Reports of aid diversion, gender based violence (primarily rape) and exclusion of specific groups, continued to be reported to Loop in September. The only awareness raising in Somalia, was from one series of radio programs in one part of Somalia during August. Feedback in September, of approximately 400 calls per week, has therefore been as a result of word of mouth. This scale, including the importance and life saving nature of some of the calls reinforces the need for an independent and accessible reporting channel across the country.
This month the trends were around three key areas:
Gender Based Violence, including Sexual Violence as a significant risk. We saw that some women do not feel safe to go to health care providers for assistance in case of further harm and discrimination. Loop has referred them to other actors in their vicinity. When a person is referred for assistance, to date, services have been responsive.
Communication about the very basic project information needs to be shared more consistently with communities as a right and good programming. We see that many people report being surprised their cash payments have stopped and were not sure why. They are concerned it is fraud but this could also simply be the end of the project.
Investment in ensuring people with disabilities and minority groups are included on beneficiary lists, as the most vulnerable populations, must continue. This needs to include finding pathways to ensure those identified can be referred appropriately and included on lists efficiently.
People in Somalia continue to report feedback to Loop including sensitive reports. Loop’s moderators receive on average 400 pieces of feedback a week. In some audio messages the sound is not clear or they are singing songs or reading out the Koran. The majority of those which are moderated and processed are sensitive reports.
The locations of the reports also vary, yet the majority are in Beledweyne and Baidoa, where the radio announcements sharing information about people's rights and how to call Loop, took place in August.
The (28) sensitive reports in September have been on: aid diversion (12); GBV cases (including rape and attempted rape) (8); missing payments and stopped assistance (5); discrimination against minorities (1); discrimination against disabled persons (1); tension between aid workers and the community leader (1).
The (28) sensitive reports in September were predominantly reported by males (20) and have been on aid diversion, GBV (by a witness), missing payments and stopped assistance, and discrimination against minorities and disabled persons. Sensitive reports from females (8) were related to GBV (rape) and aid diversion.
Gender Based Violence
An increase in reports this month were for rape or attempted rape in camps. Reports were made by survivors and 1 was made by a witness. 1 rape and 4 attempted rapes were reported by the same person (male). Two of the reported rapes involved pregnant women, and the attempted rapes took place during a funeral when men were not around. None of the perpetrators were identified and were not known to the survivors.
All survivors were referred to receive emergency medical services, and Loop continues to follow up weekly with all the survivors to ensure they receive the support and assistance they need. Some survivors report going to hospitals, but leaving without asking for support due to the concern about stigma. As a result, Loop referred them immediately to a responsive medical NGO to safely receive the emergency medical attention they needed.
The reports show that shelters in some camps require upgrading, including adding doors to homes, to provide some form of protection for women. Loop referred them to the relevant cluster coordinators for follow up on shelter and food assistance needs.
Two reports came from people talking on behalf of or representing persons with disabilities, and representing over 300 minorities. Both reports were in relation to discrimination and exclusion from aid and services. The authors were happy to be referred on and had very detailed information.
Aid diversion remains the most reported concern. In some cases, people report allegations against identified staff and/or camp leaders. In 1 aid diversion allegation, the reporting person felt comfortable and safe to consent to sharing their name when they learnt that the allegation will be handled by the HQ of the implicated organisation, where they did not give consent if it was to be handled in-country. In this case, the complainant was forthcoming, had evidence and encouraged others to share their experience with the investigation.
One camp leader is implicated in more than one allegation, and in more than one distribution.
Most aid diversion reports included threats to reporting persons to not receive aid if they don’t accept the terms of the agreement. These coercive tactics can be documented in various cases, here are some examples:
I'm experiencing difficulties with the cash transfer process. The staff registering our information claim we have to pay back half of the money received, keeping the other half. If we don't agree, we risk missing out on future cash transfer opportunities.
The committee in my village declined to register me because I disagreed with their requirement to return a portion of the aid.
I signed up to receive aid, but there's a condition to give back part of it. After taking a photo during aid distribution, assistance was taken back from us.
The information presented in these graphics is based on reports submitted by community members via the short code number. The details are fictional examples which represent the types of feedback Loop is actually receiving. We do this to ensure confidentiality and not to disclose or put at risk any individuals.
Questions linked to assistance which have been stopped with no warning, continue to come in, even when the assistance in question has been stopped for months. Loop received 5 reports of this nature in September, which continued the trend which started in August. Due to unclear information about the project or organisation the cash disbursement came from, it is difficult to identify whether the assistance stopped because a project ended or because of aid diversion. This suggests a need for implementing partners to invest more efforts on enhancing communication about the start and end dates of distributions.
In 1 case, one organisation was running the registration while another was running the distribution. This places a burden on the community to identify the organisation in question, their role in the aid being distributed, and when and to which the report concerns. Again, communication to communities is a priority. Any information that can be shared with Loop to support appropriate tagging and referrals would be warmly received.
Here are some ideas of how you can keep engaging with us in a joint effort to improve accountability of Aid in the country:
Discover Loop: Request a presentation or training session for your team in Somalia. Email Fatma Adan Barre at firstname.lastname@example.org
Strengthen transparency and efficiency: Share your sensitive reporting focal point details with Loop . Contact Mai Muhsen at email@example.com
Stay Informed: Register on Loop for automatic program feedback here
Stay Connected: Subscribe to our newsletter for updates on Loop's impact in Somalia, Zambia, The Philippines, Indonesia, and Ukraine, here