LAND-at-scale Somalia: land governance to contribute to durable solutions for Internally Displaced People in three Somali cities | Land Portal

The Netherlands Enterprise and Development Agency (RVO) and the Somalia department of the Netherlands Embassy (EKN) in Kenya are pleased to announce their collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN-Habitat and the Regional Coordination Office (RCO) in Somalia in the context of the Saameynta-programme. ‘Saameynta – scaling up solutions to displacement in Somalia’ will be implemented over a period of four years (2022-2024) and the LAND-at-scale contribution amounts to 2 million euro. Saameynta is co-funded by the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) and the Italian Agency for International Cooperation (AICS).

Somalia’s land challenges

Somalia has over 2.9 million Internally Displaced People (IDPs) following decades of civil war and violent conflict. In addition, a significant increase of droughts and floods due to climate change have forced people away from their rural homes. Most IDPs have relocated to Somalia’s cities which has resulted in rapid urbanization, unplanned city development, and a speculation in land markets. This situation has spurred continuous displacements and forced evictions of IDPs, preventing them from building a sustainable livelihood.

LAND-at-scale intervention strategy

This LAND-at-scale project, funded jointly with the SDC and AICS, aims to contribute to a sustainable integration of IDPs in three Somali cities: Baidoa in South West State, Beletweyne in Hirshabelle State, and Bossaso in Puntland State. This will be achieved through three complementary project strategies.

Firstly, the project aims to ensure stronger involvement and engagement of displacement affected communities (IDPs, returnees and host community) in a process of inclusive urban development. This will be achieved by working with local governments (municipalities) as well as the displacement affected communities directly. For the local authorities, the project will focus on strengthening both technical and institutional capacities to perform their land governance mandates, as well as developing relevant land-related policies. The involvement of the displacement affected communities is foreseen by enabling them to engage in a process of inclusive urban development. Finally, their engagement is foreseen to be strengthened by applying land value capture for infrastructure development and basic services. 

Secondly, the project aims to improve the tenure security for displacement affected communities by providing them with land documentation for a reduced risk of forced eviction. An adaptation and tailoring of the Social Tenure Domain Model (STDM) to each project location and context will assure informal and formal rights to be recognized and managed in a fit-for-purpose land administration system.

Following the technical and institutional capacity building and the tenure registration activities, authorities in the three cities will then be supported to apply an approach of land value capture to secure public-private sector partnership (PPP) investments in social and public infrastructure and basic services for IDPs. Communities will be engaged along the way through a community planning process to ensure that their priorities remain an integral part of the plans to be development.

Saameynta: a multi-donor and multi-year programme

The LAND-at-scale project is a part of ‘Saameynta’, a larger governance programme of 18 million USD in total. Besides RVO and the EKN, SDC and the AICS are contributing financially to this 4-year running programme. The Dutch contribution to this governance programme aligns closely with the embassy’s programming priorities for Somalia: “Addressing root causes of displacement and finding durable solutions for the millions of internally displaced populations is a key priority for Somalia. Netherlands’ investment under Saameynta is critical because the programme interventions offer a holistic approach towards land governance by enhancing capacities of Somali authorities and leveraging on investments from the private sector towards sustainable land-based solutions. This enables displaced populations to be sustainably (re)integrated,” says Maarten Brouwer, Ambassador of the Netherlands to Kenya.

Expected outcomes

LAND-at-scale will contribute an important land element to the wider Saameynta governance programme. The expected outcomes of the LAND-at-scale intervention are:

  • Institutions, governance mechanisms and tools are developed in the areas of land as well as inclusive and accountable governance.
  • Technical knowledge of authorities and IDPs is enhanced.
  • Improving tenure security for IDPs to reduce risks of displacements and forced evictions using the Social Tenure Doman Model (STDM).

This LAND-at-scale project in Somalia contributes to SDG1 (no poverty), SDG5 (gender equality), SDG8 (decent work and economic growth), SDG10 (reduced inequalities), SDG11 (sustainable cities and communities), and SDG16 (peace, justice and strong institutions).

Want to know more about LAND-at-scale?

The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs funds LAND-at-scale. To stay updated on this LAND-at-scale project and others, please sign up for our quarterly newsletter.

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