Humanitarian Action in Somalia: Expanding Humanitarian Space
In line with the overarching objectives of the Refugee Studies Centre, this workshop aimed to bring together representatives from the communities of ‘Research, Policy and Practice’ for a constructive dialogue on the subject of humanitarian space in Somalia. The participants at the workshop reflected this and included academics with a wide range of specialities, policy advisors and representatives of donor governments, as well as staff from several humanitarian agencies. The workshop also included a number of representatives from the Somali diaspora community, Somali money transfer organisations and Islamic NGO’s working in Somalia, thereby enabling an important exchange of ideas from a wide range of perspectives. The specific aim of the workshop was to map out the main challenges facing humanitarian actors in Somalia, to examine the methods that such actors are using to address humanitarian needs in the country, and to consider how the humanitarian community might better expand humanitarian space through innovative approaches to both policy and practice. This workshop report follows the format of the workshop, providing a brief overview of the main challenges faced by humanitarian agencies and of the innovative methods used by these agencies to provide humanitarian relief in Somalia. The report then provides an overview of the role played by Islamic charities and the Somali diaspora, as well as the media, before finally presenting the main outcomes of the workshop and proposing possible ways forward.