PDRC is a successor body of former War-torn Societies Project International (WSPI), which operated in Puntland during 1997–99. On October 30, 1999, the center was founded as a Local Non-Governmental Organization (LNGO), governed by a Board of Directors (BoD) of seven members. The Board, also called “Founders”, consists of five men and two ladies. The present director, Abdurahman Abdulle Osman (Shuke), then became the first executive director of organization.
Founders lobby for fund-raising and promote Puntland Development Research Center’s policies and programmes. The founders also conduct/arrange meetings to review the organization’s performance and guide future programmes.
- To participate, as actor and beneficiary, in peace building and reconstruction of Somalia; and
- To contribute to the creation of a democratic system of government, economic and social development, and respect of human rights for all, based on equality of all citizens.
- To contribute to peace, human security, and development in the reconstruction and development of Puntland and other regions of Somalia.
- To provide a neutral forum for peace-building and reconciliation through dialogue among key actors (government authorities, civil society, private sector, and international development actors)
- To assist in the identification of reconstruction problems and priorities facing the Puntland government and its people
- To develop possible strategies and options for future development, and for efficient utilization of resources
THE CENTER PREMISES
Puntland Regional Administration, in late 2000, had donated 3,500 square meters of land with its rundown physical structures and leased to PDRC for 50 years. The facility, consisting of a single building that hosted both the administration and programme, was renovated through the contributions of the following organizations: WSPI -US$23,000, Puntland Diaspora US$10,000 and Diakonia (A Swedish NGO) US$ 6,000.
The construction of a modern and spacious Meeting Hall, Meeting and training rooms complete with necessary equipment, and a library facility have been added to the physical structures of the organization. The center hosts and continues to accommodate almost all major conferences and other events that take place in the area both at local and national levels.
PDRC program comprise of two main components:
- Public policy dialogue ––discussion forums at PDRC as a neutral body to promote peace, reconciliation, good governance, gender issues, and respect for human rights.
- Engaging and training of social scientists teams ––training to create a sustainable research institution in Puntland.
The center has adopted “Participatory Action Research – (PAR)” as a strategic tool for peace-building, reconstruction, development, and democratization of government systems, both traditional and modern. PDRC conducted wide-ranging Participatory Action Research (PAR) throughout Puntland, leading to a build-up of confidence, ownership of processes and, above all, consensus on issues discussed.
The main product of WSPI programme, ahead of the birth of PDRC: “Rebuilding Somalia: Issues and Possibilities for Puntland”; became the basis of reflection and reference for the newly established organization. The following years, through close cooperation with International Organizations, the local community and the Puntland Administration, the center steadily progressed by realizing vital and genuine exertions for the area. The following timeline of PDRC activities represents obvious evidence and source of verification:
2000: In this year, PDRC, taking advantage of WSPI’s experience, has carried out the following activities:
- Conducted interactive research on “Personnel Mine and other Explosives (De-mining-EXO)” under the auspices of Somali Civil Protection Programme – SCPP of United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
- Facilitated two workshops for Food Security Assessment Unit (FSAU) on drought prevention and preparedness.
- Facilitated a workshop on “The Water Sector Task Force: Toward a Water Policy and Institutional Framework,” jointly organized by SAWA, an international EU sponsored NGO specialized in water sector and Puntland Ministry of Public Works (Garowe, September). The workshop led to the establishment of: Puntland Water Policy and Strategy.
2001: This year marked the onset of Puntland constitutional crisis, between the then administration and opposition groups. The center, thus implemented the Puntland Peace Mission (PPM) that aimed at preventing the escalation of hostilities and saving the area from disintegration. The mission, under the sponsorship of some international organizations and Puntland Diaspora, organized peace rallies across the whole area and shuttled between the main protagonists of the crisis.
Other activities in this year included:
- Conducted interactive research on “Demobilization and Integration of Militia and Armed Groups”. Funded under the auspices of the Somali Civil Protection Program – SCPP/UNPD, a comprehensive report, which now serves as a reliable reference material, was produced.
- Conducted an interactive participatory research into the “Harmonization of Legal Codes” (Customary, Sharia, and Secular) in Puntland, as part of a broader civil protection program under the auspices of Diakonia-Swedish, an INGO, and UNDP, the output of which: Pastoral Justice-Book One; Four workshops on the issue with total participants of 199 (30% were female). In August 2001, Puntland Development Research Center completed construction of new, permanent premises in Garowe, including office space, training rooms, and conference feasibilities, that had significantly contributed to the Research Center’s sustainability.
- PDRC conducted, on contract from Diakonia, an evaluation on the Puntland Community College, a two-year tertiary education college for management and administration. The output is the present flourishing “Puntland State University” (former PCC). The center’s Reading Team participated in the assessment of the draft “Human Development Report 2001” under a UNDP contract. Mark Bradbury, the study coordinator and consultant, in his final “thank you” email said: “The contribution from PDRC was particularly impressive”.
2002: The center activities were hampered by the tense political and security situations that prevailed in Puntland. However, the center carried out:
- Second Phase of “Harmonization of Somali Legal Traditions,” – Book Two; the programme was funded by Diakonia.
- One survey and four workshops: Total participants: 300 (100 women).
2003: Based on the above surveys and the subsequent workshops, the center implemented the Judiciary Training Program. The programme was funded by UNDP through the partnership with Diakonia and the Center. In October 2003 through to December – 2004: 45 judges were trained. Also during this year the center started the implementation of the following works (most of these
were completed in year 2004:
- Produced a Socio-economic Assessment on Puntland: funded by World Bank and UNDP.
