Somalia’s Joint Programme (JP) for Integrated Social Protection enhances the Government’s ability to reach the most vulnerable through more efficient and sustainable social protection mechanisms. The three pillars of the JP’s approach include supporting the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs’ (MoLSA’s) institutional capacity for policy analysis and activity coordination; reinforcing past and present social protection initiatives with further human capital; and ensuring alignment with international social protection standards, particularly by mainstreaming inclusion and gender equity into JP implementation.
Over its first nine months, the JP has laid a strong foundation for future activities. The Director-General of MoLSA has been tasked with providing the strategic lead for social protection, and has strengthened focal points’ capacity for this work at multiple levels of government. Moreover, the JP has bridged a gap at national and state ministries by providing the resources necessary for safety net implementation and performance indicators have been linked to SDG targets so as to help the Government identify priorities moving forward.
The JP has repurposed up to 20% of funding to limit the effects of COVID-19 on the most vulnerable. MoLSA has initiated a vulnerability assessment on the socio-economic impact of COVID-19, which will guide the targeting methodology for safety nets programmes in the future. 13 Government staff have undertaken an online training on shock-responsive social protection, aimed at refining their skills on social protection policy and programming in the context of the pandemic. On balance, despite a global crisis that could not have been foreseen, Somalia has been resolute in its transition towards a robust national social protection system that promises to leave no one behind.