Organisation Internationale de Droit du Développement

Empowering communities through Alternative Dispute Resolution Centres in Somalia

Mardi, avril 30, 2024
30 April 2024

At Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Centres in Somalia, community-run customary and informal justice mechanisms are helping to resolve civil disputes and minor offenses through a panel of adjudicators.

In a new issue brief, Inclusive Practices in Alternative Dispute Resolution: Delivering People-Centred Justice in Somalia, IDLO draws on its experience providing technical support and capacity development to 15 ADR Centres in Somalia to shed light on the ADR Centres’ operational model and offer key recommendations for strengthening their inclusiveness.

This includes recommendations on boosting the inclusion of women and young people. Under the ADR Somalia programme, women comprise 22% of ADR Centre adjudicators, with six Centres having a woman Deputy Chair and 86% of them employing women community paralegals. The presence of women in these adjudicating roles has contributed to increasing women’s participation during the hearing process and ensuring more gender-sensitive outcomes. Since women paralegals were brought on board, women now make up 50% of the ADR Centres’ justice seekers.

The Deputy Chair of the ADR Centre in the district of Beledweyne in Hirshabelle State, a woman named Dahara, has resolved over 100 cases since joining the Centre two years ago.

“The experience I gained from working with the ADR programme has further enhanced my skills and services for the community,” Dahara told IDLO. “The programme recognized and elevated our status as women within the community.”

Over a period of 15 months, the IDLO-supported ADR Centres received and managed 5,433 cases, with more than 11,000 Somalis directly benefitting from the dispute resolution services and referrals. The Centres also delivered legal awareness sessions to more than 5,000 Somalis including internally displaced persons (IDPs) and local communities in ADR Centre neighbourhoods.

The ADR Somalia programme was implemented by IDLO from January 2019 to December 2021 and from July 2022 to September 2023 in partnership with Somalia’s Federal Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs (MOJ) and the MOJs of the Federal Member States of Galmudug, Hirshabelle, Jubaland, Puntland and Southwest, and supported by the Government of the Netherlands.

Read more about IDLO-supported ADR Centres in the new issue brief, Inclusive Practices in Alternative Dispute Resolution: Delivering People-Centred Justice in Somalia.