We aim to promote evidence use in the program roll-out and adaptation of activities over the life of the program, which focuses on promoting inclusive, enterprise-led development in a way that empowers Somalia’s most disadvantaged populations including women, youth, tribal minorities, isolated communities, and displaced persons.
Recurrent shocks and stresses have had devastating impacts on Somalia.
The country faces conflict, violence, population growth and resource scarcity, resulting in mass displacement events. Despite decades of investment into agriculture productivity, the increase of land under cultivation has been negligible and overall productivity is unable to keep pace with the growing population.
However, Somalia has a dynamic private sector that has adapted through the worst years of the civil war. Finance services, mobile telecommunications and strong livestock exports are notable successes.
Somalia’s development requires investments in both inclusive economic growth and resilience to prevent economic backsliding during disasters. Economic actors, including the private sector, have had greater incentive to focus resources on growing the economy rather than systematically protecting it. This has left a gap in resilience capacity in Somalia that undermines collective donor, private sector and government investments in economic growth.
If Somalia is to recover from decades of conflict and climatic shocks then it needs to build the resilience of its people and economy to recurrent shocks and promote more inclusive economic development, including financial sector development, especially for people from marginalized groups.
The IRiS activity aims to strengthen and diversify rural and urban livelihoods for marginalized groups and to promote economic agency of marginalized groups.
Working with DT Global, who are leading the implementation of activities along with other partners, Itad is the collaboration, learning and adapting (CLA) partner on the IRiS activity. We are also working with the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) to promote coordination between USAID and FCDO (both donors on this activity) and ensure the activity capitalizes on ongoing projects in Somalia implemented by FCDO and lessons learned from those programs.
In addition to our participation in the work-planning process at the onset of the activity related to CLA and coordination with FCDO, are working with the IRiS monitoring evaluation results and learning (MERL) team to identify indicators that can effectively measure IRiS’s transformational change in metrics that are mutually compatible between USAID and FCDO.
We will also advise and support the IRiS MERL team and DT Global’s Learning and Innovation Practice to ensure CLA knowledge remains accessible to all relevant parties and to help ensure CLA coordination between USAID and FCDO-funded programs in Somalia.
Outcomes and impact
Through our work, the IRiS activity will benefit from continuous learning and adaptive management during program implementation, resulting in improved performance and empowerment of Somalia’s most disadvantaged populations.