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Somali communities' usage highlights the need for CFM' independence and inclusivity

April 9, 2024
April 9, 2024
 2024 Balance Amid Funding Crisis 

Somalia Trends and Analysis

Report for January to March 2024

If you prefer to download the pdf version of the report click here.

Executive summary

Throughout the reporting period, Loop published 580 pieces of feedback despite the closure of its line since February. The predominant feedback type was requests for assistance which reflects ongoing challenges faced by communities, particularly in the aftermath of floods in areas already affected by long periods of drought. Many authors were from very vulnerable populations including female headed households with high numbers of children/ orphans, people living with disabilities etc.

Sensitive reports received by Loop totaled 123 in this period, covering a range of issues including protection, corruption, and service-level complaints. Notably, corruption allegations were widespread, including ongoing concerns regarding aid diversion and discrimination. Acknowledgment of receipt of sensitive reports and accountability from recipient organisations, from the data available to Loop, remains low. 

Men reported more corruption while women tended to report more protection and GBV. There were more reports of corruption from South Central and in Mogadishu specifically. The scale of the feedback into Loop continued to increase throughout January for both open and Sensitive feedback, spread primarily through word of mouth from community to community.

Status Update

Loop had started to share regular reports on trends seen in the feedback and sensitive reporting coming into the platform in Somalia, to raise the voices of communities across Somalia directly with decision makers. Feedback can all also be found on the Talk to Loop open platform

Sadly, in this quarter Loop had to go into hibernation and stop receiving feedback for a range of reasons specific to Somalia and the wider Loop operation. To start with, we had difficulty delivering on project-based funding. As communities increasingly used Loop outside of specific projects, our technology and mobile network costs increased above available budgets. While this is a success indicator it left us vulnerable with few flexible funds.  

In addition, the host organisation received threats from some actors who received sensitive reports from Loop, with questions about the authenticity and how Loop might use the data. As such the Governing Board of the host organisation decided that we could not tag organisations until some of these security issues could be better managed. 

Finally, we continued to see a very low rate of acknowledgement of receipt of sensitive reports from a range of different actors and also a very low response rate to communities through the open platform. This resulted in some communities asking Loop why we were not being accountable and following up directly. We took the difficult decision to close down the line temporarily, to reassess the design structure and how we can come back stronger and more able to navigate the pushback and concerns raised.  As such the Loop reverse call, free short code number (2023) is now not receiving calls. 

In the 18 months Loop was operational in Somalia we learnt that it can: provide a secure and accessible channel for reporting of sensitive issues; enable engagement with vulnerable communities; and overcome barriers to reporting. Partnerships and awareness raising campaigns proved effective in promoting feedback and sensitive reporting, highlighting the importance of collaboration in enhancing community engagement. For example two projects with UNICEF and the SEA Cluster. As per the graph below, we see rapid growth in use by communities.

Figure 1: Timeline of Loop’s operations in Somalia Jan 2023 - Feb 2024

Loop aims to resume operations and strengthen partnerships with local NGOs and minority-led organisations to ensure inclusive engagement of vulnerable groups in accountability processes. We hope to recommence with stronger partnerships and credibility as a collective mechanism with strong endorsements from donors and active partnerships with key implementing stakeholders across Somalia. We plan to align our data points with the CEA emerging Interoperable Common Analysis approach. A draft of this report will be available in the coming week as a first test of the proposed approach and our ability to align.

Since the announcement of our hibernation, Loop has received widespread support and interest in learning about our journey. People want to better understand why a platform which was accepted and receiving feedback and sensitive reports, including SEA, from a wide range of communities, including minority groups and survivors, was not able to be sustained and integrated into the humanitarian architecture long term. It needs to be acknowledged that building knowledge, trust and awareness takes time, which we could not at this stage afford.

For example: 

Loop's role in facilitating communication between communities and humanitarian actors remains critical in addressing the issues of SEA, GBV and fraud and corruption. Despite challenges, Loop continues to share learnings, document approaches and focus on addressing issues to maximise impact, and foster accountability in the aid sector. 

We would like to thank the partnership and support from Kulmis and SDC throughout our work in Somalia. Also the hands on partnership with UNICEF to test the added value that Loop can bring to U Report and their PDAD and SEA reporting across their full portfolio. And most importantly to the Centre for Peace and Democracy (CPD), as part of the NEXUS Consortium, who evidenced their strong commitment to accountability and using transparent approaches to show the capacity and commitment of national actors and to increase the effectiveness of Aid. Loop looks forward to a continued strong partnership with CPD as leaders in Somalia, even without Loop being hosted by them.

Please find below our usual report and analysis of the data which we received in 2024.

