“Looking Back – Looking Ahead” report documents more than a decade of work in inclusive local governance in Somalia
FCA launched a new publication on inclusive local governance in Somalia with support from the EU. The report covers the lessons of the District Council formation process, community participation, and the inclusion of women, youth, and marginalised groups.
ON NOVEMBER 24, 2021, in an event co-organized by the Federal Ministry of Interior and Reconciliation Affairs (MOIFAR) and Finnish NGO FCA, FCA launched a new publication on inclusive local Governance in Somalia with support from the EU. The publication has been developed through a participatory process with key local governance and stabilization actors and partners in Somalia and documents more than a decade of work in inclusive local governance.
More than 50 participants representing the government at federal and state levels across Somalia, district administrations and councils, elders, women’s groups and networks, and key stabilization and international support actors convened to discuss inclusive local governance efforts in Somalia in-person and online. At the event, the participants reflected on the lessons learned, challenges and best practices captured in the publication and identified priority actions and next steps to take the recommendations forward.
The publication covers the lessons of the District Council formation process, community participation, and the inclusion of women, youth, and marginalised groups.
Local governance is the most visible form of government to the people
In Somalia, eight district councils have been established in line with the Wadajir National Framework of 2016. Out of these eight, five district councils have been successfully formed with active and inclusive community participation, including women, youth and marginalized groups, with the efforts and support of FCA and its partners and with generous support from the EU.
As local governance is the most visible form of government to the people, it is crucial it is seen as inclusive and legitimate. Establishing community-owned, functional local governments responsible for delivering services to their population supports the legitimacy of government and fosters trust and good relations between government and local communities
As highlighted by the Director General of MOIFA, Saed Alasow in his opening remarks:
“MOIFAR really appreciate the joint efforts and collaboration between the Somalia government, donors and civil society support for inclusive local governance in Somalia, MOIFAR is fully committed of supporting and facilitating inclusive local governance and Reconciliation in Somalia, also encourages the participation of all stakeholders.”
One of the key lessons is that formation of these councils are so much more than elections. Civic education, dialogue, conflict resolution, reconciliation, negotiation, and power-sharing have just as much of a role. In addition, support to women’s political participation brings tangible change at different levels.
Reconciliation processes need to be revisited
“The reconciliation processes need to be revisited and resigned to be inclusive because male dominates the reconciliation, but women play critical roles, but their contribution is not recognized, and they are not given credit for their efforts, this has to be changed,” said Idil Ibrahim, a program advisor for Life and Peace Institute on reflecting lessons learned and best practices.
Visions and dreams related to the future of Somalia’s local governance include implementing district council formation processes in all the remaining districts across Somalia: good relations and collaboration among different levels of Governance across the country, community ownership of district council formation, and having resources for it allocated by the central government, a democratic and inclusive Somalia with systems in place and all essential services attended to by districts, realized national reconciliation as a foundation for trust-building, unity and more vital governance institution, a shared vision of a common future leading the way to a new social contract and social cohesion; political stability, justice and an improved security situation at large.
“In comparison to the other districts that have not yet been formed in Somalia’s South West state, hope, confidence, and trust have been stored in the established district councils,” said Director General of South West State Ministry of Interior, Mustafa Sh. Abdullahi.
“Furthermore, we are here to promote inclusivity and women’s rights in any government formation – if we look back and solve issues in the community, we are looking ahead in a better way.”
For more information:
For more information on FCA’s and partners efforts in promoting inclusive local Governance, and to access the publication, please refer to: kua.fi/localgov
Since 2016 FCA has been implementing various Right to Peace programmes, from promoting inclusive local governance through district council formation (DCF) following the Wadajir National Framework for Local Governance to increasing women’s political participation. The programmes have been supported by the EU delegation to Somalia, USAID/TIS+ and Somalia Stability Fund.
Media inquiries: Mr. Ikali Karvinen, tel. +252 617 234 597, email: ikali.karvinen[a]kua.fi (preferred way of contact)