Kismayo: conflict dynamics and priority development needs

MannionDaniels and Mogadishu University undertook a Conflict and Needs Appraisal of the then-recently liberated communities in Kismayo, a seaport in the Jubba Region of Southern Somalia (2013-2014). The analysis of conflict and emerging needs in Kismayo sought to identify political, security and development opportunities upon which to build future community-driven development initiatives which will ultimately contribute to peace-building and stabilization efforts in the region. It provided a comprehensive understanding of local conflict dynamics, gender, minority groups and social exclusion issues, and identified local civil society and non-state actors. This was probably the first time an exclusively conflict and development focused research was undertaken in Kismayo since the establishment of the Interim Jubba Administration (IJA).

The research was funded by the Somalia Stability Fund whose objectives are to support representative and responsive local governance and to support the resolution and mitigation of conflicts. The initiative was undertaken by MannionDaniels in partnership with Mogadishu University, drawing on technical expertise in research, conflict analysis, and programme implementation from MannionDaniels, and the experience of operating in conflict affected areas in Somalia from Mogadishu University. Mogadishu University came with the added valuable resource of young educated Somali graduates keen to participate in this initiative. Capacity building of these graduates forms one of the key project outputs.

The historical context of Kismayo is one of rich culture and economic prosperity due to its strategic coastal location providing access to Somalia’s most fertile lands. However the area has become the epicentre of a series of conflicts and the economic and security benefits that come with control of the seaport of Kismayo has made the area one of the most complex urban spaces in Africa.

Respondents consisted of 150 ‘Primary’, ‘Intermediary’ and ‘Key’ beneficiary groups of whom 106 (71%) were men and 44 (29%) were women:

  • ‘Primary’ stakeholders consisted of women, youth, agro-pastoralists, fishermen and indigenous inhabitants such as the Bantu, settlers known as the Bajoon and Somali Arabs. This primary group represents the greatest distribution of men and women stakeholders;
  • ‘Intermediary’ stakeholders consisted of service providers, NGO’s and the business community;
  • ‘Key’ stakeholders who solely consisted of the Interim Juba Administration.

The MannionDaniels team was led by Clea Knight, with strategic and operational inputs from David Daniels, Catherine Ainsworth, and Ahmed Muhumad. Dr Poonam Thapa, an MD Associate, provided expertise in the field of Qualitative Research , supporting the MU team, led by  Dr Shariff Osman. The findings from this work are intended to serve as a public good for those wishing to work in Kismayo, including but not limited to the Stability Fund.


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