Open Platform Feedback

While Loop’s line was still functioning in January, it was closed in February and March. The team of moderators continued to moderate the 1,000s of pieces of feedback received during February and to manage sensitive reporting and follow up during March. A

Loop received and published 580 pieces of feedback in the reporting period. However, due to security concerns raised by some actors, the host organisation Governing Board required us to no longer tag organisations on the platform.  

Figure 2: Type of Feedback Over Time


40% of users of Loop in Somalia do not mention their location. This trend is not new, and it is consistent with previous reports. From the data that was shared, we received feedback from across the region affected by floods, specifically Middle Shabelle, Hiran, Bay and Banadir.

Figure 3: Feedback by Region


Feedback came from a diverse range of people. The majority of people did not mention their age, which is a consistent pattern we see in Somalia. Of those who did, we see a wide range of age groups: 4% of calls came from young people between the ages of 14 and 17 and on the other end 5% were either older persons or from their caregivers. Additionally, 1% of calls came from persons living with a disability or someone taking care of someone living with a disability and calling on their behalf.

Figure 4: Age, Gender and Abilities

As in previous months, requests are the main reason community members contact Loop especially during and following the El Nino season. 

Feedback was quite consistent in nature across all demographic groups, except those over 60 only requested support and did not give thanks or make complaints. Under 18 year olds were comparatively more grateful and 18 - 59 year olds were the only ones making a complaint. This pattern was also consistent across genders.

As in all previous reports no one self-identified in Somalia as non-binary.

Feedback Type

Figure 5: Feedback Type

Requests for Assistance

77% of the feedback received was requests from the community to the humanitarian sector. The community continued to cite the various challenges caused by the floods in October, into January of 2024; many community members expressed their need for assistance to meet their basic needs for food, water, cash, medical assistance and shelter. 

Displacement caused by the floods continued to be an issue highlighted by many of Loop’s users. Those challenges affected the whole community but were felt most by people who are elderly, single parents, orphans, and families with many children including newborns and those who live with disabilities. 

Other requests came from people who were looking for jobs and educational support. Some people requested cash assistance from Loop, and all were informed that Loop does not provide such services.

Others highlighted the lack of essential services and basic infrastructure, such as shelter, healthcare, education, and sanitation infrastructure in their communities and requested the sector to support their areas.

Concerns and complaints

12% of feedback published was from people who expressed their concerns about mismanagement of funds by NGOs where communities’ information is collected but they then fail to adequately provide support, assistance or information about what is to happen next.  

The low level of closing the feedback loop perpetuates the ‘perception’ of fraud and corruption and builds mistrust between communities and humanitarian actors.  

Delays in providing cash transfers, discrepancies in aid entitlements, and concerns about aid diversion, favouritism and nepotism in aid distribution are some of the mentioned concerns. 

Some members of the community voiced their concerns about the inefficiency and ineffectiveness of some actors leading to failure to address the needs of vulnerable people especially during the floods season, some called for accountability and intervention to ensure aid reaches people who need it. 

Some community members contacted Loop to voice their concern that their messages to us were not being responded to.

Loop responded but we are unable to deliver more on our own. Loop’s inability to push for more accountability and closing of the sensitive reporting cases is resulting in us being seen as unaccountable and not living up to our standards of transparent accountability. We do not want to be a reason for continuing to build mistrust in communities and not meet our own standards of accountability. The low level of responses, specifically to sensitive reporting, is one of the reasons why we decided to go into hibernation in February.

We believe very strongly that the Loop platform can come back, in an improved format and structure and play a stronger role in helping to build trust between organisations and communities and to improve the safety and effectiveness of Aid. 


Community members also used Loop to express their gratitude towards various organisations for their support and assistance and thanked them for their contributions in various regions of Somalia. 15% of the feedback came from the community appreciating the assistance received from these organisations, including with regards to food, cash, shelter, medical support, and other essential aid during the floods and heavy rains. 

Replies on the open platform 

Replies to feedback where organisations were tagged continued to be very low, with Loop’s replies constituting the majority of replies. Some organisations such as Danish Refugee Council, New Ways Organisation and World Vision International responded to feedback addressed to them on a regular basis. Loop’s hibernation also stopped us from engaging with tagged organisations to increase responses and improve their quality. We intend to make this one of our priorities if we come back to ensure that the community’s experience with Loop lives up to our mission.

Feedback about Loop

The community shared feedback about Loop, too. 15% of the feedback was addressed to Loop and it encompasses a wide range of requests, expressions of gratitude, and concerns. Many individuals were seeking assistance due to various hardships, such as being affected by floods, facing food insecurity, lacking access to basic necessities like clean water and shelter, and struggling to support their families financially. They expressed hope that Loop can provide support or relay their concerns to relevant organisations. We replied to all such requests and clarified the specific role we play and that we do not provide Aid directly.

