Somalia - Inclusive and accountable governance

In 2012, a comprehensive state-building process along federalist principles started in Somalia. Switzerland will contribute to a more inclusive, accountable and equitable governance system by focusing on the constitutional review process and strengthening the parliamentarians’ capacities. It will promote knowledge sharing, exchange of Somali, Swiss and international expertise, and public discourse to foster Somali-owned governance arrangement.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Democratic participation and civil society
Public sector policy
Legal and judicial development
01.09.2018 - 31.12.2021
CHF  7’279’350
Background After over two decades of civil war, Somalia established a federal government in 2012, thus attracting large-scale support of the international community for state-building. Aiming at the establishment of a functioning Somali state, this process has the potential to positively reconfigure governance and state-society relations. It is a condition for peace and stability in the long run, which is in Switzerland’s interest also in regard to migration. However, despite of noteworthy progress, these developments continue to take place amidst armed conflicts, poverty, displacement, and political turmoil. In a context in which political settlements are traditionally struck between elites, societal buy-in remains weak. Women’s participation in political processes is low. Experience has shown the need to strengthen inclusive processes leading to broader endorsement of power and resource sharing settlements. Switzerland has contributed to state-building since 2013 with a focus on core state functions and federalism and is therefore perceived as a credible partner to support Somalia in its endeavor to design its own federal governance system.
Objectives Somali women and men benefit from more inclusive, transparent and accountable governance, as well as more equitable public service delivery.
Target groups The ultimate beneficiary is the Somali population benefiting from more inclusive, equitable and accountable governance. Direct project beneficiaries are parliamentarians, parliament services, constitutional review stakeholders such as the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs, constitutional oversight bodies, civil society. Specific target groups are youth, women and minorities that will be empowered to effectively participate in political processes.
Medium-term outcomes
  • Somalia’s parliamentary institutions increase effectiveness and accountability to be more responsive to the needs of Somali men and women.
  • Inclusive political processes ensure an effective, transparent and accountable constitutional review process and the creation of a social contract, meeting the needs of Somali women and men.
  • Enhanced knowledge and debates among Somali key stakeholders (government, civil society, women, youth, IDPs, minority groups etc.) on inclusive power- and resource sharing foster broader participation in political processes and a Somali-owned state building process.

Expected results:  

  • The National Federal Parliament (NFP) and Federal Member State (FMS) legislatures are strengthened to become effective institutions that promote transparency, inclusion and participation in political processes and respond to the needs of the population, including marginalized groups such as women and youth.
  • A network between the federal parliament and member states legislatures is developed to support federalism and the harmonization of reforms.
  • Capacities of key stakeholders (ministries, Independent Constitutional Review Commission, parliamentary committees, civil society, women, youth etc.) to effectively manage and participate in the constitutional review process are strengthened and key constitutional issues are resolved at all levels (constitution finalized).
  • Somalia context relevant knowledge on federalism and inclusive power and resource sharing mechanisms is elaborated and broadly discussed in government, civil society and private sector fora.

Results from previous phases:  

  • Support to the establishment of 15 parliamentary committees and the secretariat
  • Development of parliament’s law-making capacities (36 pieces of legislation passed)
  • Support to MPs to discharge of their constitutional mandate
  • Support to the establishment of the Parliamentary Constitution Implementation and Oversight Committee and of the Independent Constitutional Review and Oversight Committee
  • Support to the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs established in 2015

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Foreign academic and research organisation
United Nations Organization (UNO)
  • Research Organisation of South East
  • United Nations Development Programme

Other partners
Somali Federal Government, Somali Federal Member State Governments, CSO
Coordination with other projects and actors UN Joint Programme on Local Governance, World Bank Multipartner Fund
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    7’279’350 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    6’382’151
Project phases Phase 99 01.01.2022 - 30.06.2026   (Planned) Phase 1 01.09.2018 - 31.12.2021   (Current phase)