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ORGANIZATIONAL CAPACITY STATEMENT:

Somalia is a challenging and volatile environment to work in. As a result of this, Somalia’s humanitarian crisis remains one of the largest and most complex in the world. Nearly half of the country’s population is constantly in need of immediate life-saving and livelihood support. This risky operating environment means that humanitarian and development organizations are compelled to be at par with the changing and multifaceted context, thus the need for organizations to conduct systematic reviews, reflections and capacity appraisals.
Regular capacity and context assessments as well as monitoring of program activities ensure quality program management and service delivery and most importantly ensuring that aid is reaching the intended beneficiaries. SOLO as one of the humanitarian actors in the Horn of Africa believes in the significance of such continuous capacity appraisal; and therefore conducts periodic reflections and reviews of its mission, principles, values, policies and achievements. The following are some of the key institutional faculties and capacities of Somali Lifeline Organization (SOLO).

1. OPERATIONAL AND LOGISTICAL CAPACITY

SOLO has the mandate to work in the East and Horn of Africa regions. Presently, SOLO has operations in Somaliland, Puntland and Jubaland regions where it has implemented dozens of projects aimed at improving the quality of life of the communities with specific focus on youth, women, children, internally displaced persons (IDPs), urban livelihoods, pastoralists, agropastoralist and minorities.
In recognition of the need for key infrastructure to support its operations and enhance the effectiveness of staff in executing their mandate effectively, SOLO has over six field offices in different parts of Somalia/Somaliland including a coordination and liaison office in Nairobi, Kenya. SOLO’s offices are fully
equipped with tools of work such desktop computers/laptops thus making it easy for implementation of projects as well as reporting from the field. For enhanced communication, SOLO’s offices have Internet connectivity while in the off-grid locations; the field offices have generators/solar panels, which are used to generate electricity for purposes of powering the electronic equipment in these offices.

2. LEARNING & KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT

SOLO is dedicated to Knowledge Management and Learning purely for organization development; quality program management and delivery. The organization regularly identifies and incorporates the lessons learned
into its future program plans and strategies. This has made SOLO gained experience as well as strengthened its internal capabilities and aptitude to program design and implementation in order to achieve its overall goals
and mandate.
SOLO exploits integrated program design and implementation approach with gender equity being a key and basic consideration. SOLO has a Monitoring and Evaluation framework that ensures both process and impact monitoring aspects throughout the Project Cycle Management (PCM). SOLO’s M&E
tools and protocols (assessments, project inception workshops, baseline surveys, mid term reviews and final evaluation) are routinely updated.

3. ACCESS & COMMUNITY ACCEPTANCE

Safe and predictable access is a fundamental pre-requisite to effective humanitarian and development programming. In Somalia, particularly South and Central Somalia and pocket areas in the North i.e. Sool and Sanag regions, humanitarian actors’ ability to reach people affected by crisis, as well as affected people’s ability to access humanitarian assistance and services is severely constrained. Due to lack of safe, unimpeded and predictable access, humanitarian partners in Somalia have found it difficult to establish operations, move goods and personnel where they are needed, implement distributions, and provide services.

At any stage of the Project Cycle Management SOLO ensures that community/local authority involvement and participation is actively sought. This promotes local community and structures ownership of our programs and makes the diversion of aid less likely. It furthermore ensures that the provision of assistance directly correlates with the needs of the affected populations.

In practice, SOLO has found that our work with local communities enhances the protection of our programmes in Somalia/Somaliland. The communities act as the principal buffer against demands made by external elements. Through their representatives, they put relentless pressure upon the local authorities to allow the NGOs to work freely. Armed factions are often fearful of isolating local communities and have often found themselves to be accountable to communities for any actions that threaten to divert resources or undermine the welfare of the collective group.
SOLO has worked closely with communities in Somalia/Somaliland making significant progress to address the needs of the most vulnerable populations in the war-torn country. As a result of SOLO projects, families have been able receive the much needed life-saving assistance in times of crisis and this has contributed to improved well being of the recipients of such assistance and thus the foundation of SOLO good rapport with communities we work with. SOLO has adopted all inclusive and participatory approach in working with communities, to foster peaceful co-existence; ownership and sustainability of
our intervention strategies.

6. RISK MANAGEMENT MATRIX

All SOLO programs have the risk analysis and mitigation measures component. In consultation with its donors and other stakeholders, SOLO continuously addresses the issue of accountability of assistance and have
developed systems that to ensure aid and development assistance is making its way to the targeted communities in need. During the project cycle, SOLO uses various monitoring mechanisms to ensure programs meet global
quality standards. These include consistent and detailed information-sharing, use of technology such as GPS, photographs and mobile phones, real-time evaluations and peer reviews. SOLO encourages the use of evaluations by community structures to monitor and report on programs in the field.

