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Somalia is one of the poorest countries in the world, a situation aggravated by the civil war and the absence of a functioning national government for over a decade. The impact of state failure on human development in Somalia has been profound, resulting in the collapse of political institutions, the destruction of social and economic infrastructure, and massive internal and external migrations. This is more pronounced in Central South Somalia where intermittent conflicts continue to destroy what has been left. In the more peaceful semi-autonomous regions of Puntland and Somaliland, notable progress has been registered in public sector growth, albeit slowly. Even in these regions, the public sector has very limited capacity to create employment opportunities for its own citizens. Providing employable skills is one of the alternatives assessed to have potential to create employment opportunities for the youth.

The level of economic development notwithstanding, partner governments in Puntland, Somaliland and Central South Somalia need to formulate and execute appropriate systems and policies that can effectively guide and facilitate the growth of the private sector within agreed national development priorities.

Still, in spite of the efforts of the international community, weak coordination and fragmented implementation of actions has not supported the effective growth of the TVET sector. The choice of skills training is not always guided by the needs of the market but by need to ‘address all needs' by projects whose scope is too small to warrant such undertakings.

Puntland, Somaliland and Central south Somalia do not have standardized curriculum or syllabi for TVET. There is also no standardized system for TVET assessment, examination and certification. The only standardized curriculum available but not being used in most of the TVET centres is the UNESCO PEER developed curriculum[1]. It is imperative that this is considered in any future intervention.

Implementation of education programs in Somalia is coordinated through the Education Sector Committee (ESC), yet there are many partners with sub-programs falling under this sector but subsumed under a different thematic area. In such situations, the TVET does not receive appropriate technical direction for its success.

The survey involved conducting a skills training market and opportunities study in respect of the vocational training leading to livelihoods opportunities of the unemployed youths in Somalia. The survey was expected to provide a situational analysis on skills development by focusing on opportunities and institutional arrangements for skills development taking cognizance of the specific characteristics of the three different zones of Somaliland, Puntland and South Central Somalia.

The study would come up with recommendations on appropriate skills development to provide the target and guidelines on implementation framework of the skills development strategy. Data was gathered using secondary sources, key informant interviews, semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions, and direct observation. Excerpts of interviews with stakeholders by the first consultant were reviewed and relevant inferences made.

The survey found that skills market in Puntland, Somaliland and some regions of South Somalia has potential owing to private sector growth, the high demand for specific skills, among other factors. The skills in high demand include electrical works, tailoring/dressmaking, solar PVC technology, plumbing, shampoo/soap making, masonry, metal work, shoe making, fabric design (tie/dye, printing, batik, and embroidery), secretarial, management and ICT.

Poverty, insecurity, low expectations and an overall environment characterized by market imperfections limit skills development and will be critical challenges during project implementation.

Based on the findings, the survey recommends the following:

1. Financial support to partners and institutions implementing vocational training activities should demand a proportionate financial contribution from the partner government or institutions. This could take either or all of the following forms: cost recovery through charging user fees; government part funding to the VTCs or public-private-partnership.

2. Capacity strengthening of MOEs structures to execute a policy framework which will guide the quality implementation of vocational training by public and private institutions.

3. Given the nascent/formation level of the management structures of respective vocational training centers, it is critically important to train and build the functional capacity of these institutions on the vocational skills training concept and Employment Promotion so that they can be stronger in their role of designing and implementation of literacy and vocational training in skills with economic and social relevance to the community.

4. Orientation of the vocational training teachers on adult education pedagogy/methodologies. Even if they have been found qualified during recruitment, orientation is critically important for consensus and solidifying their understanding on vocational and livelihoods skills training objectives and expectations as well as the different stages in the learning process.

5. UNESCO needs to re/design modular training process entailing the following three areas:

(i) Basic functional literacy and numeracy skills.

(ii) Vocational and Livelihoods skills in identified trade areas. Cross cutting issues such as HIV and FGM needs to be gradually worked into this module.

(iii) Simple business management or entrepreneurship skills on identifying and evaluating a viable business idea, market effect on skills demand, getting started and basic management and book keeping, and customer care principles.

Continuous efforts should be made to bear in mind that livelihood and skill training is a process and not an episodic event.

