The challenge

  • Many local civil society organisations (CSOs) remain nascent organisations with unclear operational structures, ill-defined roles and responsibilities and poor strategies. Additionally, many staff lack skills, knowledge and experience. This means that they are less successful at implementing projects to help local communities and in raising funds for long-term sustainability. Progressio continues to focus on building the capacity of local partners in Somaliland, drawing on a wealth of experience and achievements in this field over the years since 1995.
  • The level of awareness of HIV and AIDS at the community level remains low, particularly in rural areas. Meanwhile infection rates are likely to rise with increased trade and movement of people within Somaliland and the region. Progressio has now built up in-depth knowledge and experience of working on HIV and AIDS in Somaliland and will continue to draw on this in opening up public debate on the issue, fighting stigma and discrimination, and driving appropriate responses to the disease.
  • We are developing new partnerships in Somaliland around the theme of sustainable environment - aiming in particular to help address issues surrounding deforestation, promoting sustainable farming methods and the conservation of water resources.

Our achievements

Progressio development workers have:

  • helped improve the provision of basic health services, working alongside traditional birth attendants, midwives, nurses and doctors
  • built up the capacity of heath care staff at Hargeisa Hospital and helped co-ordinate the rehabilitation of the hospital laboratory, several wards, the pharmacy and the blood-testing centre
  • worked alongside local religious and community leaders, NGOs and government institutions to educate people about HIV and AIDS and help reduce misunderstanding, stigma and discrimination
  • helped set up the country’s first HIV Voluntary Counselling and Testing centre
  • helped establish the country’s best library at Amoud University, set up three networked computer laboratories and two Internet satellite systems, and trained technicians, lecturers and professors, and hundreds of students in IT
  • helped CSOs to advocate for amendments to the Presidential and Local Election law (2001), particularly reducing the minimum age of candidates for election to local councils from 35 to 25 years - which will increase opportunities for young people to participate in the electoral process
  • assisted CSOs in fast-tracking and approval of a National Youth Policy, and the establishment of a Parliamentary sub- committee on women and gender mainstreaming
  • supported women's groups and organisations to establish a Somaliland Women’s  Agenda that is being used as an advocacy tool to lobby for the inclusion of women’s concerns in the National Development Plan
  • assisted CSOs in Somaliland to play a lead role in the selection and training of voter education and election conflict mediation teams as well as the preparation and the production of a voter manual 
  • supported  the production and the dissemination of  the Somaliland Annual Human Rights Report in 2010
  • assessed and  documented Somali customary law that negates women’s rights (our development worker Maria Tungaraza drafted the report Women's Human Rights in Somaliland published by our partner organisation Nagaad) in order to press for the enactment and the production of codified customary laws and harmonise the results  with the National Declaration of Traditional Leaders 
  • helped improve advocacy for a sustainable environment through the preparation of a quarterly environmental newspaper (Deegaankeena), and conducted research studies on water management and a baseline survey on food security.