Engaging the Gatekeepers: Using Informal Governance Resources in Mogadishu

Bryld, E. et al.
Publication language
Date published
06 Mar 2017
Somalia Accountability Programme
Research, reports and studies
Accountability to affected populations (AAP), Urban, Forced displacement and migration
UK Department for International Development

Without recognition from Formal Government of Somalia, NGOs and international agencies, those who manage the 480+ internally displaced peoples (IDP) settlements in Mogadishu cannot be held accountable for the security and protection of IDPs. This paper draws on experiences from a pilot project to show how solutions to improve the situation of IDPs requires the recognition, acceptance and engagement of informal power structures. It recommends greater attention on shifting attitudes to gatekeepers and rolling out pilot activities more widely.

Key findings:

  • Gatekeepers are one of the most resilient local-level governance structures in Somalia. However, only IDPs fully recognise them as legitimate service providers.
  • Some gatekeepers are interested in participating in the training and making change – recognition is a strong driver of change for gatekeepers
  • The pilot had little effect on IDPs freedom of movement, and so bottom-up accountability may remain a challenge
  • More work on creating and improving relationships between gatekeepers, NGOs and local authorities is required if formal settlement certification is to be introduced.