employed by the federal government and federal member states, these measures were poorly enforced due to the weak enforcement capacity of public institutions. There have been some financial and in-kind support to Covid-19 response, but transparency and accountability mechanisms relating to how these resources have been used are not clear. The Covid-19 pandemic became one among many pressing priorities for the recovering public sector institutions in Somalia, and one key lesson from the pandemic relates to the need for investment in both governing institutions and the delivery of public services. The pandemic may come to an end, but it could inspire leaders to invest more in increasing access to and quality of public services in Somalia.

Download the full report here

Cudurka safmareenka ee Covid-19 wuxuu ku faafay Soomaaliya oo dhan wuxuuna mar kale kashifay jilicsanaanta hay’adaha dowliga ah. Waxaa jira shaybaarro yar oo loo isticmaali karo in lagu baaro cudurka Covid-19. Tirada dadka la baaray ayaa tiro ahaan aad u yaraa, tirada laga helay, iyo tirada dhimashada ee la soo sheegay waxay u egtahay inaysan ka tarjumaynin tirada dhabta ah ee dadka uu ku dhacay fayraska iyo dhimashada dhabta ah ee uu sababay coronavirus. Guddiga heer Qaran ee Covid-19 tamartiisu waxay ahayd mid aad u yar,  kaliyana ku eg Muqdisho, caasimadaha dowlad-goboleedyada iyo magaalooyin kale oo waaweyn. Inkastoo dhowr tallaabo oo maamul ay ku dhawaaqeen dowladda dhexe iyo dowladaha xubnaha ka ah federaalka, haddana tallaabooyinkan si liidata ayaa loo dhaqan geliyey sababtoo ah awoodda fulinta ee hay’adaha dowladda ayaa daciif ah. Waxaa jiray xoogaa taageero maaliyadeed iyo mid agab ah oo loogu tala galay la tacalida xaladda Covid-19, balse daahfurnaan badan ma jirin qaabka islaxisaabtankana ma ahayn mid cadaynaya sida wax loo isticmaalay. COVID-19  wuxuu noqday mid kamid ah arrimaha culus ee mudnaanta ay siiyeen hay’adaha dowliga ah ee Soomaaliya. Hal cashar oo muhiim ah oo laga bartay musiibada ayaa la xiriirta baahida loo qabo dhisidda hay’adaha dowliga ah iyo gaarsiinta adeegyada bulshada. Aafada waa lasoo afjari karaa, laakiin waxay ku dhiirigelin kartaa hoggaamiyeyaasha inay maalgeliyaan kordhinta helitaanka iyo tayada adeegyada bulshada ee Soomaaliya.

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