As part of our long-term cooperation with the Somalia Stability Fund (SSF) we delivered two trainings for the Somalian members of parliament (MPs), Independent election and Boundaries and Federalism commissions. The trainings focused on negotiation and dialogue skills, as a part of Clingendael Academy’s programme ‘Negotiation Training as a Conflict Resolution Instrument’.
Somalia moved from a unitary system of governance to a federalised system. As a result, the country formed a federal parliament in Mogadishu, with MPs representing the five sub-national states and multiple clans in Somalia.
But for a federation to be developed effectively, a lot depends on the effectiveness of its people. Dividing responsibilities between the national and sub-national levels is one of the many challenges. If not handled well, the central government versus the periphery risk contestation rather than cooperation. To complicate this dynamic further, Somali politics are very tribal. This is why negotiation skills of Somalia’s MPs are vital for further conflict resolution and stability.
Three key learnings of the participants
- Negotiations become deadlocked quickly when its focus is on one issue only. Widening the negotiation agenda in order to find package deals usually works much better.
- Recognizing opponents’ concerns before moving to bargaining and deal-making is key.
- The need for rules and procedures before talking substance. The lack of an agenda, chair, decision-making method or timeframe may lead to chaos and serious process issues at a later stage of the talks.
Are you interested what possibilities Clingendael Academy offers? Read more about our Negotiation Training as a Conflict Resolution Instrument and check out our brochure with our mission, methods and training categories. Please do not hesitate to contact us.