One of the Stability Fund’s objectives is to support ‘legitimate, viable governance structures’. This phrase, which fails the plain English test, belies some of the subtlety and thinking that went into its formulation.
We talk about ‘governance structures’ rather than ‘government’ to reflect the range of organisations the Stability Fund can work with. Yes, this includes the Federal Government of Somalia, the governments in Puntland and Jubbaland, and emerging federal states such as South-West State. But it also means district administrations, village and community councils and even private sector organisations.
And we talk about ‘legitimate’ and ‘viable’ knowing that there are multiple (and often conflicting) views in Somalia about which particular elements of Somali governance have the local acceptance and ability to take and enact decisions that affect people’s lives. These are critical factors the Stability Fund considers when making decisions about its governance projects: is the structure in question legitimate and viable enough for the Fund to consider supporting it, and what effect in turn will the proposed support have on the legitimacy and viability of that structure?
This edition of the newsletter focuses on some of the Stability Fund’s core governance projects – at federal, federal state and district levels. On top of the self-evident technical and practical challenges of these projects, questions about viability and legitimacy of the governance structures concerned have remained at the forefront of the Stability Fund’s thinking throughout.