The “Durable Solutions and Reintegration Support to Displacement affected communities in Jubaland state of Somalia” is a 3-year project that is implemented by the Jubaland Solutions Consortium (JSC). This consortium is led by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), with Concern Worldwide and Juba Foundation as partners.
This consortium is implementing the programme in Kismayo, Afmadow, Dhobley Ceel waaq (later changed to Beledhawa due to insecurity) and Baardhere. NRC is responsible for the implementation of activities in Kismayo, Afmadow and Dhobley, Lower Juba region; Juba Foundation is responsible for the implementation of activities in Afmadow and Dhobley, Lower Juba region and Concern Worldwide (CWW) responsible for the implementation of activities in Beledhawa and Baardhere districts of Gedo region.
The overall objective of this project is to create a conducive environment for anchoring displaced populations and populations at risk of displacement in Somalia. The specific objective is to increase access to essential services and creating realistic livelihood opportunities in the main areas of return and departure in Somalia. Project activities focus on the implementation of education, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Information Counselling and Legal Assistance (ICLA), livelihoods and skills training activities, and the knowledge and learning component by the Regional Durable Solution Secretariat (ReDSS).
The Third-Party Monitoring (TPM) was mandated by EU to undertake a verification of the programme activities, i.e. the progress, challenges, effectiveness, impact and sustainability. The data collection took place between November and December 2019. There were minimal challenges encountered during the field visits. Data was collected through Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) with relevant stakeholders, including Government stakeholders and Committee members. There were also Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) conducted with various profiles of project beneficiaries and Field Observations (FOs) on the constructed infrastructures.
Programme activities implemented were in line with the approved framework as well as per the relevance of the durable solutions and the government priorities. The project is seen as being moderately efficient in conducting its operations. This is due to its mixed results in different operations.
For instance, the project was rather efficient in its activities involving food security and livelihood, which received the second largest proportion (19%) of the budgetary allocations. Most of the beneficiaries of activities for this result reported improved livelihoods through their improved ability to generate their income. Considering that 12,054 of the total 19,624 beneficiaries are Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)and 60% of the beneficiaries are female (the main targeted groups), the project made a significant impact on the lives of its targeted vulnerable groups.
Nevertheless, the project’s main focus, which was education, was implemented with limited efficiency. The amount of EUR 1,133,174.60 was budgeted for the education sector, but there were limited results in the sense that classrooms were overcrowded, and some were still in poor conditions.
There was value for money in the component of education through the construction of schools however there was limited scope as teachers were not trained in Afmadow and there was minimal consideration of disabled students in all schools that were supported by the project. There was also poor implementation of the House, Land and Property (HLP) result area with limited awareness campaigns administered.
The project assisted several IDPs and returnees to access land and housing by delivering HLP legal assistance services. As of the end of the latest reporting period, these services had been delivered to 165 beneficiaries, 120 of whom were women (73%). The 10 information services were also delivered to the aforementioned groups, which helped a few individuals from these groups to get access to land and housing. Furthermore, Community Based Committees (CBCs) and Dispute Resolution Committees (DRCs) were given four HLP mainstreaming trainings, which improved their knowledge on the rights of IDPs and returnees to access housing and land. Through these trainings, CBCs and DRCs have also been instrumental in disseminating information about housing and land; however, the gains in HLP seem to be concentrated in Kismayo. IDPs and returnees in other targeted areas reported not to have received this information or any sort of support on HLP issues from the project.
The activity implementation worked well in activities that were implemented by all consortium partners such as training CBCs in self-assessment and identifying needs as well as coming up with action plans. The project also led to benefits for the government as there was an increased level of trust from beneficiaries and the rest of the community in targeted areas toward the government. The government was integrated into the project implementation in all targeted areas., was also in charge of authorizing the project’s implementation as well as providing security for the project’s activities. Therefore, IDPs, returnees and vulnerable members of the host communities saw that the local authorities were part of projects that benefitted them and have more trust for local authorities.
1Gender was well incorporated into the project as women were involved in the various stages of the project, including the selection of beneficiaries for Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) Centres the creation of Community Action Plans (CAPs), teachers’ and instructors’ training as well as training in TVET Centres. Furthermore, the project constructed gender-segregated latrines in schools, which helped girls feel more secure and increased enrolment among girls. Not only were women included in the project implementation, but they also made up the majority of the beneficiaries. As the 60% of the total 19,624 beneficiaries were women. However, the project could improve its inclusion of women in trainings for teachers and TVET instructors.
Some of the main challenges that were encountered during the project’s implementation included limited European Union (EU) knowledge, among beneficiaries. Knowledge of the donor and its work was high among CBC members, TVET instructors, local authorities, and implementing organisations. Lastly, the project learning partner, ReDSS has documented transparent best practices from the JSC project such as the inclusion of government in project implementation, area-based planning and consolidation of Community Action Plans (CAPs) and adopting a gender-sensitive approach to HLP rights.
The project is not financially sustainable, particularly with regards to the education sector, i.e. maintaining TVET Centres and schools. The TPM recommends income-generating activities in targeted TVET Centres and schools to enhance their financial cashflow.
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