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Community Contribution

CLA for Sustained Impact and a Model for Issue-Based Policy Making in Africa

Elizabeth Lewis, Bojan Ristic
The International Republican Institute (IRI) has a long record of helping civil society, the legislature and political parties in Somaliland to operate in a manner that is responsive to citizens, issue-based and transparent. Through an associate award issued under the USAID Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening (CEPPS) Leader with Associates (LWA) Cooperative Agreement, IRI worked with the lower house of the Somaliland Parliament, the House of Representatives (HoR), to develop effective and informed public policies that address top national issues through the Legislative Strengthening and Elections and Political Processes program. In response to the highly fluid and often unpredictable nature of Somaliland’s political environment, IRI implemented an adaptive CLA approach by investing in external collaboration, internal collaboration, building relationships & networks, continuous earning and improvement, and utilizing mission resources.  
One of the factors that inspired IRI to use the CLA approach was the recognition that programmatic components implemented in isolation from each other were not yielding intended outputs and results. Through the CLA approach, we were also able to better align our project with USAID/Somalia’s Stabilization Strategy. The use of a CLA approach was instrumental to the outcomes and impacts of this project, including the submission and passage of the first bill drafted collaboratively between members of parliament and civil society in Somaliland, and the recent passage of the first piece of legislation in Somaliland to address gender-based violence, notably outlawing rape.

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