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Gatekeepers in Mogadishu: Research Consultancy

2013 — By Erik Bryld, Christine Kamau and Dina Sinigallia

Since 2011 the Somalia Cash Consortium has been implementing large-scale unconditional cash transfers (UCTs) under the Food Assistance to Vulnerable Households in South Central Somalia. Members of the Consortium have been confronted with the challenge of having to negotiate security and access to IDP sites through informal IDP camp authorities. An important actor among the informal camp managers/administrators is the ‘gatekeeper’.

Tana Copenhagen (Tana) and iDC were commissioned by the Cash Consortium to carry out a study in Mogadishu to identify possible strategies aid agencies could use to mitigate the negative impact gatekeepers can have and improve their role in IDP protection. The study analyses the role played by gatekeepers – positive and negative – in providing protection and basic services to IDPs. It further looks at the perceived sources of power and the influence of the gatekeepers, their links and relationships with the government, with the local authorities and with other community leaders in general. Finally, based on the study findings the report highlights recommendations for short- and long-term actions for mitigating the negative consequences of working through gatekeepers and identifying opportunities for improving protection and the delivery of services / assistance to IDPs.