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2014 | 'A New Deal For Somalia?: The Somali Compact and its Implications for Peace Building' by Saraha Hearn and Thomas Zimerman, Center on International Cooperation, NY University, July 2014

In this article Somalia is described as ‘a politically sensitive pilot for the New Deal’ (see the 2011 Busan New Deal for Fragile States on our Legal Instruments page in this section). The authors highlight the tensions that exist between meeting the high expectations of external donors and engaging, with patience, in the truly inclusive processes that are necessary to build mutual trust between Somali elites. Public confidence in a peaceful and just future for Somalia depends on both of these mechanisms being demonstrably effective. A lack of shared ‘ownership’ by domestic actors could tilt the whole peace-building process back into chaos.

 The authors conclude that New Deal Compact does appear to have enabled a paradigm shift in international development rhetoric around Somali ownership and leadership of its transition from fragility. However, they warn that the test of the Compact will be the extent to which donors support the Somali Development and Reconstruction Facility (the government’s mechanism for guiding the peace-building and State-building activities) and align to Somali priorities, without earmarking, and are able to report on progress in implementing Somali priorities into 2016. For its part, the Federal Government of Somalia must now work to negotiate priorities and processes aimed at confidence building between Somalis for there to be much to which donors can align.

The article provides a useful analysis of the particular trade-offs that must be held in a delicate balance.