«Heritage Institute for Policy Studies Annual Report Table of Contents About HIPS 1 Message from the Director 2 2013 in Numbers 3 Programs 4 Impact 8 ...»
Heritage Institute for Policy Studies
Table of Contents
About HIPS 1
Message from the Director 2
2013 in Numbers 3
Lessons Learned 10
Financial Highlights 11
Appendices 14 Staff & Fellows 14 Board of Advisors 15 About HIPS The Heritage Institute for Policy Studies (HIPS) is an independent, nonpartisan, nonproﬁt policy research and analysis institute based in Mogadishu, Somalia.
Vision To advance peace, the rule of law, and a culture of learning in Somalia Mission To inform public policy by providing independent empirical research and analyses, and creating an enabling environment for inclusive dialogue Guiding Principles
1. Independence, integrity and impartiality In all its activities, HIPS will honor and uphold the independence and integrity of the Institute. The focus of work is on issues of concern to peace and the rule of law in Somalia, both as challenges and opportunities. HIPS is a non-partisan organization driven by impartial and empirical research and analyses.
2. Diversity and equal opportunities HIPS promotes human rights and encourages diverse voices to be heard by harnessing a broad range of ideas and perspectives on critical issues for Somalia.
3. Transparency and accountability In all its activities HIPS strives for openness and responsibility. The website allows for easy access to all its work. The Annual Report provides an account of progress of work, ﬁnance, and management. Social media (Facebook and Twitter) presents an avenue for interactive and open communication. HIPS management is accountable to its Board of Advisors.
4. Excellence HIPS strives for high quality and rigor in all its activities and products. To reach this goal, HIPS welcomes constructive and critical feedback on its activities from interested parties.
5. Do no harm As an independent institution promoting a culture of learning in Somalia, HIPS will address critical issues for the purpose of advancing peace and the rule of law, including, when relevant, in the context of the Horn of Africa. It will not shy away from expressing constructive criticism when so warranted by empirical evidence. However, throughout its work, HIPS will caution not to inadvertently cause harm in the fragile situation of Somalia and its neighbourhood.
Message from the Director In January 2013, with the goal of 'harnessing the power of ideas for a better Somalia', HIPS quickly went to work on its year-one research agenda. Thanks to the support of funders, fellows, and the Somali people, and to the determination of our committed staff members and consultants, HIPS is now recognized as a capable and credible research institute.
We have published 6 policy brieﬁng papers and 3 research reports. We have discussed in our publications, among other things, the New Deal Compact for Somalia, and humanitarian access to Al-Shabaab-controlled areas. We have held 9 Forum for Ideas events in Somalia and a further two events in Kenya, covering a spectrum of issues and attended by policymakers, business leaders, and civil society actors.
We recognize the fundamental importance of reaching out to both Somalis and the international audience. Our publications are freely available in both English and Somali. By developing partnerships with local and international institutions we have been able to extend our outreach further. In our ﬁrst year we have secured grants in partnership with a number of internationally recognized institutions. The enthusiasm of established institutions to work with HIPS is testament to the strong reputation we have built in this short time.
Our greatest asset has been our team: staff, backers, and members of the Board of Advisors.
Staff have demonstrated extraordinary commitment to the mission and vision of the organization despite the difﬁcult working environment. Much needed guidance and support has also come from the Board of Advisors. Their support at critical junctures has been invaluable.
Despite signiﬁcant progress in our ﬁrst year HIPS still faces many challenges. Security remains our greatest obstacle. The security situation in Mogadishu in the latter half of 2013 affected access to our most important stakeholders, the Somali people. Securing sustainable funding remains another key challenge. One of our key priorities moving forward will be to source core funding enabling us to continue our mission and expand with conﬁdence.
As we enter our second year, we look forward to facing these challenges and building on the strong foundations we laid in 2013. We are keen to commission new research, recruit new talent, build more partnerships, and take on more projects. Given the overwhelming support we have received domestically and internationally, and the dedication of our team, we are conﬁdent in our ability to do so.
Abdi Aynte, Director of the Heritage Institute for Policy Studies
Since relaunching in July, the HIPS website has received more than 17,000 visits from almost 12,000 unique visitors. We have received visitors from 123 different countries – from Somalia to Singapore, from Kenya to Kyrgyzstan.
We currently have almost 2500 subscribers to the HIPS mailing list and receive on average 12 new subscribers every month.
Our @HIPSINSTITUTE Twitter account currently has 5,094 followers and is featured on 54 lists.
We have 1,884 ‘likes’ on our Facebook page. Since joining on 3 December, our Somali National Library Facebook page has 1162 ‘likes’.
We have held 9 Forums for Ideas in our ﬁrst year attended by almost 700 participants of which at least 30% were female and 20% were youth.
We have released 9 publications in 2013 including 6 Policy Brieﬁngs and 3 Research Reports.
We have offered quarterly internships to 3 outstanding recent graduates.
Programs Forum for Ideas Our ﬂagship program, the Forum for Ideas, was devised as a platform to foster dialogue and debate on important policy issues among civil society, and between civil society and government. The gatherings, scheduled approximately once every two months to discuss particular developments or host special guests, have been attended by almost 700 participants. Approximately 30% of all participants to have attended Forums were women, and almost 20% were youth. Senior ofﬁcials and policymakers have attended all HIPS Forums, allowing citizens to engage their leaders and hold them to account.
Research Reports HIPS Research Reports are based on extensive empirical research on important issues currently affecting Somalia.
HIPS is one of the ﬁrst institutions to be conducting social research in Somalia since the collapse of the state in 1991.
