Adeso turns 30

Adeso turns 30, expanding its global reach with groundbreaking work on the Equity Connect Platform that should increase funding opportunities to local NGOs in the Global South and strong progress on seed funding for CORE- a Shared Services Company.

Our 5 year Strategic Plan

Adeso develops a 5 year strategic plan, focusing on 4 pillars to move forward. These pillars are:

  1. Global to Local Advocacy System Change
  2. Community Driven Development
  3. Innovation and Enterprise Development
  4. Climate Action
Creation of NEXUS

We co-founded Nexus together with eight other Somali NGOs and with the technical support of Oxfam and Save the Children. Nexus is a platform for locally led change that aspires to pioneer a locally driven agenda for change by building partnerships between communities, civil society and the public and private sectors; as well as through the implementation of integrated and sustainable interventions across the triple nexus of humanitarian, development and peace efforts.

Rural Innovation Lab programs

We completed two Rural Innovation Lab programs in Garissa and Marsabit counties. The first of their kind in rural Kenya, the labs provided spaces for innovators to develop practical solutions and new ideas to prepare for and manage droughts.  Furthermore, the NEAR network reached 227 members in 2018. With the Network for Empowered Aid Response (NEAR), the organization has brought to the next level its fight for the localization agenda to shift power and resources to Global South civil society. 


We implemented STREAM, a USD 10 million EU-funded Social Safety Nets Program in Lower Juba that introduced predictable cash transfers to build household and community level resilience. After pioneering the first large cash transfer system in Somalia in 2003 Adeso has, indeed, implemented more than 20 cash transfer programs in the region and become a global leader in the implementation as well as training on cash transfer programs.

The Genesis of NEAR

Adeso’s advocacy for localization in the lead up to the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) led to the established goal of directing 25% of all direct humanitarian resourcing to local actors by 2020.  At the WHS, Adeso also founded and launched the Network for Empowered Aid Response (NEAR) to restructure the global response to economic, human and environmental threats by empowering local communities and building fair and inclusive partnerships. NEAR is a movement of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) from the Global South rooted in communities who share a common goal of promoting fair, equitable and dignified partnerships in the current aid system. 

Yet another win for Fatima

Our Founder, Fatima Jibrell, is awarded the 2014 Champions of the Earth award for her tireless effort to protect Somalia’s fragile pastoral environment. The award is the United Nations’ flagship environment award that recognizes outstanding visionaries and leaders in the fields of policy, science, entrepreneurship and civil society action. https://rb.gy/f8eykt

Your Environment is life

With funding from the European Union, we launch our flagship environmental program in Somalia, ‘Your Environment Is Your Life.’ The four-year project seeks to reduce hunger and food insecurity by improving rangeland conditions in the Puntland State of Somalia. https://youtu.be/DjJQd-9vmgs

20th Year Anniversary

Horn Relief celebrates 20th Year Anniversary and rebrands to Adeso. We start implementing the Resilience and Economic Growth in the Arid Lands-Improving Resilience Project in Kenya (REGAL-IR) with the help of USAID and Feed the Future funds.

First Program in South Sudan

We begin our first program outside the Horn of Africa, in South Sudan. The 12-month program is funded by USAID and aims to help returnees and host communities improve their livelihoods.

First Program in Kenya

We begin our first program in Kenya – the Emergency Livelihoods Recovery Intervention, which is a 12-month initiative funded by USAID and launched in Garissa County in Northeastern Kenya. Recognized as an authority in pastoralist education, we hold a Camel Caravan Conference in Nairobi for Somalia education stakeholders.

Another win for Fatima

Founder Fatima Jibrell receives international acclaim by winning the National Geographic/Buffet Award for Leadership in African Conservation.

Cash Transfer Implementation

We publish a cash transfer implementation manual, which builds on our cash expertise. After years of training our partners, we begin offering external cash transfer trainings to the humanitarian community.

New Phase

Fatima Jibrell retires and Degan Ali takes over as the Executive Director. We begin working in Lower Juba, South Somalia and are one of the first INGOs to establish a presence there following takeover by the Islamic Courts Union.

Horn Relief emerge as SNGO

We begin to emerge as a Southern Non-Governmental Organization (SNGO), attracting new donors and growing our funding base.

Cash Transfer Program

Degan Ali joins the organization as Deputy Director. We help implement the first large-scale cash program in Somalia.
She develops our cash-transfer training curriculum to educate internal staff and partner agencies. https://youtu.be/88gRfV2jrnE

Goldman Environmental Prize

The Puntland Government bans the export of charcoal in response to our founder Fatima Jibrell’s advocacy campaign. Fatima Jibrell wins the international Goldman Environmental Prize in recognition of her leadership in creating a social and environmental movement in Somalia, including her role in banning the charcoal trade. https://youtu.be/dLfgzbH7Nls

Camel Caravan

We hold our first Camel Caravan in Somalia. Twenty young people walk for three weeks with nomadic pastoralists to learn about the environment, animal and human health, and peacemaking.

Pastoral Youth Leadership

Now known simply as Horn Relief, we begin our flagship Pastoral Youth Leadership Program in the Sanaag Region, known then as the Buran Rural Institute. The first class has 41 boys and 24 girls.

Horn Relief Founded

Fatima Jibrell founds the Horn of Africa Relief and Development Organization in Connecticut, USA.