Somalia has recently experienced two natural disasters in the midst of a protracted armed conflict. The drought which began in 2016 – the third major drought in as many decades – pushed more than half of the country’s population into food insecurity and displaced 1.6 million people. Heavy rains in April 2018 ended the drought but resulted in extensive flash flooding, flooding in riverine areas, and cyclones along the northern coastline. Somalia is prone to periodic flooding and this year 830,000 people were affected, and 359,000 temporarily displaced. Simultaneously, the insecurity which has affected the country since 1991 continues to limit humanitarian access to affected populations, particularly in southern and central Somalia and along the contested border between Somaliland and Puntland.
The overarching result of recurrent natural disasters and continuous armed conflict has been the disruption of critical infrastructure and basic services, large population movements, insecurity and violence, and pervasive poverty. Simultaneously, rapid urbanisation driven by displacement, morphing livelihoods, deeply eroded household resilience, and widespread protection concerns have influenced a shifting humanitarian and development landscape. In light of the protracted crisis, integrated and harmonised information sources that support both the immediate and long-term response are ever more necessary, particularly through comprehensive multi-sectoral assessments and mapping activities. To address these information needs, REACH, in partnership with the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) supported the second Joint Nationwide MultiCluster Needs Assessment (JMCNA) across Somalia.
REACH worked in the framework of the Assessment Working Group (AWG), co-led by OCHA, and in partnership with the Inter Cluster Coordination Group (ICCG) and the cluster leads to plan and execute the assessment. The JMNCA was timed to take place in advance of the Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) and Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) process, which began in September 2018. A total of 13,546 household surveys were collected between 30 June and 12 August 2018 in 51 districts across 17 regions of Somalia. The sample design enables generalisation of the results to both IDP and non-displaced households in each district, with a 92% confidence level and a 10% margin of error. Additionally, REACH worked with Africa’s Voices Foundation (AVF) to disseminate the JMCNA’s findings and increase its accountability to affected populations via interactive radio programmes; AVF was able to capture the opinions of almost 9,000 people. Furthermore, the JMNCA of 2018 proceeds the JMCNA of 2017, and the findings from the latter were compared to those of 2018 as a means to further triangulate the results and determine evolving trends.