Socio-economic factors influencing implementation of humanitarian assistance in Somalia: a case of middle Shebelle region in southern Somalia
The purpose of this study was to investigate the socio-economic factors that influence implementation of humanitarian assistance programs in Middle Shebelle region in Somalia. The objectives were; to examine the influence of implementing agency capacity on the implementation of humanitarian assistance, to establish the influence of culture on the implementation of humanitarian, to assess the security influence on the implementation of humanitarian response and to examine how funding influence the implementation of humanitarian assistance in Middle Shebelle region of Southern Somalia. The study employed a descriptive survey research design based on a cross sectional descriptive research and data was collected using questionnaires administered to 60 humanitarian officers from FAO, UNHCR, UNOCHA and UNICEF that implement humanitarian assistance programs in the Middle Shebelle region. Data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences interpreted and presented in form of tables. From the findings, the majority of the respondents agreed that the capacity of the implementing agency to manage humanitarian projects had played a key role in the effective implementation of programs in South Central Somalia. Only a few rated the extent of influence as moderate. Cultural factors also affected the implementation of humanitarian aid to a great extent according to the majority of the respondents. Gender roles were noted as a big contributor on the cultural issues affecting the implementation of humanitarian assistance. The extent of influence of security concerns on the implementation of humanitarian aid was to a very great extent according to the majority of the respondents. Similarly, majority of the respondents believed that funding had an effect to the implementation of humanitarian assistance. The findings also indicated that availability of funds influenced humanitarian aid and service delivery a great extent. The findings of this study will benefit the policy makers and humanitarian agencies especially those in Somalia for they will be able to understand the socio-economic factors that influence the implementation of humanitarian aid. The study recommends that humanitarian agencies develop strategies for mainstreaming gender across the organization, come up with well-structured coping mechanisms to tackle the issue of security in Somalia, explore the levels of expertise, technology adoption and cooperation within the humanitarian sectors in Somalia and establish and strengthen flexible funding and coordination mechanisms.