Project Case Study
Designing a safety and access to justice programme in Ethiopia
Improving the accessibility and quality of justice for women and girls in Somali Ethiopia
Ethiopia lies at the heart of the unstable Horn of Africa, with the country’s Somali Region suffering from a legacy of economic underdevelopment, weak basic services and conflict. Since the introduction of ethnic federalism in Ethiopia in 1991, the regional government has steadily increased its capacity but continues to face substantial challenges to improving the quality and geographic reach of its services, including justice and policing which are vital for political stability.
Within this context, women and girls face heightened risks to their safety and wellbeing as well as significant cultural and institutional barriers to protecting their rights and redressing legitimate grievances through the justice system.
In 2013, we were asked to undertake the design phase of the Department for International Development’s five-year Safety and Justice Programme in the Somali region. This programme is focused on strengthening the professionalism and accountability of state and non-state providers of justice and dispute resolution services. We will be working closely with the Ethiopian government at federal, regional, district and woreda levels, with the police and justice institutions, as well as with communities and the leaders responsible for resolving disputes within them.
The programme is intended to improve justice and policing services for 500,000 women and girls. The programme is structured around four technical themes: policing and community safety, justice and dispute resolution, community conflict prevention and peacebuilding, and citizens’ needs and priorities, and will be delivered by a team of international and Ethiopian advisers.
The Safety and Justice Programme is one component of a broader DFID peace and development programme that intends to build a more peaceful and inclusive Somali Region. Other peace and development components are basic services,monitoring and evaluation, and economic opportunities.