Operating in Somalia: Integrity talks to David Guillemois

Operating in Somalia: Integrity talks to David Guillemois

Integrity welcomed David Guillemois the Director of Axiom Monitoring & Evaluation, a key partner in Somalia, to our HQ in London for lunch to discuss his experience of operating in one of the world’s most challenging environments. Somalia has always been a priority country of delivery for Integrity and Axiom has worked with Integrity since 2013 on multiple projects, including the Cross-cutting Evaluation of DFID Kenya and DFID Somalia’s Approach to Remote Management.

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David’s insights on working in Somalia

David is an expert in management, monitoring and evaluation of humanitarian and development projects in complex contexts. He has over a decade of experience in Africa, Europe and the Middle East, working on projects for a variety of donors and INGOs.

Having been in Somalia for the past nine years, David has a vast network of local contacts. He identified the ease and openness of Somali nationals as a key strength of working in the country, noting that once trust is built, the quality of relationships with national consultants is a key driver of successful delivery. Indeed, building strong relationships is what enables the development of real trust between researchers and evaluators and the communities in which they operate. He emphasised that only with high levels of trust can operators gain access to the contacts and individuals needed for gathering data in such a complex environment.

In contrast, clan-centred complexities are an obstacle that results in difficulties in gaining access to remote communities and locations. Instability in Mogadishu and the heavy reliance on Nairobi-based decision making (rather than in-situ) is another challenge that affects programming in Somalia.

Integrity’s experience in Somalia

Integrity has worked in Somalia since 2011 and it continues to be a priority country for us. Joe Savage, our Design Monitoring and Evaluation Manager, and Lula Dahir, our Projects Officer Africa have been particularly involved with our work in the country, so do get in touch with them for further information on our work here.

One key project for Integrity in Somalia has been the above-mentioned Cross-cutting Evaluation of DFID Kenya and DFID Somalia’s Approach to Remote Management, delivered in partnership with Axiom in 2014. The project, which was featured in the IFRC’s World Disasters Report earlier this year, was an independent process evaluation of the remote programme management (RPM) practices adopted by DFID and its implementing partners in Somalia and North-East Kenya, and included a review of how third-party monitors operate in this environment.

Another important project for Integrity has been our role in DFID’s Implementation and Analysis in Action of Accountability Programme (IAAAP) in Somalia. This involved Integrity delivering a political economy analysis of Kismayo, a fact finding assessment mission and coordinating the implementation of the project. This was also carried out in close cooperation with Axiom.

Integrity most recently delivered the United Nations Mid-term Evaluation of the Joint Programme on Local Governance and Decentralised Service Delivery (JPLG) Phase II programme in Somalia and Somaliland. The review looked at the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and value for money of the JPLG as both a coherent approach of the UN joint programme to support local governance reforms as well as improvement of basic services delivery in Somalia.

To view more examples of our projects in Somalia, click here.

To read our Q&A with Kathryn Rzeszut on the lessons and challenges of operating in FCAS states, click here.


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