There is a perception amongst Somalis that many of the decisions which affect their lives are internationally driven, with little local consultation. This lack of ownership impacts on the effectiveness of aid programmes, undermines Somali civil society and contributes to the alienation of Somali communities from decision-making. SONSAF provide a mechanism for increasing grassroots civil society engagement with international and national decision-makers.
Supporting free and fair elections in Somaliland
In June 2010 SONSAF worked closely with the National Election Committee to select, train and deploy 362 of our members as domestic election observers at strategic points across Somaliland. Over 40 percent of the observers were women. The SONSAF observers used a standardized observation form identifying key features and procedures of the poll including opening, polling and closing and counting phases.
With the exception of isolated acts, SONSAF noted the Election Day process proceeded very peacefully and without any sign of intimidation. SONSAF played a key role in supporting transparent and accountable elections, showing the valuable role that non-state actors play in promoting peace and development in Somaliland. This was a highly important contribution to the presidential election process, which is a great achievement for Somaliland as well as for democracy in the Somali region, the Horn of Africa and beyond.