Mission and goals:
SORADI is recognised as a centre of quality research, a hub of scholarly innovation and entrepreneurship, and an agent for the transfer of knowledge and harbinger of the democratic culture in the region. Its mission is to carry out activities that promote the democratisation and socio-economic development of Somaliland and the East-Horn African region.
SORADI has collaborated in its research activities and programs with other international and local institutions including: the Centre for Refugee Studies at York University in Toronto Canada on “Institutionalising Democracy in Somaliland: the Experience of Somaliland Democratic Institutions”, and the same named centre at MOI University in Kenya in collaboration with the Academy for Peace and Development (APD) in Hargeisa, on “Remittances in Politics and Democratization: Somaliland Case Study”, IS Academy on “ Governance without Government”. SORADI has also cooperated with IBTCI and USAID on Monitoring and Evaluation Program for Somalia(MEPS); IREX on Media sustainability Index; Centre for Socio-legal Studies at the University of Oxford on a Comparative Media Law and Policy programme, and Stanhope Centre (London School of Economics) to hold participatory workshops to assist local media outlets in formulating their own press code of conduct, and discussing the role of the media in elections, in light of the Kenyan experience of post-election violence.
SORADI works in close partnership with the Heinrich Boell Foundation (HBF-East Africa) on a three year programme on “Institutionalising Democracy and Strengthening Civil Society”. Through this programme, SORADI held its three Annual Conferences on Somaliland Development under different themes:
- Somaliland facing challenges of free and fair elections.
- Reflections on Somaliland’s two decades of state building and democratisation.
- Somaliland statehood, recognition and the on-going dialogue with Somalia.
The papers presented in these conferences have been published in 2010 and 2011, whilst the 2012 conference book is due to be published soon.
On the advocacy objective, SORADI sponsors the work of the Somaliland Independent Scholars Group (ISG). The group closely follows the current issues arising from the democratisation process, with particular interest in the Somaliland election. Since March 2009, the ISG has issued 21 situation papers all addressing a range of outstanding issues and offering recommendations for the way forward. The ISG disseminates its positions papers on diverse Somali language media outlets including newspapers, radios, news websites and TVs. The ISG also offers a source of objective, up-to-date and analytical information. Furthermore, the ISG often undertakes lobbying work among the political parties, the NEC, the parliament and the government for dialogue and consensus building, as well as for adopting measures promoting free and fair elections
SORADI’s bi-monthly public debates have had an impact on the national policy debate at different levels. A public forum debate titled “Challenges of local elections and the registration of new political organizations” has instigated a widespread debate in the country, and everyone from the president, political parties, the National Electoral Commission, civil society, and the youth have realised the importance of this issue. It has sparked interest in different actors and resulted in the opening of seven new political associations.