Accountability for IDPs in informal camps in Somalia

Since 2015 Tana has been working with informal camp managers in Somalia, tackling the sensitive issue up front and working with the structures for improving the conditions of the IDPs. The objective of our interventions is to ensure that informal camp managers become accountable to the IDPs they serve; the authorities in which jurisdiction they operate; and to the aid agencies delivering aid to the IDPs. You can read more about the context here.

Tana’s response
Past experience has shown that we cannot remove the ISM system overnight. However, we can influence it to improve the protection of the IDPs. The objective of our interventions is to ensure that ISMs become accountable to the IDPs they serve; the authorities in whose jurisdiction they operate; and to the aid agencies delivering aid to the IDPs. Our approach builds on substantial political-economy analysis and action research, adapting to the context as we go along.

Basically, we have been testing three major activities to enhance accountability:

  1. Providing selected ISMs with training and mechanisms for camp management, protection, and service delivery to IDPs
  2. Enhancing the transparency of the ISMs’ IDP taxation (rent), service delivery, and protection levels of the different camps with the aim of improving the services delivered to IDPs by ISMs, as well as to promote accountable management practices that will eventually support the work on aid agencies operating in the settlements
  3. Testing a more formalised monitoring system of the settlements with the local authorities to enhance ISMs’ accountability to the government

The theory of change behind the interventions is thus: If… Tana provides: demand-based training of ISMs for improved protection and service delivery; support to these in enhancing the transparency and ‘marketing’ of IDP-friendly camp practices; and assistance with the introduction of a formalised system together with the local authorities. Then… these ISMs will provide services and protection to IDPs in a more transparent and accountable way. This will… improve the accountability of the ISMs towards the IDPs and enhance their protection and, eventually, their lives.

The theory of change builds on the now confirmed assumption that ISMs are motivated and willing to participate in the project, as this enhances their role as deal-makers in the settlements; and, that by engaging in this process, they will eventually hand over a degree of their authority and become more accountable both downwards to the IDPs and upwards to the local government.

We are now moving to the next level, testing the theory of change in Kismayo and Bossaso, as well and by further formalising the accountability measures that the project has introduced in Mogadishu.

Then projects are funded by DFID through the Implementation of Analysis in Action Accountability Programme (IAAAP).

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