Local Practices of Development in Somaliland Arguments from the Health Sector

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Daria Zizzola, PhD(c)


This article’s main purpose is to discuss the nature of local practices characterizing a process of gradual development that has recently taken place in Somaliland. This is a mixed method research study conducted in the Hargeisia district and Awdal region of Somaliland between 2007 and 2011. The focus of this study is on the health sector and all the peculiarities distinguishing national health policy regulating the supply, maintenance, and control of services, as well as the procurement of alternative services by private or private-non-profit medical structures. Contrary to a wide tendency considering humanitarian assistance in Somaliland as a monopoly for Western agencies, evidences are brought here of a shift in the composition and diversification of stakeholders involved in the health care. Therefore, this paper preliminarily discusses the role of new social actors, the Islamic charities and the Somali Diaspora, that are emerging as key contributors to the provision of care treatments and financial support to public hospitals. These actors are also engaged in opening and running private clinics that have rapidly mushroomed in a stimulating environment free of central monitoring and quality standards. Analysis is based on data collected during two fieldworks in Somaliland and an extensive review of literature on the subject.

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Daria Zizzola, PhD(c), Faculty of Political Science, University of Pisa

PhD Candidate in Geopolitics at the Faculty of Political Science, University of Pisa. She also collaborates with the University of Bologna where she graduated in 2009.