6. Given the landscape of insecurity and the concomitantly heavy investment in security, it is advisable to link vocational training with peace and reconstruction efforts. The example of Kosovo Enterprise Programme (KEP) in the collapsed USSR can be a learning model. The model is simple and workable in any society under reconstruction.

7. In order to enhance the marketability and relevance of the skills, it is critical to support a research and marketing development unit that regularly undertakes local Economic Development and Skills Market survey for consideration by VTCs in reviewing vocational skills curriculum. The training approach adopted should be one that links center-based vocational training and apprenticeships in which those being trained can undertake practical work with the local business/merchant community for purposes of applying the knowledge acquired and getting exposed in starting their own enterprises. The capacity of the master craftsmen to whom the trainees will be attached will have to be improved through training and induction on areas of practical emphasis.

8. Address the poverty barrier that hinder access to vocational skills training by implementing competency/performance based bursary schemes for the trainees. Existing schemes pay the cost of training based on duration required to complete the training. It is a fact that not all are competent enough to produce quality products after completing. A high premium needs to be pegged on performance for both the trainee and the master trainer.

9. Within a wider consultation under the principle of Sector Wide Approach, rethink the incentive structure for trainers at vocational training centers so as to attract and retain qualified trainers.

10. Creating synergy with other vocational training programs implemented or being implemented by other donors (STEO, VETAPE etc) in the same regions will strengthen the sector growth by avoiding wasteful duplication of efforts. This should be greatly achieved through the organisational platform of Somali Support Secretariat/Education Sector Committee and other coordination mechanisms in Puntland, Somaliland and Central South Somalia.


Susceptibility of Communities to adverse effects of poverty is largely contributed by lack of appropriate skills to engage in efficient and diversified income generation production systems. In Somalia, unemployment creation is slow and inadequate to absorb the high number of youth looking for employment opportunities.

Livelihood skills that include technical and vocational abilities impart the community with capabilities, resources and opportunities for pursuing individual and household economic goals. Where this is lacking, poverty and insecurity rise by almost equal proportion.

Weak institutional structures limit the provision of skills causing individuals' ability to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life to be adversely affected.

The political and social turmoil in Somalia provides many challenges for young people, which could be potentially alleviated by providing them with opportunities to acquire appropriate employable skills. Consequently, UNESCO is supporting the development of a systematic, coordinated, needs-based and institutionalised provision of vocational, technical and livelihoods skills approach in Somalia. By working with the local administrations, partners and institutions to set systems and standards for skills development, UNESCO aims at strengthening vocational, technical and livelihoods skills for development and participation of young people.

One of the major problems UNESCO will be addressing is the need to increase opportunities for employment and participation in income generation activities for the youth. As verified from different studies and reports, the youths are deficient in employable skills and have limited opportunities to develop themselves in the current situation.

In the last 7 years, there has been increased attention by the international community to the revitalisation of the TVET sector. Unfortunately, the capacity of the Ministry of Education to coordinate and monitor the implementation of the TVET is weak raising serious questions on quality and sustainability.

The result has been training that is neither linked to the market nor designed with adequate consideration of the capacity of the trainees to uptake and practice the skills effectively.


With a population of 7.7 million in 2006[2], and an income per capita estimated in 2002 to be $226 (compared to $515 in Sub-Saharan Africa), Somalia is one of the poorest countries in the world. The UNDP's Human Development Index ranked Somalia 161 out of 163 countries in 2001. Extreme poverty (less than $1 PPP) is estimated at 43 percent. It is 10 percentage points higher for rural and nomadic populations. General poverty (less than $2 PPP) afflicts 73 percent of households, but reaches 80 percent in rural and nomadic populations.

Income inequality is significant with the poorest 10 percent of the population receiving only 1.5 percent of total income. The civil conflict, continuing insecurity in many parts of the country, and poor access to services and infrastructure have made conditions worse than they were before the civil war. Absent or weak administrative structures provide minimal interference with trade or private sector activities. As a consequence, the private sector has flourished, trading with neighbouring and Asian countries, processing agricultural products and manufacturing on a small scale, and providing services previously monopolized or dominated by the public sector.

