On 15 and 16 March, the Rift Valley Forum and Oxford-based INASP convened a roundtable discussion on Research and Knowledge Systems within the Somali regions. The purpose of the meeting was to better understand he research and knowledge system in the Somali regions and explore ways of supporting Somali researchers and users of research-generated knowledge.
The roundtable, chaired by Dr Ibrahim Farah of the University of Nairobi was attended by representatives from Hargeysa University in Somaliland, Puntland State University in Garowe, and City University in Mogadishu, in addition to Somali researchers, research institutes and think tanks. Practical working sessions were conducted to address issues such as gaining access to affordable information—e.g. journals, online books and e-books—a challenge that is faced by many Somali research institutions due to high journal subscription costs and unreliable internet speeds. Funding for research, connecting research and policy, and the challenges of writing and publishing research, were also addressed in addition to designing research with practitioners in mind.
This two-day Forum was an initiative of a partnership the University of Hargeysa and Puntland State University to increase research capacity amongst teaching staff and postgraduate students. This partnership is part of the Ogaal-Xal Reeb, or Knowledge for Change, project. It is funded by the Somalia Stability Fund and was launched in January 2016.