Archive for ‘Support to Conflict-Affected States’

MannionDaniels was invited to lead a half-day session for masters’ students studying on the Global Health course at the Pasteur Institute in Paris. The title of the session was ‘Global Health in Conflict Zones: the example of Somalia’.

Clea Knight from the MannionDaniels technical team led the session which focussed on the importance of aid effectiveness, conflict sensitivity and an active civil society in fragile and conflict affected states. Clea drew on three case studies from recent work that she has been involved in with MannionDaniels in Somalia: supporting the Health Authorities to develop their first health sector strategic plans for Somalia; undertaking a Conflict and Needs Appraisal in Kismayo; and developing a country profile on female genital mutilation in Somalia.

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.


MannionDaniels worked with UNICEF Somalia, with support from Round 10 of the Global Fund’s malaria grant to Somalia, to support the three Health Authorities to strengthen the Somali Health Management Information System (HMIS). The first phase of this work ran from October 2013 to June 2014.

The existing HMIS was developed largely to respond to the information needs of UNICEF and WHO as the main supporters of the public health system in Somalia.  Given the context in which the HMIS was designed this was entirely appropriate.  Critical interventions such as immunization, nutrition, and disease outbreaks, such as measles, required on-going monitoring to provide UNICEF and WHO with the evidence base for making investment decisions and for assessing the progress and impact of its support.  However, with the gradual improvement of the health sector, the growing capacity of the Health Authorities in the three Zones to lead future improvements, and a growing diversity of support from international donors, what was needed was a national HMIS capable of supporting day-to-day management, long-term planning, and policy development for the entire national health system.

MannionDaniels was therefore contracted by UNICEF to support the three Somali Health Authorities to strengthen the existing system so as to respond to the growing data needs of the fast-growing Somali health sector. The first phase of this support focussed on delivering the following outputs:

  1. An Assessment of the current HMIS, undertaken by the Health Authorities with technical oversight from MannionDaniels. The process was participative, engaging stakeholders from across all three zones of Somalia and from a range of sectors to critically assess the strengths and weaknesses of the existing HMIS, and to discuss requirements for its development.

  2. Design of a new HMIS Database. This activity involved assessing existing hardware and software systems as well as capacities of core HMIS personnel who will be involved in operating the database so as to design a system appropriate to the Somali context. The process of health facility registration is now complete and all government health facilities are registered onto the database. Training of key personnel has been undertaken and a manual has been produced and disseminated.
  3. Review and updating of the Routine Indicator List to be used in the new HMIS. This involved a series of consultations with various health sector stakeholders so as to generate consensus on the indicators included on the list. The final lists were endorsed by the Director General’s in each Health Authority.
  4. Development of a curriculum and accompanying course guide for the training of health professionals in the basic principles of health management information systems in the context of the Somali HMIS. The course includes the following modules: Setting the Scene, Results Based Management, Collecting Data, Transforming Data into Information, Indicators, Presenting Information, Using Information, and The Somali HMIS.

MannionDaniels is working with a consortium of partners led by Options Consultancy to implement the DFID-funded programme ‘Towards Ending Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) in Africa and Beyond’. This is a social change campaign aimed at increasing momentum within Africa to end FGM/C through catalysing a global movement. The campaign will use a wide range of social communications approaches at multiple levels:

  • Globally, it will mobilise a critical mass of people, organisations and networks as part of a powerful and united global movement to end FGM/C
  • It will raise financial resources to end FGM/C and promote increased political will to tackle the issue
  • Across Africa, it will support a network of grassroots activists to create a critical mass speaking out for change and supporting social change in communities to end FGM/C
  • Within ten focal countries, it will strengthen and support national coalitions against FGM/C, resourcing them with communications expertise and products for social change and accountability
  • Working with the diaspora, it will mobilise people to contribute skills and resources to support efforts to end FGM/C in their countries of origin

During the inception phase, MannionDaniels provided technical inputs to the design of the campaign focussing on Somalia and Sudan. Country Technical Appraisals for Sudan and Somalia were led by MD Public Health Specialist Clea Knight ,with support from MD consultant Una MacAskill on the Somalia appraisal.

The purpose of the Country Technical Appraisals is to ensure that the design of the End FGM/C Social Change Campaign is built on a sound foundation of evidence; knowledge of existing actors, initiatives and context; and national priorities across focal countries. The appraisals included three main elements:

  1. Consultation with stakeholders to share ideas, challenges and priorities in the design of the global End FGM/C Social Change Campaign. For Somalia, a year one focal country, the consultation aimed to identify catalytic social change communications strategies and activities.
  2. Mapping of key national and local organisations and actors; coordination, policy and legal frameworks; and the communications landscape.
  3. Political economy analysis, particularly in relation to FGM/C and violence against women and girls more broadly.

Further inputs into the campaign Do No Harm Strategy and M&E Framework will be provided by the MannionDaniels team in the future.

Better data for the Somali Health System

somalia news item pic

UNICEF, acting as the Principal Recipient of the Global Fund’s support for malaria in Somalia, has awarded a contract to MannionDaniels to support the development of the country’s unified Health Management Information system, HMIS.

Phase 1 of the assignment will last until March 2014 and result in a new database design for the HMIS, an agreed indicator list and a curriculum for health workers who are involved in data entry and use.  We will give support to the Zonal Health Authorities to use to the HMIS for better decision-making.  Ashraf Mohad will lead the work in Somalia.  Ashraf served as the Director of the Health Management Information System Unit in the Ministry of Public Health, Kabul, Afghanistan from 2005 to 2010.