Country: Somalia

Addressing the systematic barriers facing women and girls in the aid system in Somalia

In the twenty-first century more than ever before, we’re seeing positive global initiatives to tackle gender inequality, gender- based violence and other gender-related issues. However, we’re also getting more reports of abuses and inequalities affecting women and girls, including in the aid sector. When I decided to move back to Somalia in the early 1990s… Read more »

Tug of war: ethical decision-making to enable humanitarian access in high-risk environments

This Network Paper seeks to contribute to solutions to an important and vexing problem: how can humanitarian organisations help people caught up in conflicts, when these conflicts make it dangerous for aid workers to operate safely? Many humanitarian staff and organisations believe that being ethical and principled is the best, most proven way to protect… Read more »

Innovating for access: the role of technology in monitoring aid in highly insecure environments

Operating in insecure environments is one of the more critical tests for the humanitarian community. Access constraints, uncertainty, attacks and aid diversion make these unlikely settings for innovation. Yet several new approaches come from highly insecure environments. In these settings, technologies like mobile phones, radios, Internet platforms and GPS trackers are sometimes the only way… Read more »

Conducting simulated field visits for insecure locations in Somalia

With two decades since the central government in Somalia collapsed and despite efforts to support stabilisation, several parts of the country are consistently viewed as among the most dangerous environments for aid workers. Against the backdrop of a volatile security situation is a chronic humanitarian crisis where food prices, livestock survival and water and food… Read more »

Book launch: Famine in Somalia, 26th Apr 2016, 6:00pm to 7:30pm

Context Some 250,000 people died in the southern Somalia famine of 2011-12, which also displaced and destroyed the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands more. Yet this crisis had been predicted nearly a year earlier. The harshest drought in Somalia’s recent history coincided with a global spike in food prices, hitting this arid, import-dependent country hard. The policies of Al-Shabaab, a militant Islamist… Read more »

Protecting civilians from explosive weapons: time for a change of practice

Legitimate target? Accurately struck? Precision or unguided munitions? Does it matter at all for those on the ground? Whether in the towns, cities or villages of Syria, Ukraine, Yemen or elsewhere; whether in compliance with international humanitarian law (IHL) or not, the bottom line is often the same. Using explosive weapons in populated areas has… Read more »

Gender impact analysis: unconditional cash transfers in South Central Somalia

Between 2011 and 2012, in response to famine, the Somalia Cash Consortium (Action Contre la Faim, Adeso, the Danish Refugee Council and Save the Children) distributed between six and nine months’ worth of unconditional cash transfers to over 40,000 households in the regions of Hiran, Gedo, Lower Juba and Mogadishu in South Central Somalia. The decision… Read more »

‘Remote management’ in Somalia

Core to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)’s approach to assistance is sending international staff into foreign contexts to work with, and usually direct, locally recruited national staff. Outsiders bring experience, leadership and technical skills, and are in a better position to ‘witness’ intolerable situations and speak out about them. International staff are also better able to… Read more »

Talking tactics: Kismayo, Somalia

Dialogue between military and civilian actors is problematic in Somalia, and no more so than in the southern port city of Kismayo, what was the Islamist group al-Shabaab’s last remaining garrison. Considered the most complex urban space in the country, Kismayo is an important trade centre less than 200km from the Kenyan border, and the… Read more »