Somalia - Support to the Durable Solutions Initiative (DSI)

In Somalia, more than 2.6 mio people are internally displaced. Switzerland contributes to the provision of durable solutions for these people in the region by enhancing the awareness and the capacity of all relevant humanitarian, development and state-building actors under the leadership of the Somali Government. By addressing the underlying causes of protracted displacement, the affected people are offered the perspective of integration and self-reliance rather than migration.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Forced displacement (refugees, IDP, human trafficking)
01.10.2018 - 30.09.2021
CHF  739’000

More than two decades of armed conflict and natural disasters in Somalia have resulted in 2.6 million people being displaced within the country. In a country that already ranks as the 154th poorest in the world, Somalia’s internally displaced persons (IDPs) are among the most vulnerable, with a majority facing chronic food insecurity, inadequate shelter, and heightened exposure to protection risks. The capacities of the various levels of Somali Government are still weak in order to fully take a lead in addressing the needs of displaced populations.

The Durable Solutions Initiative (DSI) was launched in 2016 by the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator (DSRSG/RC/HC), to promote durable solutions in Somalia and support the implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP). The objective of the DSI is to attain durable improvement of living situations and livelihoods of displacement affected communities and citizens through area-based, rights-driven and bottom up approaches providing innovative multi-sector solutions.

Objectives Displacement affected communities achieve better socio-economic inclusiveness and become more self-reliant.
Target groups
  1. Displacement affected  communities
  2. Government at federal, sub-federal and local level
  3. UN agencies
  4. INGO & NGOs
  5. Donors
Medium-term outcomes

The framework and principles of durable solutions are further developed in a collective way by all relevant humanitarian, development, peace-building and state actors, and mainstreamed in their own operational programming

Government at federal, sub-federal and local level owns and drives the agenda of durable solutions and ensures coordination of different interventions


Expected results:  

  • A policy or strategy on internal displacement covering durable solutions is developed at federal level and displacement issues are taken into account when relevant policies or documents are developed.
  • An inter-ministerial body at federal level in charge of coordinating displacement-related interventions is established.
  • The Migration, Displacement and Durable Solutions Sub-Working Group is well functioning.
  • Joint programmes on durable solutions are implemented and up-scaled on the ground with government leadership: durable solutions are mainstreamed in relevant interventions.
  • Processes and plans pertaining to durable solutions at regional and national level (e.g. National Development Plan, Recovery and Resilience Framework, CRRF) are harmonized.

Results from previous phases:  

Before this first phase, the Swiss humanitarian Aid had supported targeted interventions between 2016 and 2018, which led to the elaboration of this current phase, presented in a more comprehensive manner. Results:

  • DSI has been recognized as the main implementation instrument of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) in Somalia.
  • 5 missions of the Special Advisor on IDPs to the DSRSG/RC/HC for Somalia, Walter Kälin, have resulted in the definition of (a) characteristics of durable solutions in the Somali context, (b) displacement, scope and objectives of the DSI and (c) key recommendations to the Government of Somalia and the international community (on normative, institutional and programmatic level).
  • Three Swiss strategic secondments to the Resident Coordinator’s Office (RCO) and UN-Habitat Somalia have been instrumental in contributing to improve the understanding of the concept of durable solutions and stakeholders’ coordination, as well to set up the framework for the DSI.
  • Joint programmes in support of durable solutions have been developed and piloted within the UN and with NGOs using government-led and community-driven consultations processes.
  • The Swiss support of the DSI has been one of the key drivers of policy dialogue and advocacy among relevant stakeholders at donor level.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Private sector
United Nations Organization (UNO)
  • Foreign private sector South/East
  • United Nations Development Programme

Other partners
Government at federal, sub-federal and local level, UNHCR, IOM, UNHabitat, UNDP, IGAD, WB, DRC, Redss, BRCiS, NGO Consortium
Coordination with other projects and actors This contribution complements, in a more systemic and process-oriented approach, SDC’s humanitarian and development support to displacement affected communities: ICRC, WFP, SHF, SomReP, Somali NGO Consortium, MdM, etc.
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    739’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    649’561