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Case study on nutrition resilience building and an enabling humanitarian development nexus in Somalia

  |   SUN Civil Society Network, SUN Donor Network

Bringing humanitarian and development frameworks, financing and programmes closer together – A case study of nutrition resilience building in Somalia
by ENN Online

This case study on nutrition resilience and the humanitarian and development nexus (HDN) in Somalia draws on interviews, field observations and meetings with over 70 stakeholders based in Nairobi, Kenya; Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia; and Dollow district on the Ethiopia-Kenya border. It was carried out between April and September 2018. The overarching question for the study is: ‘What opportunities exist to increase nutrition resilience through strengthening the Humanitarian Development Nexus (HDN)’. Nutrition resilience is defined as the ability to maintain adequate nutrition status when faced with ‘shock’. The HDN and its potential to strengthen nutrition resilience is examined on three levels: policies; frameworks, institutional architecture and financing arrangements; and programme design and implementation. Furthermore, the focus has been to look at basic social services resilience through a lens of systems building and/or health systems strengthening.

The case study report examines the current state of the humanitarian and development nexus (HDN) in Somalia and considers the means by which it could be strengthened. The report is part of a multi-country study on HDN through a nutrition lens. It was conducted by ENN in collaboration with the Federal Government of Somalia, the Somalia Nutrition Cluster and it’s key stakeholders and it is the second HDN study, following work already undertaken in Kenya. Further case studies are planned for 2019 after which a synthesis of key findings and recommendations will be developed.

The rationale and framework for a series of case studies on HDN is that an increasing number of countries are experiencing protracted crises (for example, Somalia has experienced crisis since 1991) and that repeated cycles of humanitarian programming have become the entrenched norm in these countries, with little prospect of transition and development.

The 2018 Global Nutrition Report states that “an estimated 86 per cent of international humanitarian assistance goes to long- and medium-term crisis affected countries”. This assistance is mostly in the form of short-term annual programming, which is unable to deliver the resilience-building required for crisis-affected populations to avoid deterioration in nutritional status. The purpose of strengthening the HDN is therefore to increase a population’s ability to withstand shocks, which should lead to a concomitant reduction in the need for repeated humanitarian support.

ENN has taken a simple conceptual approach to the case study work. The goal of strengthening the HDN is viewed as increased nutrition resilience to all types of shock (climate, conflict, political, etc.). Three enabling factors, each of which forms the basis of the main chapters in this report, are necessary to achieve this goal:

1. Policies, frameworks and institutional architecture at the interface of humanitarian and development activities;
2. Availability of ‘resilience-building’ financing; and
3. Sustainable nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive programming.


Read the full case study – ENN Online

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