The participation gap persists in Somalia

Publication language
Date published
01 Feb 2022
Factsheets and summaries
Accountability and Participation, Cash-based transfers (CBT), Engaging with affected populations

Ground Truth Solutions has been tracking the experiences of aid recipients in Somalia and Somaliland since 2017. In this time, cash and voucher recipients have consistently requested more involvement and consultation from aid actors than they receive. Despite ongoing efforts to centralise Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP) in Somalia’s response planning, there are still significant gaps in the inclusion of affected people in decision-making on aid. Only 25% of the 1,526 cash and voucher recipients we spoke to in October 2021 feel their opinions are considered by aid providers.

This falls short of the AAP objective of the 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) to increase the percentage of respondents who feel their opinions are taken into account from 37% to 50%. Without participation, recipients feel plans and activities are poorly communicated and many therefore feel uninformed about available aid. People that receive cash and vouchers need clearer key information.

Almost 90% of respondents stress the importance of knowing how long they will receive cash or voucher assistance, but only 38% actually know. The calculus used to determine transfer values and the targeting criteria used by aid providers are also unclear to most recipients. Cash and voucher recipients call for broader coverage across the response. To explore what people consider fair, GTS asked them to choose between two hypothetical scenarios: would they prefer smaller transfers supporting more people in their community or larger transfers targeting fewer people?

Broader coverage is preferred by 63% even if that means a smaller transfer. This preference seems to align with people’s tendency to share assistance. Just over half of the people we spoke share their cash or voucher assistance with people outside their household. On a more positive note, 75% of respondents say their ability to meet their most important needs has improved “somewhat” or “a lot” over the past six months. Forty percent say they can now either “mostly” or “completely” meet their most important needs, up from just 22% in 2020.