Somali Security & Justice Programme (SSJP I)

About the Project

SSJP supported police and strengthened justice systems across Somalia, (at federal, state and district levels of government) by strengthening security and justice delivery at the state level in a manner which builds trust between the state and communities and helps develop legitimate institutions and contributes to both state-building and peace-building. The foundation of this work of SSJP was built on the understanding that improved security and access to justice, through coordinated, accountable and effective policing and justice services, is critical to achieving Somalia’s stabilisation objectives: building state legitimacy, developing the social contract and deepening the political settlement. Asal was contracted, along with its lead partner Coffey International (now Tetra Tech), to enhance Security and Justice leadership, management and accountability in Somalia. This UK government-funded, UNOPS-managed project was implemented from May 2019 to July 2021.

SSJP worked in support of these objectives by focusing on leadership, management, accountability and strengthening linkages across the security and justice (S&J) sector. This applies both to enhancing the strategic oversight of policing and access to justice through the Regional Security Councils and Regional Security Offices, as well as building the capacity of the S&J institutions – and in some cases, the line ministries that oversee them. The geographical and institutional scope of the programme focused on security and justice institutions in three federal member states. Asal led on delivery against two out of three work streams in the program and implemented these in Southwest State, Jubbaland and Hirshabelle.


  • Workstream 1: “Strategic Capabilities”, focused on support to Regional Security Committees (RSCs) and Regional Security Offices (RSOs);


  • Workstream 2: “Access to Justice”, provided support to institutions within the formal justice system (primarily, the courts and Attorney General Offices (AGOs)).



Support to the Regional Security Offices improved coordination of the Regional Security Councils (RSCs), bringing together senior leadership across S&J at state level, representatives from AMISOM and Somali National Army, and contributed to the overall strengthening of the security architecture in the three FMSs. In advancing a culture of evidence-based security decision making by the RSC, RSO staff were upskilled in data analysis and report writing to better enable them to provide evidence-based technical advice to the RSCs. The development of digital dashboards allowed senior Security officials to view and interact with a wide range of information and data generated by the RSOs and enabled swift analysis of the rapidly changing security needs of different communities. Asal support to RSOs in development of a thorough threat assessment for the Federal Member States (FMS), provided a comprehensive understanding of the prevailing threats faced by each respective state, thereby empowering them to develop informed strategies grounded in evidence-based decision-making processes. This enabled the FMSs to effectively contribute to the revision of the Somali transition plan (STP) with a clear outline of the security needs of each state in carrying out an effective counter insurgency campaign.

Though strengthening the capabilities of formal courts in each FMS is a long-term effort, workflow mapping, identifying where practice diverged from legal procedures and supporting the judiciary to address some of these gaps were crucial in helping justice officials appreciate their current state against their desired state and work towards establishing administrative procedures. This allowed us to work hand in hand with the courts to address some of the procedural discrepancies through training of judges and clerks on criminal procedure; and the design of a pilot case management systems for the courts Baidoa and Kismayo to support efficiency and accountability in the justice chain.

Custody assessment tools were developed for the AGO and police to record basic information on detainees and the circumstances of their detention allow them to take proactive measures to assess, monitor and track whether appropriate remedial action was needed. Capacity building on case referrals/ case handling; protection of detainee rights and ensuring due process takes place within legally mandated timelines; and steps to preventing overcrowding in detention facilities was also provided. Asal helped establish a court user help desk in the Court of First Instance in Kismayo and technical and logistical support to judges and AGs to hold community outreach events to increase direct information sharing online and engagement with the public improved the accessibility and understanding of the formal justice pathways for citizens.

Our support to the political and judicial leadership of Southwest State in drafting and passing legislation for the creation of a Judicial Services Commission (JSC) to improve judicial accountability and judicial independence, resulted in an inclusively drafted and publicly consulted bill establishing the Judicial Services Commission of Southwest State.

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