Somali First

 

Promoting Somali-led development

Somali First is a joint initiative between

Transparency Solutions and the University of Bristol

ABOUT

The purpose of Somali First is to promote Somali-led development through impartial facilitation, research and education. Somali First encourages self-help and builds on local capacities in order to achieve Somali-led reconstruction and development which is relevant to local needs and is sustainable and cost-effective. It is also more respectful of the dignity of the Somali people than the approach whereby foreign organisations generate project ideas and appoint consultancy teams at arm’s length and short notice, with limited chance of leaving a positive longer-term legacy. Somali First believes that Somalis should be supported to lead rather than hold subordinate positions, where they are defined as lacking capacity which has to be provided by outsiders.

 

Somali First is a joint initiative of the University of Bristol and Somali-led company Transparency Solutions.  The Somali First core team are not delivering development directly: instead, we facilitate numerous Somali-led projects and processes to deliver it. We are aiming to transform the process of development itself so that it is Somali led by integrating our approach across issues and through levels of governance. Our approach involves the following sequence of steps: find good people, agree commitment to a Somali-led approach, build strong relationships and then assist cooperation to identify needs, design projects, secure funding and deliver those projects.

 

 

VISION

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The vision of Somali First is to achieve reconstruction and development which is genuinely Somali-led, with the University of Bristol and Transparency Solutions at the heart of the process of making that happen in partnership with the Somali people. We do not subscribe to any political, regional or tribal views but we recognise and respect that different parts of the region have different views, needs and priorities.

As an academic institution, the University is neutral and objective. Its priorities are world-class research and teaching with high practical value for promoting well-being locally and globally. The University has 21,000 students, ranks 29th in the world on research, ranks 5th in the UK on research intensity (equal to Oxford University) and has an annual turnover of £500 million. The University attaches great importance to being open and welcoming to the Somali diaspora community in Bristol – around 10,000 people, its largest non-European community and the third largest Somali diaspora community in the UK.

 

Transparency Solutions is non-political and non-partisan. It is a Somali-led organisation with a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and multi-disciplinary team and a track record of working locally, nationally and internationally across 4 continents with a focus on Somalia, Somaliland and Somali communities worldwide. With its combination of deep local foundations and global expertise, Transparency Solutions brings both insight and integrity to the initiative.

 

 

 

 

NEWS

Major project success to help train Somali researchers

 

The SF team and Somalia’s Observatory of Conflict and Violence Prevention (OCVP) has been awarded $698,000 by the internationally-funded Somalia Stability Fund

 

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Somali First wins prestigious University of Bristol Engagement Award

 

Each year the University of Bristol’s Centre for Public Engagement gives awards for outstanding achievement in engagement.

 

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Major project success to help train Somali researchers

 

The SF team and Somalia’s Observatory of Conflict and Violence Prevention (OCVP) has been awarded $698,000 by the internationally-funded Somalia Stability Fund to train two cohorts of thirty Somali mid-career social science researchers over the next two years beginning August 2015. This is an innovative integrated programme of research training followed by internship on a Somali-led research team and then individual fieldwork leading to publication with mentoring throughout. At the end of two years there will be 60 trained Somali researchers and 60 publications, proof of the programme’s success. These Somali researchers will then be able to take up a range of leadership positions.

 

 

 

 

Somali First wins prestigious University of Bristol Engagement Award

 

Each year the University of Bristol’s Centre for Public Engagement gives awards for outstanding achievement in engagement. The 2014/14 recipient is Professor Eric Herring who received the award for his work on the Somali First (SF) initiative.

Since its inception in late 2014, SF has received grants and funding from the international Somalia Stability Fund and the University’s ESRC Impact Acceleration Account totalling nearly £500,000. Owing to its progress and potential, SF has been awarded University of Bristol Strategic Priority status and Transparency Solutions has been awarded University of Bristol Strategic Partner status.

On making the award, the Engaged University Steering Group commended Professor Herring's work, and said: ‘Somali First has developed a model of engagement which shows genuine co-production. The diverse strands of activity, the many partnerships and the high level of impact make it an excellent example of engagement linked to research.’

 

Professor Herring said: ‘I would like to thank my colleagues in Transparency Solutions whose vision, talent and hard work are vital to the success of the Somali First initiative. I would also like to thank the many Somalis in Somalia and the diaspora who have embraced the initiative with such commitment. Finally, I would like to thank the University of Bristol for its strong backing for the initiative – this has been crucial to our momentum.’

 

 

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Contact Us

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Dr. Eric Herring

Director, Somali First

University of Bristol

eric.herring@bristol.ac.uk

+44(0)7771 966608

 

 

Latif Ismail

Director, Somali First

Chief Executive, Transparency Solutions

latif.ismail@transparencysolutions.co.uk

+252 633 610 915

 

 

Somali First would like to acknowledge the generous support of the following:

University of Bristol, UK Economic and Social Research Council, Telesom, Hormuud Telecom

Abdihakim Yusuf, Transparency Solutions Senior Consultant, Somali First core team member and University of Bristol Honorary Research Associate, said: ‘I am honoured to accept this award with Professor Herring on behalf of the Somali First core team. When scholars really listen to and work with communities from the very outset of their work, exciting things can happen. The usual story about Somalia is state failure, terrorism and piracy. However, among Somalis there is huge capacity and potential, and the University of Bristol is making an important difference in working with Somalis to recognise and mobilise that capacity and potential.’

 

Professor Nishan Canagarajah, Pro Vice-Chancellor, said: ‘This year’s Engagement Awards competition saw a remarkable number of high-quality entries. It is inspiring to see the rich variety of engagement our academics and students are involved with, and the impact this has had on both the University’s research and teaching, as well as wider society. I am proud to congratulate Professor Herring and the Somali First team on their achievement, as well as those highly commended by the panel.’

CONTACT US

 

Transparency Solutions

Rear Offices

24 New Road

Chippenham

Wiltshire

SN15 1HS.

UK.

 

Phone:

(UK) +44 (0)1249 444 780

(Somalia) +252 (0) 615 289179

(Somaliland) +2522 4718869 / +2522 4732730

 

Email: enquiries@transparencysolutions.co.uk

 

SOMALIA

 

KM5, Agfoye Road

Hodan District

Mogadishu

Somalia

 

 

SOMALILAND

 

Zenith House

Airport Road

Hargeisa

Somaliland

 

 

Transparency Solutions is a transformative consultancy with deep local foundations and broad global expertise. We work to address the challenges and many dimensions necessary to effect political, economic, commercial and social transformative change. Our primary focus and considerable expertise is in Somalia and Somaliland and with their people and communities worldwide