Somali government institutions lack a clear communications strategy geared towards improving their legitimacy and strengthening the relationship and trust between the administration and the public.

Current state-building efforts emphasize service delivery and the strengthening of civil society, yet, if isolated, fail to address a fundamental consequence of conflict: the lack of trust by citizens towards governments caused by prolonged conflict, state collapse and the resulting breakdown of public services.

To build trust, the Somalia Stability Fund (SSF) is working with SMDC to increase communications between government and Somali citizens. Under the contract, SMDC’s role is to help improve Somali government communications efforts, increase its visibility and find creative ways to communicate with and listen to Somali citizens.

This strategic communications support is also expected to increase collaboration and trust between different levels of government, particularly between the federal government, Federal Member States (FMS) and district administrations e.g. by supporting and encouraging different levels of government to engage on common platforms, whether through a radio interview or a launch event.

SMDC, among other things, is providing hands-on trainings, communications support and advice to the government institutions on the ground in Somalia.

Prior to undertaking the strategic communications support effort, SMDC carried out a thorough comprehensive map of current communications capacity-building work being implemented at the federal, FMS and district levels.