Workshop on Building Inclusive Democracy for Displaced People in Puntland, Somalia

Bareedo Platform conducted a one-day workshop on Building Inclusive Democracy for Displaced People in Somalia on Monday, March 4. A total of 48 participants from different regions of State of Puntland in Somalia, including some from Las’anod City (Khaatumo Administration), representing local nonprofit organizations, and some from government institutions, participated in the workshop.

Mr. Sharmarke Yusuf and Mr. Abdikhayr Hussein, two senior members of Bareedo Platform Somalia, facilitated the workshop.

“This is a platform developed by People Powered, the Global Hub for Participatory Democracy, and a consortium of local and national organizations, which the Bareedo Platform includes. There are about six courses on the platform, and all are available. But we are going to focus on and study the course Building Inclusive Democracy for Displaced People.” Said Mr. Sharmake Yusuf

The participants introduced the online platform which they only needed to sign up by clicking the green button, put their basic information in the box, and start the learning journey.

The participants were introduced to and engaged in online self-paced training courses collected on a knowledge platform developed by People Powered and a consortium of local and national organizations where all relevant stakeholders and individuals can learn more about how to make participatory and deliberative processes more inclusive. The participants engaged in one of the six courses on the online learning platform, which is “Building Inclusive Democracy for Displaced People.”

The Bareedo team provided the participants with guidance as they signed up and registered at Building Inclusive Democracy Online Training, following a brief informative introduction session about the online learning platform courses and how to access the platform. Through a well-designed online Displaced Course, the participants learned about displaced people worldwide, defining the specific terminologies for the familiarity of the course. The participants learned the term “displaced,” which stands for different groups of people.

Throughout the introduction of the course, there were particular examples of Somalia’s displacement of people, related policies, and national strategies, as well as participants engagement in participatory discussions regarding the strategies to include in participatory and deliberative processes.

The participants were asked to present their understanding and experience of the term displaced. Mr. Abdikhayr Hussein, who has strong experience in displacement and has worked in the sector, briefly shared the different groups that fall under the term displaced.

“There are about three displaced groups: IDP, refugees, and immigrants. The first group is the internally displaced people, who are people forced to leave their homes but who remain within their country’s borders. The second group of refugees are people who have lost the protection of their country of origin and who cannot or are unwilling to return there due to a well-founded fear of persecution. The third group are immigrants, who are people living in a country other than that of their birth.” Said Abdikhayr Hussein

As part of the course contents, they also discussed the challenges and promising solutions, including the case studies regarding the inclusion of displaced people in decision-making and the possible outcomes of the total inclusion of displaced people. The participants discussed the deliberative process of total inclusion of displaced people in decision-making and the barriers and roadblocks that limit the participation of displaced people in the decision-making process and social services. 

Furthermore, the participants reflected on the possible solutions that exist in the country. Comparing those possible solutions presented by the course, the participants highlighted that there is a need for local reintegration through providing proper shelter and resettlement, as the displaced communities in Somalia are continuously affected by droughts, flooding, and also recent conflicts in the Sool region. They shared and received an informative process for implementing successful interventions when addressing building inclusive democracy for displaced people.

Participants were most interested in key strategies to promote the inclusion of displaced people, challenges and solutions in democratic strategies, and ensuring active participation, where the participants have had time to practice and discuss the implementation of an impactful inclusive democracy for displaced people and explore practical insights that empower them to undertake a lasting impact. 

The participants discussed the most common challenges that face displaced people in Somalia and highlighted some points, including the fact that displaced people in Puntland have a shortage of food, healthy access, education, and shelter. The participants emphasized that the most vulnerable displaced people are living in congested and informal settlements on the outskirts of the cities.

There have been some important comments regarding the platform and the course raised by the participants, which Bareedo Platform will share with People Powered.

After completing the online course, the participants were able to download the completion certificate for the courses, indicating their completion of the displaced course on the platform.