Review of Collective Risk Management Systems in Somalia

The recently launched Transparency International (TI) report has reignited discussions on Somalia as one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

According to the report, corruption risks exist across the entire humanitarian programme cycle, including during the identification of local partners, awarding of contracts, pricing of contracts, negotiation of conditions of access, recruitment of staff, selection and targeting of aid recipients, selection of monitoring mechanisms and the approach to monitoring programmes.  Importantly, the report explores corruption related practices and incentives related to the various supporting and operational business procedures undertaken in Nairobi, which are contributing factors to the overall corruption risks.  Although the report mentions progress made since 2011 to strengthen collective risk management systems, increase information sharing and develop complementary and harmonized approaches to address a number of risks, it recommends in particular to develop shared approaches to managing risks, which may encourage transparent reporting.

Since 2015, a Joint Risk Management Strategy (JRMS) was developed as one of the collective risk management systems for the Somalia Development and Reconstruction Facility (SDRF) funds.

As part of the review, and response to the report, the UN, the NGO Consortium and donors commissioned an assessment of the impact and effectiveness of the collective[2] risk[3] management[4] systems established since 2011. The overall aim of this assessment was to assess advances made so far through these collective risk management practices, to identify challenges in implementing collective risk management solutions, to determine outstanding gaps, that may allow for corruption to take place in Somalia, and to provide recommendations to address such gaps.  Findings of this study will contribute to strengthening Risk Management Systems in Somalia and will enhance risk management systems and approaches for more effective delivery in Somalia. 


[1] The SDRF is both a coordination framework and a financing architecture for implementing the Somali Compact, with the aim of enhancing the delivery of effective and efficient assistance to all Somalis

[2] Collective defined as including UN agencies/entities, including UNSOM/UNSOS, donors, INGOs and LNGOs

[3] Risk includes the risk of corruption

[4] Risk Management includes approaches to identify and address corruption risks



Build Risk Management Capacity: RMU training in Garowe

The Story

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On 18th September, the UN Risk Management Unit held a one day training for NGOs in Garowe. Attended by 14 participants from nine National NGOs and two International NGOs, the training intended to provide participants with a basic introduction to risk management principles and processes.

In a fragile country such as Somalia, NGOs are dealing with risk as part of their daily routine. Of all kinds, these might affect the staff security and safety, the reputation of the organization as well as the quality of programmes and services. “This is beneficial to everyone in this industry to avoid embarrassment that may affect the organization objectives and even survival.” stated Bashir Abdullahi, Audit and Compliance Officer from Save the Children

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For Mohamed Ahmed Fidow, Project Manager at FAWESOM, risk management's capacity building is crucial for an organization to identify surrounded risks, mitigate their effects and thus ensure the quality of service delivery. “NGOs need to have strong risk management capacity to enhance their service delivery and improve resilience in the case of potential risks,” he said

Designed for staff members, with a particular focus on those responsible for implementing Risk Management processes in Somalia, the training was meant to assist their understanding of risks, and utilization of particular tools as well as to participate in the identification, assessment and management of an organization’s risks. 

At the end of the training, participants expressed their satisfaction and emphasized the added value of gaining skills, that will strengthen their capacity.

“There a lot of enemies or obstacles facing us sometimes. This training will help me identifying risks that exist in my country and also how to manage them,“ stated Mohamed Abdirizak isse from PUNSAA while another participant perceived it as a chance for his organization to plan projects better.

The importance of sharing knowledge, information as well as to stay in touch with the RMU for any tipps and updates was also pointed out by some participants. “Sharing knowledge among development and humanitarian partners will increase the information I can get beyond my organization into the industry wide” stressed Bashir Abdullahi, Audit and Compliance Officer at Save the Children.

Finally, when asked about any recommendation they would have for their NGOs counterparts, most of the participants said, they would encourage this kind of training, as an essential source of tools to deal with the Somali context.

 “In a country like Somali where environments change, I personally believe this type of training is a must for any managerial/field level staff,” declared Said A. Mohamed, Deputy Program Coordinator, Medecin Du Monde (MDM).


Initiated since 2015, the RMU training is attended by people from different types or organizations.

Initiated since 2015, the RMU training is attended by people from different types or organizations.