2017 London Partnership Represents Somalia’s Master Plan
Mareeg.com-After 12 years of sluggish transitions, from 2000 to 2012, the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) was unusually granted the status of permanent government to join the g7+ group of fragile countries encouraged to implement the New Deal for International Engagement in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Countries. As of this year. 20 countries are members of the g7+ group. These countries share the fragility situations which indicate the inability of their governments to provide vital services to the majority of their citizens and to have effective control over their territories. A Compact between each fragile country and the International Development Partners (DP) is the instrument used for the implementation of the New Deal based on five Peacebuilding and Statebuilding Goals (PSGs), and ten FOCUS and TRUST principles.
The first Somali Compact of three years (2014-2016) covering all Somalia, including Somaliland, was announced at Brussels, Belgium on September 16, 2013. Its overarching objective was to create “a new beginning for a sovereign, secure, democratic, united and federal Somalia at peace with itself and the world, and for the benefit of its people.” The 58 milestones identified for accomplishing that objective were detailed in annex 1 of the Compact under the title, “Results Matrix of Somali Peace and Statebuilding Goals from 2014-2016.”
Furthermore, the International Community crafted “Vision 2016: Framework for Action” to keep the focus of the Somali leaders on three principal tasks: Constitutional Review and implementation; Completion of the Federal System; and Democratization (2016 free and fair multiparty political election). Under each principal task, there were multiple sub tasks. The negative fallout from the mismanagement of the implementation of these tasks constitutes serious setbacks on the political, security, and economic development of the country.
In April 2017, month before London Somalia Conference on May 11, the UK based Overseas Development Institute (ODI) published an “An Independent Review of the Somali Compact 2014-2016.” Beyond the review of the Compact, the report strongly emphasized the necessity for new Compact. It also highlighted the advantages of new Compact over the 2017-2019 National Development Plan (NDP).
From the outset, the report notes that the FGS of President Hassan Sheikh had the opportunity to draw on 10 years of experiences from Compacts in other post conflict countries but unfortunately it did not avail. This challenges the claim made in the NDP which says, “For nearly three years, Somalia became the only country in the world to have fully implemented the new deal program.” The major reason mentioned for the failures of the Compact was the absence of many ingredients needed for its success. The Private sector and civil society actors, major stakeholders of the Compact were denied real participation for contribution and accountability.
The Somali leaders deliberately ignored the reality that Somalia did not have and still does not have almost all the nine indicators for successful Compact in fragile states. Some of the nine indicators are: (1) reliable fragility assessment of the country to develop a context fitting Compact; (2) country owned and country led plan dependent on comprehensive political settlement and basic security; (3) satisfactory level of national capacity to manage and implement the Compact; (4) good understanding and support of the Compact by the executive and legislative leaders and by other Somali stakeholders; (5) country institutions that can attract the confidence of the DP in managing donor aid as envisaged in the New Deal. The initial target was to channel 15% of the international funds through country institutions.
In assessing the NDP, the ODI report argues that “[The NDP] has not yet sought to identify which priorities across all the sectors, could be afforded over the next few years.” It also points out the lack of synergy between the NDP and several strategy sectors –Education, Health, Security Plans (Police, Military, and NSS), Humanitarian Response Strategy, Wadajr Framework, IMF Staff Monitoring Program (SMP), the Security and Justice Sector Public Expenditure Review (SJS-PER), the World Bank Somali Economic Update, and National Strategy and Action plan for Preventing and Countering violent extremism (P/CVE).