Reconciliation and Federalism Support Project (REFS) for Somalia


The Reconciliation and Federalism Support Project (2018-2021) (hereon referred to as REFS) has been developed in response to, and aligned with, the highest priorities of the National Development Plan (NDP), particularly as set out in Chapters II and VI. The REFS Project aims to support the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and the Federal State Administrations in achieving the Policy Priorities (PP) of the NDP. The REFS contributes to the goal of Inclusive Politics “Achieve a stable and peaceful federal Somalia through inclusive political processes and effective decentralization”. The project also contributes to NDP(PP) specifically PP11 “Develop a solid federal political and executive framework that empowers the federal member states to deliver services and economic opportunities to the citizens of Somalia in a secure environment”; The current NDP agenda for achieving inclusive politics comprises ‘democratization, finalizing the Constitution, and decentralization’; implementing the federation process. The NDP policy seeks to reach political agreement on the principles that underlie the distribution of roles and responsibilities over the three tiers of government and to translate these political agreements into executive (management) arrangements throughout the government structures. Chapter VI of the NDP is the public-sector management chapter, with a clear focus on the core of government functionalities, including development of the civil service, administrative reforms, human resource management, and improved government coordination mechanisms. The project concurrently supports the priorities identified in the NDP Pillar Working Groups and the recently drafted ‘Political Roadmap for Inclusive Politics’.


The purpose of this project is to support the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and the Federal Member States (FMS) to implement their chosen method of State Administration and Federalism process through need based political settlement, boundary delimitation and reconciliation process. The project will consolidate State formation efforts to build and harmonise the emerging federal system in the FGS and the FMS, ensuring alignment with the objectives of the New Partnership for Somalia (NPS) and the NDP. The presence of the State on the territory of Somalia is being reestablished in the context of a new three-tiered federal system which includes the FGS, the FMS and district level administration. Consolidating State building process can be achieved, in part through translating constitutional provisions for allocation of powers and resources into appropriate administrative arrangements (as currently set out in Article 50; support to clarifying administrative responsibilities and the development of appropriate primary and secondary legislation; leveraging aid management and coordination of external support to support these arrangements; ensuring that the State has the operational capability to do its job; and support to reconciling interest groups in disputes concerning administrative management of the state. Ultimately the aim of the project is to support the government to establish government administrative machinery that can really begin to deliver improved services. The project will support the government to establish a governance machinery that is well-structured and well-managed, has legitimacy in the eyes of the citizens and is geared up to provide the services citizens expect.

The expected project outcome is: “The Federal administration is better managed, more organised, more capable, more accountable and responsive for the Somali people”. In addition, it is expected that there will improved coherence in the international community’s support for developing the federal system and public administration of Somalia.

The impact of the programme will be: “A stable and peaceful Somalia, where citizens freely engage socially, economically and politically, and where conditions are met to sustainably improve the quality of life”.

The link between outcome and impact will occur if the citizens of Somalia increasingly value and engage with the (social, economic, political and security) services the government in Somalia is providing in collaborative arrangements with non-public sector actors. Hence, not only the quantity of services is important, but also the quality and that they are delivered in a manner that is commensurate with the expectations of the citizens.As the value, relevance and effectiveness of the Administration’s capabilities grow, the government will be perceived as more relevant and useful for citizens, and thus more legitimate.



December 2018


December 2022






United Nations Development Programme


Climate Analytics

Peacebuilding Fund

UNDP Funding Windows


United Nations Multi Partner Trust Fund for Somalia









Full Project information