Held in Nairobi on 22-23 May, the two-day dialogue for action on aid localisation in Somalia aimed at bridging the existing gaps between the local and international actors, and creating diverse and innovative solutions as to how these groups could better cooperate and form long term partnerships in the future, rather than having short term contractual agreements.
Organised by the Somali NGO Consortium, the NEAR Network, the Rift Valley Institute, and supported by the Humanitarian Leadership Academy, the two-day workshop was facilitated by the Centre for Humanitarian Change. Many of the challenges that were explored were classified into five main categories: capacity assessment, representation, funding, partnership development and capacity strengthening.
Some of the key outcomes of the workshop included:
- Capacity assessment:Develop a single assessment model to be adopted and applied by all UN agencies and INGOs.
- Representation: Aim to allow for broader and more equal representation of all parties on the decision-making bodies, particularly at a national level, including representation by government authorities.
- Funding: Create a pool fund specifically for, and managed by Somalis but one that allows donors and international organizations to participate as observers, and which provides the opportunity for local NGOs to meet directly with donors.
- Long-term partnerships:Develop coordination mechanisms and a strategy that creates investment in long-term partnerships, helps to rebuild trust and creates a system of mutual equality and respect.
- Capacity strengthening:
- Aim to review the process of capacity strengthening as one that can be mutually beneficial for both parties.
- Create a set of indicators that can clearly display progressive capacity development, and that can help to provide markers, which will show the development of the overall localization transition.
These outcomes were presented to the participants at Wilton Park conference on 5-7 June. Printed copies of the report were distributed and shared on the Wilton Park website.
Halima Ali Adan, Program Manager at Save Somali Women and Children(SSWC) said: “As local NGOs, we shall continue to engage on the aid localisation dialogue in order to obtain constructive outcomes which informs the implementation of the commitments.”
Having identified broad solutions, several local and international organisations volunteered to take the lead on taking forward certain proposals. It was concluded that proposals for these practical steps should be presented at the next forum on aid localisation to be held in Mogadishu. This would facilitate both the rapid implementation of commitments agreed by those attending the next aid localisation forum, as well as fostering local ownership of the process.