Increasingly, HIPS is working with internationallyrecognized academics and a growing cadre of young, trained Somali research assistants to inspire a new generation of social scientists working for the advancement of peace and the rule of law in Somalia.
Hasty Repatriation Our ﬁrst research project focused on the growing demands of Kenyan politicians to repatriate Somali refugees. Primary research involved more than 40 interviews - conducted in Nairobi and the Dadaab refugee complex in Kenya - with Somali refugees, representatives of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), and Kenyan and Somali ofﬁcials. The report highlights the dangers faced by returning refugees before security has been consolidated in Somalia, and the importance of coordination between the parties involved - Kenya, Somalia, and the UNHCR - to ensure voluntary and safe repatriation.
The State of the Higher Education Sector in Somalia 44 higher education institutions were surveyed by a team of enumerators throughout all regions of Somalia for our second research report. Comparisons were drawn between Somaliland, Puntland, and South-Central Somalia with some surprising results. Our ﬁndings demonstrated, however, that throughout Somalia the unregulated growth of the sector has compromised the quality of education provided and that effective regulation should be introduced to improve the standards of education being received by the country's future leaders.
Talking to the Other Side Drawn from more than 80 interviews with former alShabaab ofﬁcials, aid workers, and civilians, this research details the difﬁculties faced by aid agencies attempting to operate in al-Shabaab controlled areas during the 2011 famine. The joint report from the Humanitarian Policy Group of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and HIPS highlights the obstacles humanitarian organizations face when trying to deliver desperately needed life-saving assistance.
The Somali National Library In order to address one of our core missions - to promote a culture of research, learning, and inquiry - HIPS is playing a leading role in the restoration of Somalia’s National Library in Mogadishu. The task of reconstructing the dilapidated three-storey building has been our most challenging yet.
HIPS has successfully raised funding by mobilizing the business community and government agencies in a publicprivate-partnership. As a government-owned building, HIPS has established a Board of Trustees comprised of nine highly respected individuals including two women, government ofﬁcials, academics, civil society actors, and representatives of the business community. The initiative to rebuild the Somali National Library was launched at a public event on 19 December. Given the overwhelming support we have received we are conﬁdent that restoration will be completed in 2014.
Impact Perhaps the most tangible impact of our outputs during the ﬁrst year was demonstrated with the signing of the Jubba Agreement in August between the Federal Government of Somalia and the Interim Jubba Administration. In June, following several weeks of hostility between the two sides, HIPS released a Policy Brieﬁng offering options for compromise. The agreement reached between the government and the Jubba administration in August corresponded broadly with the recommendations given in our June Brieﬁng.
The easing of the international arms embargo, likewise, followed shortly after our recommendation for the same in our ﬁrst Policy Brieﬁng on U.S. recognition of the federal government. We suspect the decision by the UN Security Council had been considered carefully and extensively before our recommendations were released but are conﬁdent that our recommendations provided reassurance of the wisdom of the easing of the embargo.
In October, HIPS Director, Abdi Aynte testiﬁed before the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Security and Governance in Somalia. He was the only Somali present at the hearing among a handful of internationally recognized experts.
HIPS Research Reports have also had an impact, both within Somalia and beyond its borders.
Our ﬁrst report, Hasty Repatriation, was launched in Nairobi with a panel including Mohamed Ali Nur 'Americo' (Somali Ambassador to Kenya), Jacqueline Parlevliet (Assistant Representative of the UNHCR), and Laetitia Bader (Somalia Researcher for Human Rights Watch). HIPS researchers were subsequently invited to participate in several high-level consultations with the Federal Government of Somalia, local and international NGOs, and the UNHCR.
Our second report, The State of Higher Education in Somalia, received signiﬁcant attention within the country and has sparked a national debate on educational priorities in Somalia.
HIPS researchers were invited to participate in the National Education Conference held in Mogadishu in June and the United Nations Educational, Scientiﬁc and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) contacted the Institute to discuss future programming in Somalia.
Our third and ﬁnal report of the year, Talking to the Other Side, published in December in partnership with the Overseas Development Institute, has stimulated an international debate on humanitarian aid operations and ethics beyond the borders of Somalia. The report has been discussed on international news channels including the BBC, Al Jazeera, and Voice of America.
Our efforts to restore the Somali National Library have also received wide international support. Since announcing the project we have been inundated with offers of assistance.
Congressman Keith Ellison from Minnesota in the United States has helped us secure 22,000 books from Books for Africa, and the prominent scholars of Somalia, Professor Lee Cassanelli and Professor Ken Menkhaus, have joined a growing roster of national and international 'Friends of the Library'. Somali parliament speaker Mohamed Osman 'Jawaari' and Mogadishu mayor Mohamud Nur 'Tarsan' are also Friends of the Library.
Feedback Not all feedback on our outputs has been positive. HIPS Policy Brieﬁngs have been met with disapproval among some audiences. Our March Brieﬁng, for example, focusing on the negotiations between Somalia and Somaliland, prompted strong condemnation from proSomaliland independence groups who accused HIPS of adopting an anti-Somaliland bias. A Somaliland Diaspora umbrella organization released a strong rebuttal and the Deputy Speaker of the Lower House of the Somaliland Parliament criticized the Brieﬁng on the BBC Somali Service. Organizers of the Hargeisa International Book Fair rescinded an invitation for HIPS to participate.The Institute has taken tangible measures to address a perception of antiSomaliland bias. Representatives of the Institute went to Hargeisa to reassure ofﬁcials and civil society actors that HIPS does not harbor an anti-Somaliland agenda. HIPS publications have commended the signiﬁcant achievements Somaliland have made in securing relative peace and stability in the region.