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“Voice of the voiceless” Learning from SORADI’s project to strengthen accountability in Hargeisa

Emma Grant

Publisher: Social Development Direct and SORADI

May 2018

This paper provides a successful example of addressing both supply- and demand-side issues to improve local governance in Hargeisa, Somalia. It highlights how, when done in tandem, building coalitions and strengthening capacity within government institutions can achieve results which can improve state-citizen relations and government responsiveness, as well as empower citizens.

Citizens’ ability to seek accountability from Hargeisa Local Council is highly constrained, SORADI’s evidence-based, coalition-building model provides some clues as to what an effective approach might look like. Drawing on 22 key informant interviews, this case study highlights how highly-networked, inclusive groups of citizens can work together to design and implement advocacy strategies, creating positive momentum for change. However, the development of capable, accountable and responsive authorities requires a step-change in the quality of the Councillors, who are responsible for leadership and oversight.


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