New IRI Study will Help Coordinate Democracy-Support Programs in Somaliland

A new study, Somaliland International Democratization Support Strategy, written by IRI, will help the international donor community to coordinate and plan future democracy-support programs to Somaliland.

The new strategy will be released at and event on Friday, February 28, 2014, featuring Dr. J. Peter Pham, director of the Africa Center at the Atlantic Council and Ambassador Lange Schermerhorn, former U.S. Ambassador to Djibouti.

The strategy, commissioned by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), identifies opportunities for international support to Somaliland, and highlights areas where priorities of the international community and Somaliland stakeholders converge. Some opportunities from the strategy include:

IRI’s former Vice Chairman and former US Special Envoy to Sudan, the late Ambassador Rich Williamson said, “Somaliland is a shining light of the evolution of democracy in Eastern Africa, and something its neighbors can benefit from watching and learning from and…deserves international support.”

To develop the strategy, IRI employed a mixed-methods approach that included desk research, in-depth interviews and participatory workshops. Representatives of the international donor community, international implementers, subject matter experts and Somaliland stakeholders – including representatives of civil society, political parties, the media and elected officials – contributed to the development of the strategy.

The Somaliland International Democratization Support Strategy was a joint initiative of IRI’s Africa division and office of monitoring and evaluation. IRI has worked in Somaliland since 2002, with funding from the United States Agency for International Development, National Endowment for Democracy and DFID, to support the development of a robust civil society, well-organized and representative political parties and a modernized legislature that engages in issue-based policy making. In 2010, IRI fielded an international delegation to observe Somaliland’s presidential election.

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