UK Department for International Development: Strengthening evidence on resilience building in Somalia
Learn about our research on building resilience to climate- and conflict-related shocks in Somalia.
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- UK Department for International Development: Strengthening evidence on resilience building in Somalia
We were commissioned by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) to produce research and recommendations on improving resilience to climate- and conflict-related shocks in Somalia.
Cycles of drought, famine and conflict underpin most experiences of loss, damage and displacement in Somalia. The different ways people in Somalia responded to the shocks resulting from the 2011 and 2016 famines appeared to be linked to levels of vulnerability and resilience. Yet there was a clear gap in robust and context-specific evidence on the underlying factors that influence household and community vulnerability and resilience in Somalia. A deeper understanding of how people in Somalia have responded to, and survived, repeated shocks was needed to inform resilience policy and programme interventions.
To bridge this gap in knowledge, we were commissioned to research vulnerability and resilience in Somalia. The study, Towards an improved understanding of vulnerability and resilience in Somalia, provides evidence for resilience-building interventions to expand on existing structures and coping mechanisms. If applied, this could help strengthen household and community resilience in the context of climate- and conflict-related shocks. We also supported the uptake of research findings among humanitarian actors and those implementing resilience-building programmes in Somalia.
What we delivered
We worked in partnership with the Somali Institute for Development Research and Analysis to ensure the involvement of affected communities in the study. We used a participatory approach, applying the Vulnerability to Resilience (V2R) framework to engage affected communities in the research process as active participants. This supported a better understanding of vulnerability and resilience from a community perspective. It also enabled a deeper understanding of why some population groups have become more resilient amid ongoing cycles of shock and decline, while others have not. The research also explored how cross-cutting issues such as age, disability and gender interact with experiences of vulnerability and resilience in Somalia.
This consultancy was led by DI’s Africa-based team, who hold in-depth knowledge of the region and work extensively on poverty, vulnerability, disaster risk reduction financing and finance flows.
Our report and outreach brought together a wide range of actors, including national policymakers, humanitarian organisations and UN agencies. Through these outreach activities, actors engaged in evidence-based discussions on the current state of resilience programming in Somalia. This supported the identification of areas for improvement.
The Somalian Government’s Ministry of Planning indicated wide acceptance of the report recommendations around the humanitarian-development-peace nexus and the need to shift from a focus on immediate needs to longer-term development. The ministry also agreed that cash transfers and remittances could be applicable in certain contexts in Somalia and should therefore be supported – a key recommendation proposed in the report.