‘Collaboration between Somali Organizations based in the Netherlands and Development Organizations based in Kenya with focus on Somalia’
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From February to August 2011 a thesis project was conducted with the aim to explore the relationship between Somali Diaspora Organizations (SDOs) in the Netherlands and Non Government Organizations (NGOs) in Kenya with focus on Somalia, and also to give recommendations on the collaboration opportunities. Somali Diasporas and NGOs in Kenya target the same people, regions and provide more or less the same needs to the same people in Somalia. However, there has not been any collaboration initiative between these organizations. This lack of collaboration results into low level of capacities, weak organizations offering poor services, and low social capital between organizations. In addition, this lack of collaboration leads to high competition of funds and personnel. HIRDA, a Netherlands based Somali Diaspora Organization, facilitated this research’s activities in the Netherlands and Kenya as well. In the process of the research, different approaches and techniques were applied in selection of the research population, data collection and analysis. In research population selection, two methodologies purposive and snow ball sampling methods were used. As for the data collection literature review, structured and semi- structured interviews were practical in order to collect primary and secondary data. The results reveal that there is nearly no relationship between SDOs in the Netherlands and NGOs in Kenya. Only one Somali Diaspora is in relationship with one local NGO in Kenya. However, SDOs in the Netherlands are involved in an ad hoc relationship between themselves which is the case among NGOs in Kenya as well. The results also show that these organizations are also engaged in different networks. Through relationships and networks, organizations share information, ideas, organize events, and implements projects together. Relationship and networks play an important role as organizations get the opportunities to expand their social and profession networks, learn from each other, and increase their level of performance. However, these relationships and networks encounter challenges like lack of time, lack of financial means, lack of trust among the members, lack of understanding. 4 Concerning the collaboration opportunities, the majority of the interviewed SDOs in the Netherlands and NGOs in Kenya accept to collaborate and invest their time, expertise and financial to support this collaboration. Out of 36 interviewed organizations (in the Netherlands and Kenya), 28 (78%) are willing to collaborate. They see the collaboration between them as an opportunity to join their efforts, human, social, financial capitals which are needed to provide different needs in Somalia. They also view that their collaborating will enhance the level of cooperation, improve their skills and expertise, and build their capacities. The interviewed NGOs that are reluctant to collaborate, they say that they are not ready to face challenges that the collaboration between the SDOs and NGOs in Kenya might face. Challenges include the existing lack of trust between the Diasporas and International NGOs, lack of capacity and structure in Diasporas projects, and clan affiliation in Diaspora Organizations.