These independent local resource persons play a very critical role in program management and fosters ownership as well sustainability of our programs Through such different of levels of monitoring and triangulation data, SOLO senior leadership is able to confirm whether aid is given to those most in need. Also this ensures bottom–up accountability (i.e. both our donors and to beneficiary communities). This consultation
processes have been good indicators that also determine who is most in need and who should benefit from a particular project resource package. With these combinations of innovation approaches and tactics, SOLO has been able to build good relationship with communities we work with and our donors, and invariably encouraging SOLO to responsibly scale up its life saving and resilience strategies in Somalia/land.

4. COORDINATION WITH OTHER STAKEHOLDERS

SOLO is committed to enhance coordination of humanitarian interventions to maximize the impact of such assistance. The organization actively participates in the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) cluster coordination forums including water and sanitation, emergency livelihoods, shelter, protection, food security and nutrition and health. At the grass root, SOLO has a good relationship with local communities, local authorities, and international humanitarian agencies working in its areas of operation. The core strategy that underpins SOLO implementation of programs in Somalia/Somaliland is the recognition that as the main stakeholder, communities are the entry point for any intervention and therefore, SOLO works closely with all communities irrespective of their origin, clan or sub-clan, livelihood status, and political affiliation. Partnership with target communities in all SOLO interventions is guided by a participatory, transparent and accountable process in the entire project cycle-identification of needs assessment, analysis, formulation & design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

This nurtures a strong sense of ownership and sustainability. Accordingly, SOLO has cultivated positive relationships with local authorities of different persuasions as well as traditional and religious leaders. Local authorities are regularly updated on project progress and occasionally participate in project monitoring. This ensures that they are adequately informed on our programs’ objectives and activities irrespective of their administrative capacity.

Furthermore, SOLO maintains good collaboration & cooperation with other Stakeholders working in the area implementing similar or different activities. This helps in creating synergy between different interventions. SOLO works and maintains partnerships for community development support with UN agencies, International NGOs; Local NGOs and Community based organizations (CBOs), Donors and relevant Line Ministries such as: Ministry of Health, Ministry of Water and Mineral Resources, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Gender and Family Affairs, Ministry of Youth and Sports, and UN led Clusters: WASH Cluster, Health Cluster, Education Cluster, Food Security Cluster, Nutrition Cluster and Protection Cluster.

5. HUMAN RESOURCE CAPACITY

SOLO has good number of professional discipline of full-time and part-time personnel that delivers diverse functions within its different departments. Currently the organization has over 30 regular staff (50% of the staff are female). SOLO emphasize that our local staff came from the local communities and these staff have an open-door policy to one and all in the community in which they lived and serve. This sense of integration enhances staff and program security and sustainability.

Our staff has the necessary departmental skills and has worked with the organization since its establishment. Thus most of these staff have excellent institutional memory and are now scattered across many areas where
SOLO has programs. With this capacity, the organization is therefore able to mobilize and assign key staff to run the proposed project with success.

6. RISK MANAGEMENT MATRIX

All SOLO programs have the risk analysis and mitigation measures component. In consultation with its donors and other stakeholders, SOLO continuously addresses the issue of accountability of assistance and have
developed systems that to ensure aid and development assistance is making its way to the targeted communities in need. During the project cycle, SOLO uses various monitoring mechanisms to ensure programs meet global
quality standards. These include consistent and detailed information-sharing, use of technology such as GPS, photographs and mobile phones, real-time evaluations and peer reviews.

SOLO encourages the use of evaluations by community structures to monitor and report on programs in the field. These independent local resource persons play a very critical role in program management and fosters ownership as well sustainability of our programs Through such different of levels of monitoring and triangulation data, SOLO senior leadership is able to confirm whether aid is given to those most in need. Also this ensures bottom–up accountability (i.e. both our donors and to beneficiary communities). This consultation
processes have been good indicators that also determine who is most in need and who should benefit from a particular project resource package. With these combinations of innovation approaches and tactics, SOLO has been able to build good relationship with communities we work with and our donors, and invariably encouraging SOLO to responsibly scale up its life saving and resilience strategies in Somalia/land.

7. SOLO POLICIES AND FRAMEWORKS

To provide timely guidance and direction to the organization staff and clients, SOLO’s Board of Directors has facilitated the development and operationalization of the following policies and manuals:

 Organization Constitution and by-laws.
  HR and Staff Manual/Finance & Procurement Policy
Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Framework,
Gender Strategy Paper