In partnership with the University of Bristol, a world leading research institution, we are championing a fundamental shift in the way that the development industry operates in the Somali regions. In 2014, Transparency Solutions began a joint initiative with the University of Bristol entitled Somali First. With the expert guidance of Professor Eric Herring, the partnership aims to promote Somali-led development through facilitation, research and education, built on an ethos of localised self-help and local capacities to enable change that is relevant and sustainable for the Somali people.
The initiative has given rise to several outstanding success stories including the High-Quality Research Support programme (HQRS) funded by the Somali Stability Fund, co-produced by the University of Bristol and Transparency Solutions and led by the Observatory for Conflict and Violence Prevention (OCVP), a Somali NGO based in Hargeisa, Somaliland. The programme equipped 60 Somali postgraduate researchers with high-level theoretical and practical research knowledge, designed to address the significant skills gap in research methods and design, currently prevalent in Somalia and Somaliland. Every programme graduate produced an original social research publication. See publications here.
We are widening the impact of our clients and partners through their expertise and knowledge base to the Somali regions and facilitating innovative and Somali-led engagement. Previously, we have worked with the United Nations (UN) in researching youth radicalisation and developing insights into peace-building through the use of network analysis. We are currently working with the European Union (EU) in studying civilian capabilities in conflict prevention and peace-building. Through this approach we enable our clients to deliver better outcomes in high-risk and politically sensitive areas, using our national and local networks as a Somali entity and our formidable knowledge of the national, regional and local context.
As a Somali organisation, we specialise in sustainable, effective and low-risk implementation for our clients and partners, specially tailored to their requirements. We act as an interlocutor between Donor organisations and international NGOs and specific communities, whether at the local, national or governmental level, providing approaches that are practical but innovative and which integrate more readily into broader activities.
Effectively, we give voice to what Somalis know best – their communities, their culture, their ambitions and their capabilities.