We are conducting research that will help to restore governance and accountability to the country, laying the foundations for a more peaceful and prosperous future.
In post-conflict states, governance is often absent. Without accountable institutions and administrations, there is a lack of will and the means to provide even the most basic services – clean water, healthcare and education – and maintain security and stability. Working in volatile settings such as Somalia requires a more flexible approach to the design and implementation of interventions to improve the lives of people in need.
We recognised that a research-led, “learning by doing” adaptive programme would be the most effective way of assisting the Somali national government, civil society, NGOs and development practitioners in delivering improved accountability of the public sector.
Our programme encourages experimentation and adaptation to assess the effectiveness of different governance models. We have achieved this by “embracing failure” – seeing each project activity as an opportunity to learn why some models work better than others in a fragile, conflict-affected environment. This required an innovative approach to monitoring and evaluation, and an efficient system for managing all the knowledge and data captured during the project to create a robust evidence base for dissemination. The processes we developed give us the freedom to test assumptions on what we know about governance, try out ideas and pilot test models.
The four-year programme, which runs until 2019, is designed to improve supply and demand side governance in all parts and at all levels of government in Somalia. It has already increased the transparency of institutions and federal and regional government administrations, making them more accountable for public expenditure. Funding from the programme has also enabled civil society organisations to develop a number of solutions for improving governance at a local level. IAAAP is a key part of rebuilding a responsive state that is accountable to its citizens, leading to greater political stability, social cohesion and economic prosperity.