*This report refers to feedback received from January 2023 to May 2023.
Somalia is recovering from the effects of prolonged droughts that severely hit many parts of the country. The country has in the recent past experienced other calamities such as locust infestation, floods, conflicts (including government-led offensives against Al Shabaab and their retaliatory attacks) as well as the global crisis created by the Covid 19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict among others. Displacements have been on the rise internally while vulnerable host communities have been affected by the hard economic times.
As to be expected in the current crisis in Somalia, the vast majority of feedback into Loop in Somalia is requests for support.
Unexpectedly, the majority of feedback was from women between the ages of 30 and 59. However the feedback coming in from the short Radio Ergo pilot in March and April, was from more men than women.
All feedback came in using Voice and in both Maay and Maxatiri languages.
Minority and Disability group reports
We see 22 bits of feedback from people self disclosing as having a disability. There has been a slow consistent stream of people self disclosing as having a disability using Loop across both the open and Sensitive feedback.
In addition, there are 8 stories from small local actors or organisations representing minority groups and requesting assistance on their behalf. This includes people with disabilities and people from minority clans (although the specific groups are not mentioned).
Loop is reaching out to Minority Led organisations in Somalia and offering free training and dissemination of materials for them to use as part of their work with minority groups across Somalia.
Minority and disabled people tend to reflect the same age and gender demographics as the general population using Loop. However, their requests are much more linked to WASH and Shelter than food security.
Food security includes feedback on livestock and income generation which was primarily issues men reported and was not something these minority groups spoke about. Possibly suggesting a greater reliance on Aid and the need for disability friendly interventions and infrastructure such as toilets and water-points.
We see the men reporting through radio ergo are often asking for support with livestock and livelihoods. Whereas women's feedback during this reporting period was more around food, water and shelter shortages as well as cash disbursements.
The majority of Sensitive reporting during this period was about cash disbursements. A few others have been received on Al Shabaab and their threats to individuals and communities. These have been handled through the sensitive reporting process and referred on to the Protection cluster or other relevant focal points.
We have received 17 sensitive reports during this reporting period. 15 from this year are about cash programming from a variety of organisations. Usually the provider of the cash distribution is mentioned. People have reported being charged for a card to collect the cash, for being disabled or minority groups and being left off beneficiary lists, beneficiary list manipulation, fraudulent registering of cards etc.
In some areas, people reported being left out during the registration process.
Loop directs these complaints directly to the relevant focal point to follow up with the authors. 16 have been successfully referred for follow up. No referrals for assistance were made this year, in the two cases where it was relevant there was no response from the author requesting consent.
Organisations responsiveness to referrals
When Loop started, we received more reports of protection and were surprised at the serious nature of the sexual abuse being reported by very vulnerable women. These individuals were successfully referred for assistance to a local provider. The perpetrators or responsible organisations were not disclosed to Loop.
This year we have received two reports about sexual abuse. These have been reported from male family members, no follow up was possible and the perpetrators (staff for organisations or others) could not be confirmed.
New feedback for this period includes thanks to the rains and Eid Mubarak messages.
We also received messages from people in newly liberated parts of Somalia requesting organisations to provide assistance.
The Las Anod conflict has dominated feedback from people calling for cessation of hostilities and support for the affected communities. Those who fled the conflict also requested for humanitarian support with many asking for WASH and shelter interventions.
So far we only have 11 organisations signed onto the Loop platform and thus are receiving real time automatic updates of feedback coming in, relevant to their organisation. We have invited many other organisations and individuals to respond and reply but greater investment of time in training, awareness raising and integration into SOPs and ways of working is required to get more direct feedback to authors of stories. The process on Loop is very simple and translation and closing of the feedback Loop is managed by Loop. However, adapting a new way of working within larger actors and systems takes time and trust building.
Nonetheless, this is the lowest number of organisations linked to a country where Loop is present. For example in the Philippines we have 57 organisations registered.
The Centre for Peace and Democracy (CPD), the host of Loop in Somalia and a national Civil Society organisation delivering a variety of services, has been actively promoting Loop as part of their most recent programs. This year it has been primarily women responding to CPD, saying thank you for the cash disbursements and noting how it has now ceased and asking for further support.
CPD has two project staff registered to receive notifications of feedback and aim to have all Project managers using Loop as part of their daily work, ensuring close engagement and closing of the feedback loop directly to affected populations. All CPD Project Managers have already been briefed and trained on the use of the platform.
We have received unsolicited feedback from community members addressing their questions to the World Food Program.
Loop has been coordinating with the WFP Call Centre. WFP requires that authors' contact details are shared in order for them to process feedback through their system. However, some authors only give consent to share their numbers with Loop.
We are learning as Loop on how to increase the ability to close the feedback loop to community members by making it easier for organisations to integrate the feedback into existing systems and approved processes and to respect authors' requests for confidentiality.
We continue to engage with the AAP/ CEA, GBV, SEAH and now the Protection cluster to support referral mapping, awareness raising of Loop and wider dissemination. Loop also works closely with the NEXUS platform which brings together two INGOs and 8 NNGOs from across Somalia. CPD has also been promoting Loop in their coordination mechanisms such as clusters and donor meetings and presentations. We are more recently coordinating with the Somali NGO Consortium as CPD, the host of Loop, is an active member.
We are interested to engage and coordinate as much as possible for wider uptake and understanding of the Loop platform and potential benefits to different stakeholders.
Radio Ergo Pilot
During this reporting period we did a brief pilot to share feedback coming into Radio Ergo onto the Loop platform to test if we could integrate the two mechanisms. We wanted to maintain the journalistic integrity of the long established and well respected Radio Ergo radio programs with the new technology and open data approach of Loop. The collective objective was to find ways to raise the voices of local people onto more decision making tables, to inform Aid delivery and to get people the support they needed if they reported a sensitive issue. We saw an additional 100 stories per month coming in through this approach. As to be expected there were very few sensitive sto
This pilot is now ended and we need to find funds to explore further collaboration.
We are adding on a WhatsApp feedback number which has been requested by urban populations. This will be running by the end of July.
We are also adding Benadiri and Barawani to the Loop platform Interactive Voice Response and Reply options to help a wider group of people feedback. This will be completed by August.
If you would like to request an introduction to Loop, a training session for staff on how to use Loop or to support the roll out of Loop in Somalia, then please contact Fatma Adan on Fatma@talktoloop.org