There were also expressions of appreciation for Loop's platform and services, with some individuals thanking Loop for its efforts in supporting the community and providing a means of communication. However, as mentioned above, there are also frustrations expressed about delays in receiving responses, Loop clarified the limitations of our role and explained that delays are expected.

If we recommence we will do some further user-centred design around our communications about Loop and the pre-recorded explanation message to increase the understanding of our independent role and to better manage expectations.

Thematic areas

Requests for support were primarily food security, cash (in cross cutting), WASH and shelter. 30% of the community mentioned children, young people, women, IDPs, minorities, chronically ill people, PLWDs, low income families, etc.

Figure 6: Feedback by Thematic Area

Sensitive Reports

Loop received 123 sensitive reports in the reporting period; those reports fall into three categories:

  1. Protection including reports of gender-based violence (GBV), child protection and general protection 
  2. Corruption including discrimination and exclusion from services
  3. Other including service-level complaints

Loop received GBV (8), child protection (2) and general protection reports (22) such as requests for assistance from vulnerable groups (female-headed households, large families with low income, and persons living with disabilities). 

Corruption remains the largest type of sensitive reports shared with Loop (64); and the community reported aid diversion including mentions of nepotism (6) and discrimination based on minority or clan membership (2).

A significant increase was in service-level complaints; Loop received 27 reports as opposed to 10 between July and December 2023.

Figure 7: Sensitive Report by Type

Trends in acknowledgement remain at the same level as previous months. 46%  or 29 sensitive reports have not been acknowledged by the recipient organisations, even after escalation. There was also an increase in sensitive reports where Loop could not establish or maintain contact with the authors and therefore no further action could be pursued. Another new trend was an increase in the number of withdrawn reports.

It is not clear why we see this trend and if we were to recommence we would monitor if this continued and do some focus group discussion to establish possible reasons.

Demographics and Locations

As in previous reports and similar to the trends in general feedback submitted and published on the open platform, more sensitive reports are made by males than females. 6 community members mentioned disabilities and 2 were from members of the minority community. 

Figure 8: Gender

The majority of sensitive reports came from community members who opted not to mention their ages. 2 reports came from children and young people.

Figure 9: Age

Figure 10: Gender by Age

The majority of Protection reports came from females, that includes the two child protection reports and 7 out of the 8 GBV reports. 16 out of 22 general protection reports were reported by females. However, the majority of corruption reports, 49 out of 64, were reported by males. This is a consistent pattern with other countries' sensitive reporting to Loop.

Figure 11: Gender by Case Type

107 of the sensitive reports were reported in the South Central State and its regions with Banaadir, Middle Shabelle and Galguduud with the most reports. Banaadir and Middle Shabelle were also two of the regions where most of the general feedback came from, due to higher levels of need and provision of Aid.

Figure 12: Location at State Level

Figure 13: Location at Region Level

At district level, more reports came from Mogadishu than other regions. 

Figure 14: Location at District Level

Galgudud, Banaadir and Middle Shabelle were the regions with the most reports of corruption. While there are higher rates of feedback and sensitive reports coming from this area, as well as greater need and more Aid actors, overall it is still a larger percentage of the feedback. This may not be representative though due to the collection methodology being driven by communities. This pattern could be affected by the way that Loop is introduced to communities about why to use it and what to report. 

When organisations acknowledge receipt and share topline data on the outcomes of reports, the data might then start to show stronger trends and data for analysis.

Figure 15: Case Type by Region

Trends in Sensitive Reports

Loop received 123 sensitive reports in January compared to the previous reporting period (July to December 2023) where Loop received a total of 152 reports. This increase comes after two awareness raising campaigns, one done by the CEA Task Force and one by UNICEF between October and December. Word of mouth was observed as one of the main ways the community learnt about Loop as stated in some of the content of reports. 

Figure 16: Sensitive Reports between July and December 2023

When mentioned and when actionable, the sensitive reports were referred to: UN agencies; national and international NGOs; local authorities; and, in some instances, a combination of different actors.

Figure 17: Type of Organisation

Acknowledgement and Accountability

Loop referred 34 reports successfully to organisations who were mentioned by the authors or ones who are best positioned to address the report.

Figure 18: Referral Status by Type of Organisation

The 29 unsuccessful referrals are pending acknowledgement by the recipient organisations including after reminders and escalation. It is worth noting that some organisations take actions yet do not acknowledge receipt to Loop, even though it is common practice in the sector to expect an acknowledgement of a referral of a sensitive case. Also, the majority of actors do not provide Loop with feedback on the top line of actions taken or if an investigation has been initiated or not. There is no requirement to do so, but it would help with the aggregate, anonymised level of data analysis.

48 reports were inactionable as they were made by community members who were unreachable, did not allow contact etc. 

