Understanding the formation and operation of local councils in Southwest, Hirshabelle, and Galmudug states

Although Somalia adopted a federal charter in 2004, efforts to establish federal units started after the current federal constitution was provisionally adopted in August 2012. Four federal units – Jubaland in 2013, Southwest in 2014, Galmudug in 2015, and Hirshabelle in 2016 – were established. Article 48[1(b)] of Somalia’s provisional federal constitution grants local governments their position in the second tier of the federal structure; it implicitly mandates the FMSs to form local governments. Yet, the formation of local governments in all of the Federal Member States (FMSs), except Puntland, has been sluggish and has not seemed to be a priority as FMSs have been grappling with other tricky issues arising from the circumstances under which they were formed.

This study examines district council formation (DCF) in three FMSs; Southwest, Hirshabelle, and Galmudug. In particular, it zooms in on the current status of the District Council Formation (DCF) at the FMSs, hindrances that the DCF process has faced in the districts where the process was implemented; obstacles underlying the functionality of the formed DCs; the ex/inclusivity of the process; and the challenges that hampered the launching and/ or implementation of the DCF process in the main accessible districts in the three FMSs. The study aims to inform policy-makers at state and federal levels, and DCF programming.

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