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The new deal in Somalia: an independent review of the Somali Compact, 2014-2016

Research reports

Written by Marcus Manuel, Alastair McKechnie

Somalia’s Compact has been a bold experiment in an extremely challenging context. Many of the ingredients for success, based on lessons from other countries, were not present. The scope and the timelines of the Compact were ambitious and would have been challenging even for a stable, long-established government working with well-established development partners in a secure and more benign environment.

Many of the lessons are similar to the key findings from the experience of Compacts other post-conflict countries, as highlighted in our research:

  1. The compact must fit the country context.
  2. Country ownership and participation in designing the compact increases the chance of success.
  3. The level of national, sub-national and international capacities to manage and implement should be factored into compact design.
  4. Compacts need to be understood and supported by the leadership, the legislature and other key locations of power.
  5. Prioritisation and focus that balances vision and achievability is key.
  6. Compact commitments and benchmarks should be specific, concrete, monitorable and balanced.
  7. Mutual accountability needs to be two-sided.
  8. Specific actions and support to strengthen government institutional effectiveness should be included, with the focus of effort onto compact priority areas synchronised with the approved plans of government.
  9. While compacts generally improve oordination, this can come with high transaction costs.

The executive summary is also available in Somali.

Marcus Manuel, Alastair McKechnie, Gregory Wilson and Rima das Pradhan-Blach