Context

The Somali region has experienced incredible statebuilding and peacebuilding gains over the past decade. Democracy continues to advance throughout, and government institutions, though facing legitimacy and capacity challenges, have emerged and begun to function at both federal and state levels, with the focus now turning to the formation and establishment of local governments. Advancements in peace and reconciliation, a priority for Somalis from the grassroots to the federal level, and key to building lasting institutions, have led to openings to bring previously inaccessible areas into democratization efforts. The government has also been strengthening its efforts to prioritize much-needed reconciliation processes across Somalia – both at the local and national level.   A central challenge now in the Somali region is to situate peace and reconciliation processes in the context of statebuilding, while employing statebuilding as a platform to strengthen trust, social cohesion and sustainable peace. Neither process will be possible without the broad and inclusive engagement of Somali citizens, requiring efforts to re-establish and strengthen the social contract – a concept that could be described in the Somali context as “talo wadaag”, the sharing of advice before making important decisions.

Interpeace implements directly through its staff on the ground, including the Interpeace Peacebuilding Team (IPT) in South Central Somalia, and through its long-term partners, Peace and Development Research Center (PDRC) in Puntland and Academy of Peace and Development (APD) in Somaliland. Interpeace has been successfully working across the Somali region, supporting peacebuilding and democratization processes, including elections, for 20 years. Pivotal to this engagement are the experienced teams at APD, PDRC and the IPT, who are deeply rooted in their respective regions and steeped in peacebuilding approaches that have been developed and tested over years. Interpeace’s programme staff support the teams through regular field visits to provide administrative and programmatic support in design and implementation, as well as ensuring compliance with contractual obligations.



Goal

Over the past two decades, Interpeace and partners have worked relentlessly to ensure that decisions made by government at all levels are inclusive and represent a peacebuilding approach to governance, putting consensus and conflict management at the centre of processes such as elections, policy making, and legal revision. It is on this basis that Interpeace conceptualised its current peacebuilding programme, Talo Wadaag: A Social Contract for Somalia (2017-2022), which seeks to emphasize the importance of this engagement between citizens and their representatives at all levels of government.



“Talo Wadaag” (Social Contract)

Since its inception in July 2017, the Interpeace Somali Peacebuilding Programme, Talo Wadaag (2017-2021), has helped create opportunities for collaboration and convergence between different stakeholders, to advance peacebuilding processes across the Somali Region. The Talo Wadaag programme aims to achieve the following outcomes: Improve understanding and capacity of citizens and civil society, particularly women and youth, to play an active role in ongoing peacebuilding and democratization processes Ensure democratization processes and policies are more participatory, inclusive, and responsive to citizens, civil society, and other stakeholders Ensure citizens, civil society, and decision makers use increasingly inclusive local infrastructures for peace to sustainably prevent, manage, and resolve conflicts Key accomplishments: Since 2017, Interpeace and its Somali partners have engaged...

Strengthening local peace structures in Galkacyo and Burtinle

In the conflict-affected areas of Galkacyo and Burtinle, Interpeace and local partner PDRC have engaged in technical support to strengthen the Joint Peace Committee and Early Warning Committee. We have implemented training sessions on mitigation and early warning techniques, as well as capacity-building on context-appropriate communication mechanisms for conflict prevention. The collaboration facilitated by Interpeace programme staff has allowed the local team members to use their joint cooperation as a way to bridge the conflict divide and effectively engage their respective communities in peacebuilding efforts. This has enabled the programme to facilitate dialogue on important conflict issues and transcend the conflict divides. Our engagement in Galkacyo began in 2017, when Interpeace and PDRC conducted a participatory-action research (PAR) process that resulted in the development of an in-depth ...

Resources