- Conducted a Conflict Analysis Framework (CAF) Study for World Bank.
- Continued to implement the final components of the Judiciary Training Program. Funded by United
- Nations Development Program (UNDP) through Diakonia.
2004: Both the capacity and experience of the organization had matured enough for it to implement more sophisticated and fashionable programmes. Through the partnership with WSPI, the center started the implementation of an ambitious Project: “Dialogue for Peace – DfP”. In early this year a “Conflict Mapping Exercise” was done, whereby four Entry Points (EP), that required in-depth research were identified: 1) Democratization of Puntland Political System, 2) The Public revenue Management, 3) Consolidation of 1993 Mudug Peace Agreement and 4) National Reconciliation.
In October 2004, the president of Puntland becomes the president the Transitional Federal Republic (TFG) of Somalia, which was born in Nairobi, Kenya. This had threatened to create a dangerous power vacuum in Puntland. Luckily, PDRC and WSP agreed to collaborate on an initiative for a series of groundbreaking regional conflict resolution efforts as part of the Dialogue for Peace programme. A general community elder’s conference was convened in PDRC’s Main Hall. The then vice president , H.E. Mohamed Abdi Hashi, and the director of the center, Shuke, addressed the meeting and urged the elders to defuse the tension. The conference paved the way for a smooth transition that led to the election of former opposition leader as president who, in forming his new cabinet, had accommodated both his and old regime supporters. (Picture 1: Puntland vice President addressing the Titled Traditional Elder’s Conference at PDRC Conference Hall).
In December 2004, PDRC jointly with Center for Research and development (CRD) and with the support of WSPI held the National Project Group Meeting in Nairobi, Kenya. This meeting gathered various actors of the Somali reconciliation process. Members of the Transitional Federal Institutions (TFI), representatives of Puntland community as well as those of South Central regions communities met in Nairobi to identify the major TFI challenges that might require in-depth research and analysis. Several prominent political figures took part in this meeting that became an eye -opening for the just born transitional federal government of Somalia and an opportunity for other participants to discuss controversial national issues vis-à-vis the ongoing national reconciliation process. (Picture 2: The Somali Prime Minister, Mathias and Shuke and other distinguished personalities in group photo at the closing ceremony in Nairobi).
2005: The Dialogue for Peace Project – continued to progressively develop, where a number of workshops on the selected “Entry Points” and other related activities, such as:
- The arrangement and hosting of the Media Forum. Here the administration and the media had settled their differences.
- Facilitated and provided a neutral space to the Puntland independent parliamentary selections committee, and
- Participated in the materialization of Puntland presidential elections.
In this year another major project was launched in Puntland. In partnership with Saferworld, an international NGO based in Britain, PDRC started the implementation of Non-state Actors Project. The aim of the project is the:
– Institutionalization and establishment of representative body of NSA groups, and
– Improvement and strengthening of relationships among the stakeholders (Government, Donors and NSA).
2006: During the first half of the year, the Dialogue for Peace (DfP) continued to finalize the products of Phase – I, while the Non-State Actors project continued to evolve its activities towards the establishment of a Puntland Non-State-Actor’s Forum.
The final products on the researched entry points have been completed and three main documents published in December. In fact, the publications:
- Funding the Future
- Roots for Good Governance, and
- Peace-building at the Cross-roads
were distributed to the public during the launching of the DfP-II in January 2008. The launching of the phase II coincided with the launching of new name for WSPI as Interpeace (The International Peace-building Alliance). The event took place in Garowe at PDRC main Conference Hall. The Director General of Interpeace, Mr. Scott Webber, The Interpeace Eastern Africa and the great Lakes director Mr. Jerry McCann and his regional office senior staff members were present at the ceremony. Among other dignitaries that attended the ceremony included the Vice president of Puntland Administration, government ministers, community elders and the selected active members of working groups and other resourceful personalities. There the ongoing democratization of Puntland political system was also launched. Both the public and the government.
- Major events, other than the Dialogue for Peace or the Non-state Actors project that took place in this period included the hosting of a number of Joint Needs Assessment (JNA) workshops, which concluded in a large validation meeting that was held at PDRC in July.
- The adoption of Country Strategy Paper (CSP): The EU, the Administration and the NSAs have jointly reviewed and adopted the 2008-2011 cooperation plan.
2007: Conclusion of Dialogue for Peace (DfP) phase I and the start of Phase II.
- Launching of DfP II and Interpeace – January
- Launching of Decentralization Pilot Programme: Selected Districts are Galdogob, Burtinle, Boa’me, B/Bayla, Uffain and Bargaal. For over eighteen (18) months, the executives of these districts received training on management, community participation and local policy development.
- Completion of Peace Mapping Project – Mapping the Local and National Peace initiatives in Puntland .
- PDRC has succeeded to establish a sustainable Audio Video facility (AV) that continuously produces documentary films on projects activities and other issues of public interest. The AV facility is as well utilized by the Administration, International Organizations and local NGOs for documenting their activities and endeavours.
2007-8: Phase II – Dialogue for Peace – Peace mapping – main Product – Puntland Experience: From Bottom up Approach to Peace and State Building. Document is available at PDRC (Garowe) or At Galkayo Satellite Office in (Galkayo); also available at www.pdrcsomalai.org .
2009-2010: The Pillars of Peace Programme (On-going) – Main Pillars:
- Security and Rule of Law
- Decentralization – Towards Good Governance
- Democratization of Puntland Political System – Engagement of CSO into the democratization Process.
For further information on PDRC, please contact:
Garowe, Puntland, Somalia