During a focus group discussion in Gabiley the participating mayors assured the districts’ commitment in further strengthening and engaging with the Association of Local Government Authorities in Somaliland (ALGASL). The discussion took place in light of the mid-term measurement of the IDEAL programme. From 2017, IDEAL Somaliland has focused on strengthening ALGASL.
The (deputy) mayors of Gabiley, Boroma, Burao, Zeila, Sheikh and Odweyne shared their opinions on the achievements of ALGASL so far. The mayor of Aynabo, the newest member district of ALGASL, was also present. The mayor of Aynabo argued why his district decided to join ALGASL: “my district was coping with the consequences of extreme flooding. Because of ALGASL, several districts came together and made a joint contribution which helped us to get back up on our feet.” It was acknowledged that districts improved their networks and coordination amongst each other as a consequence of ALGASL’s efforts. Furthermore, several political and technical staff from districts participated in trainings and workshops organized by ALGASL. It seemed that both in the field of service-delivery and serving as a platform ALGASL is doing well. ALGASL has also lobbied regarding Law. No. 23 on local government. Although the procedure is still pending, the mayors declared ALGASL had been indispensable in defining and joining the interests of the local governments.
From 2019, IDEAL Somaliland will continue to support ALGASL and simultaneously start working with three pilot districts directly and through ALGASL. Baseline assessments in Baligubadle, Zeila and Las Anod are conducted as we speak. The outcomes of the baseline studies will serve as a basis for providing targeted support to these districts in the policy area of Local Economic Development.