12 reports were withdrawn by the reporting persons; the majority did not provide reasons for withdrawing their reports; however some mentioned to Loop when we contacted them for consent to refer on, that the information they reported might be incorrect, others reported that concerns were resolved. 

Corruption allegations cover a wide range of concerns the community faces including nepotism, discrimination, requests for bribes, expired medications, aid diversion by camp leaders and organisations’ staff. 6 were withdrawn and 27 were unreachable or did not allow contact. The examples below are written using some of the reports we received: 

“Doctors in our town give people expired medicines, please send us new medicines.”

“I am a disabled person and I want to report that our village committee is registering people who live in the city to receive aid meant for us. Please send this to the organisation.”

“Beneficiary targeting and registration were going smoothly and free of charge until the organisations started using committees. They are requesting bribes to add our names to lists. I don’t have money to do that. We want the organisations to do the registration themselves. Please keep me anonymous.”

“Our village is run by a corrupt committee chaired by someone who distributes aid according to clan dynamics and does not care about children or older people or pregnant women. We request organisations to look into this and follow up on their activities to see who is actually benefiting from aid.”

“We lost all our livelihoods and livestock and homes in the floods. When aid was sent, it was given to a local organisation that sold it to the businesses and gave some to the more powerful clans; the rest of us were excluded. We want accountability agencies to stop this because it is against agencies’ policies.”

“I had to pay $3 to be registered for aid by this organisation. Is this ok?”

“I was registered a year ago to receive $100, but I received $60 because the camp leader took the rest. I am not sure which organisation registered me. I can’t read or write and I need assistance.”

The service-level complaints were in relation to unreasonable delays in assistance including after biometrics were collected, empty vouchers, or not working or interrupted services. 

The child protection reports were assistance requests; however, 1 came from a child who did not allow contact. One was from a mother complaining that her child’s biometric data had been taken without her consent.

The GBV reports were about domestic violence, physical assault, issues related to old rape cases.  

Lessons learned

Loop reduced many of the barriers that people in Somalia face in reporting sensitive issues by providing an inclusive, safe and accessible modality for the community to easily access and communicate with humanitarian actors. Loop made it possible for some persons living with disabilities, vulnerable women and children, members of the minority community or people who want to report very sensitive issues to report without fear of reprisal or stigma. 

Additionally, community members contacted Loop to share opinions, ask questions, request aid and share concerns about the aid sector. Many people contacted Loop and requested that their messages be shared with either the humanitarian sector, specific actors and in some cases the authorities. Loop moderators tagged organisations on the open platform based on what was mentioned by the user or, if an organisation is not mentioned, the moderators used clusters’ mapping sheets to tag the appropriate organisation that is best placed to address the feedback.

A few points on what we learnt during our presence in Somalia:

  1. The community will report if provided with information on their rights and if provided with safe channels that offer anonymous reporting.
  2. The community is receptive to digital platforms that can make communication and engagement with the humanitarian community easier for them due to being open all the time (we received calls at all hours of the day and night) and being available in multiple languages for a wide segment of the community.
  3. The barriers to reporting sensitive concerns (such as fear of stigma and retaliation, lack of confidentiality and lack of information) can be addressed through independent channels.
  4. 50% of actors including local and international NGOs, UN agencies, networks, clusters and working groups were welcoming of sensitive reports Loop shared and have been diligently following up both with us and the complainants to close the feedback loop.
  5. To facilitate communication on the open platform, Loop invited organisations to sign up and reply to feedback they were mentioned in; however, the percentage of replies to communities remained at a low of 18% which is similar to other tools which monitor these trends, ie: the CCCM cluster at 17%. 

Next steps

Loop is working to come back from hibernation as soon as we can, and we will ensure that we structure our partnerships, ways of working, sensitive reporting and moderation flows in a way that allows us to capitalise on the lessons learnt and address the security challenges as well as engaging the community and organisations in a more effective way to increase the impact of sensitive reporting and the value of sharing open feedback. 

  1. Loop will work in a structured manner to engage organisations especially local NGOs, minority-led organisations, disabled people’s organisations and others to ensure the effective inclusion of these vulnerable groups in increasing accountability of the aid sector.
  2. We will also work to encourage actors to support our commitment to closing the feedback loop by communicating our sensitive feedback framework and globally expected best practices for closing sensitive reports in a structured and easy to follow format.
  3. Based on the success of last year’s radio announcements by the PSEA network, Community Engagement & Accountability Task Force (CEA TF) and UNICEF’s radio announcements and SMS blasts about aid diversion, we will continue to work in partnership with actors to replicate the model of targeted awareness raising campaigns which enable general feedback and sensitive reporting linked to organisations who are motivated to listen and engage with responses from communities to improve the safety and impact of Aid.


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