BRCiS & SNS – Somalia Scoping Study

Executive Summary

SNS activities to date have been primarily focused on delivering nutrition-specific interventions, namely management of acute malnutrition, promotion of IYCF, plus to some extent health and WASH intervention. Using the resilience framework in Annex 1. helps to illustrate where these current interventions fit when looking at the ‘bigger picture’ and where the opportunities arise for new areas of focus. Current activities clearly contribute to IR 3.2 Improved and sustained health, nutrition and hygiene practices under Objective 3 Improved and Sustained Human Capital. Applying this framework also illustrates opportunities within objective 2 through strengthening institutional capacity and systems and under objective 1, increasing access to secure financial services e.g through linking MTMSG with savings and loan schemes.

a. Strengthened institutional capacity and systems and strengthening local health systems. Linking M2MSG/CHWs to DRR committees.

b. DRR in IYCF – developing knowledge and practices that are risk-informed and shock responsive e.g. what strategies to use during a drought – how to protect and promote optimal complementary feeding practices in the event of a drought. Strategies may be very context-specific e.g livelihood zone. May be informed by NCA. E.g. In the event of drought, MTMSG targeted cash transfers/vouchers linked to accessing milk from markets.

c. Safety nets in IYCF – the use of cash transfers/vouchers to conditionally promote complementary feeding.

d. Financial services for women. Linking MTMSG with savings and loans.

e. WASH not just hygiene promotion for individuals/groups but broaden the approach to engage at the community level to promote CLTS, and addressing EED through pathways discussed in section

The report also identifies future action research opportunities for the consortia. The main focus of these recommendations was on research that explored the respective benefits of risk-informed and shock-responsive interventions in a resilience context. In addition, they also recommended future research on nutrition-sensitive interventions and its relationship to nutritional status, dietary diversity and women’s empowerment. 


Somalia has one of the worst human development records in the world. High levels of poverty, poor education, and low health and nutrition outcomes have been exacerbated by years of unrest, insecurity and protracted displacement. Malnutrition has continued to be a major concern, particularly in South Central Somalia, with Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rates constantly above the emergency threshold of 15% over the last 10 years. Also, Somalia has been hit by some of the worst famines in recent times: for instance, in 2011 the malnutrition rates hit above 30% GAM in most areas of South Central Somalia. The insecurity related to the unstable government since the early ’90s has made it worse: livelihoods have been shattered while a large part of the population has become internally displaced, suffering from a minimum choice of livelihoods to sustain their families. As new hopes for political stability have recently emerged, still much remains to be done. In particular, there is still the need to better understand the main causes of malnutrition so as to address them more effectively. In this context, humanitarian agencies continue to assist communities affected by persistently high GAM rates through support to nutrition, food security, and livelihoods, resilience-building and other programs. To date, however, this has largely happened through “siloed” rather than integrated approaches. As persistently high rates of Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) continue to be witnessed, there are growing calls for experimentation with more integrated assistance approaches and for gathering evidence on the same.

The British Department for International Development (DFID) has funded the BRCiS and SNS Consortia to undertake multi-year resilience and nutrition programming in South Central Somalia for 4 years (2013-2017). While both consortia have attained significant results, from the start (October 2013) their respective programs were designed and have been implemented separately rather than in an integrated manner. Aside from a few Banadir districts, the two consortia share no areas of geographical overlap. Consequently, a collaboration between SNS and BRCiS has been largely limited to the sharing of relevant information and learning. Opportunities to test the relative effectiveness of more integrated approaches and programs have been minimal.