Advocating on behalf of communities

Sometimes the most important thing we can give someone is a voice.

The needs of communities, and the drivers of poverty, are complex and fluid. That is why we must listen to those in need in order to help them move beyond poverty and insecurity.

We advocate on behalf of the communities we work with, giving them voice on a local and international stage, and ensuring their interests and concerns are considered at the highest level.

We play a key role in promoting better ways to deliver effective humanitarian and development aid and contribute meaningfully to policy discussions on issues that affect African communities. As an African-based NGO, we believe that Southern NGOs need to play a stronger and more strategic role in global policy debates on humanitarian assistance and development.

Improving Disaster Response

In Kenya we recognize the importance of partnering with government. That is why we have invested significantly in building good relationships with elected country officials and the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA), because this makes our resilience investments more sustainable.

We have provided technical and budgetary support to country NDMA contingency planning exercises, with the result that some of our NDMA partners are now able to anticipate emergencies rather than react to them. During emergencies every second counts, so this capacity to plan early and react more quickly is priceless.

Making Women’s Voices Heard

Somali women have traditionally been excluded from politics, and we are working to change that. We have trained over 300 female councilors, and worked with civil society organizations and the Puntland Ministry of Women, Family and Social Affairs, to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment. We also provided training to 100 men to encourage the inclusion of women in local governance issues, decision-making and peace processes. After women told us that they needed a place to meet to exchange their experiences and share skills, we worked with communities to construct small meeting halls in four locations. These halls now serve as offices, training facilities, and general meeting spaces for women.

Keeping People’s Lifelines Open

Each year Somali migrants around the world send approximately US$ 1.3 billion to Somalia. More money is sent to Somalia than the amount the country receives in humanitarian assistance, development assistance and foreign direct investment combined.

These flows, facilitated by Money Transfer Operators (MTOs), represent a significant share of the country’s economy and constitute a lifeline for over 40% of Somalis.

In recent years banks around the world are closing the accounts of these MTOs, leaving hundreds of thousands of families in Somalia without a secure means of receiving life-sustaining funds from friends and relatives.

Adeso has worked with Oxfam America, the InterAmerican Dialogue, the Global Center on Cooperative Security, and others to share a comprehensive picture of the remittance issue in the US and possible solutions to account closures. Our 2013 report, Keeping the Lifeline Open: Remittances and Markets in Somalia, fostered greater engagement with the Somalia diaspora, helped strengthen relationships with US, UK and Somali government officials, and attracted significant media attention around remittances. In February 2015, we issued a new report Hanging by a Thread: The ongoing threat to Somalia’s remittance lifelineFind out more.