Somaliland International Democratization Support Strategy - page 15

History of International Democracy and Governance Support to Somaliland
Given the myriad challenges facing Somalia and the international community’s complex
relationship with it, international donor support to Somalia has primarily focused on improving
the security situation and the provision of humanitarian aid.
Self-declared, though not
internationally recognized,
Somaliland has drawn the attention of a small, committed group of
international donors for its relative stability and commitment to democratic processes.
Following the conclusion of its civil war, “Somaliland has emerged as the most stable polity
within the territory of the former Somali Republic, and indeed, since 1996, one of the most
peaceful places within the Horn of Africa.”
Members of the international donor community have provided support to democracy and
governance initiatives in Somaliland since the mid-1990s. Progressio (formerly the Catholic
Institute for International Relations and known in Somaliland as International Cooperation for
Development) began working in Somaliland with “nascent local Non-Governmental
Organizations (NGO) which have played a crucial role in providing services to marginalized
communities in Somaliland…[and] to build their capacity to work on issues” in 1995.
War-Torn Societies Project International, renamed Interpeace in 2006, began receiving support
in 1998 from international donors to provide support to peace-building processes, primarily
through the establishment of its local partner, the Academy for Peace and Development.
began supporting Somaliland’s civil society through small direct grants to local civil society
organizations in the late 1990s. While NED continued to provide direct support to Somaliland
civil society organizations, and Interpeace continued to receive support to conduct peace-
building programming
, in 2002 the international donor community’s support to Somaliland
demonstrated a substantial shift in focus. From 2002 to present, democracy and governance
support from the international community has overwhelmingly focused on Somaliland’s
electoral processes.
This section was compiled based on interviews with donors and implementing partners in Washington, D.C.,
Nairobi, Kenya, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Hargeisa, Somaliland and through the utilization of web and print
resources. IRI does not claim that this is a definitive description of democracy and governance support provided to
Somaliland stakeholders, though IRI made an effort to be as comprehensive as possible.
Most international donor support to Somaliland is included within funding mechanisms which are inclusive of all
three Somali regions: South Central, Puntland and Somaliland.
Somaliland declared independence from Somalia in 1991.
Bradbury, Mark.
Becoming Somaliland
. Oxford: James Currey, 2008. Print, p. 49.
Further Steps to Democracy,
2005, p.5
Interpeace, since commencing work in Somaliland, has received funding from numerous international donors who
coordinate their support to Interpeace through the Democratization Steering Committee. Donors who have
contributed funds to support the work of Interpeace in Somaliland include: the European Commission, USAID,
DFID, the Embassy of Denmark, the Embassy of Sweden, the Embassy of Norway, the Swiss Confederation, the
Government of Finland and Cooperazione Italiana.
Interpeace implemented the
Dialogue for Peace I
program from 2004 to 2006, the
Dialogue for Peace II
from 2006 to 2008 and is currently implementing the
Pillars of Peace
program (commenced in 2009) in
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