There has been significant (but unmeasured) private investment in commercial ventures, including in trade and marketing, money transfer services, transport, communications, airlines, telecommunications, construction and hotels, education and health, and fishery equipment, largely funded by the large remittances from the Diaspora. The World Bank Country brief for Somalia (2009) assesses that remittances, amounting to about $1 billion per year, have partially offset a larger drop in per capita output for Somalia. However, persistent insecurity threatens further growth of the private sector and the absence of provision of key public goods is hurting both rural and urban households and the private sector.

The macro-economic situation offers opportunities as well as challenges in the promotion of vocational and livelihoods skills. The thriving private sector, offers varied opportunities for skills to drive the growth of the different enterprises. Some of the skills are not readily available in Somalia and are frequently sourced from Diaspora or neighbouring countries, the main reason being that there are not adequate Vocational Training Institutions that offer quality trainings to meet the skills demand of the local market.

On the other hand, the weak administrations have resulted to growth of the private sector, including the vocational training under a policy vacuum. Even where it exists in Somaliland, enforcement is weak leading to major challenges on quality control. In an environment where the private sector is far ahead of the regulatory functions of the government, it would be more prudent to pursue the dual track of strengthening the government's capacity to implement policy guidelines alongside capacity development of the private vocational training institutions and organisations to implement demand driven quality skills training and self regulate.

Male and female Gross Enrolment Rates was estimated by UNICEF to be 37 percent and 25 percent respectively in 2006/2007 school year[3]. Since 2000, the number of children enrolled in grades 1-8 has increased roughly by 300%, from an estimated 150,000 to over 467,780[4]. There is a very high disparity between male and female learners, administrative regions, and various social and economic groups. Secondary enrolment rates are even lower, estimated by UNESCO[5] to stand at only 6%. Those joining Institutional Based Vocational Training are even lower as the facilities only exist in major cities of Puntland, Somaliland and Central South Somalia. Even where they exist, their capacity to absorb the growing number of school dropouts and those who complete grade 8 and form 4 for vocational training is limited.

It is estimated that about 65.5% of the urban youth are unemployed. The figure is lower among the rural and nomadic communities where it is estimated to be 40.7%[6]. This is expected, bearing in mind that in rural areas, over 75% of the communities is estimated to be employed within the agricultural and livestock sector- their main source of livelihoods. Overreliance on traditional farming systems coupled with extreme weather conditions have been highlighted as major causes of poverty in the rural areas.

A feasibility study conducted by the EC in June 2004 in Puntland and Somaliland revealed that there was a very high rate of unemployment among young adults, and in turn resulted to vulnerable livelihoods and widespread poverty of the target groups. The situation is worse in Central-South Somalia where the civil war destroyed the entire economic and social infrastructure resulting in missed opportunities, disruption of the social order, poverty and vulnerability.

Based on available policy papers, strategies and study reports available in the three different regions major problems identified on access to TVET include: threat to traditional livelihoods sources, Structural constraints on job creation, limited availability of people with employable skills and basic education and, high population of disadvantaged people. Among the strategies suggested to address these problems include: provision of financial resources to strengthen TVET framework; Institutional and organisational development for sustainability of TVET, raising quality levels and relevance of skills to increase employability; policy dialogue with partners; Increase and optimise capacity through better management and utilisation of facilities; increased provision and retention of qualified trainers and the implementation of employment promotion to improve rural livelihoods.

Financial support towards development of TVET sector by EC, Italian Cooperation, UNDP and other international development partners have resulted to enhanced institutional framework for implementation of vocational training. In particular, capacity has been developed in the ministries of Education in Puntland and Somaliland resulting to the establishment of TVET units, administered under the NFE department headed by a Director. TVET policy developed under the EC funded PETT project has already been approved and adopted by MOE, Somaliland. In Puntland, the draft policy developed under the same project has not been finalised for adoption by the council of ministers and parliament. However, attributes of it are well captured in the Puntland Education Policy Paper (PEPP), 2007.

Personnel working in Vocational Training Institutions have benefited from capacity building programs implemented under the PETT and STEO projects funded by EC and UNESCO support. The vocational training centers in Kismayo, Mogadisho, Berbera, Burao, Hargeisa, Galkaio, Garowe and Bosaso have received support in the form of equipment. The Kuwait government contributed equipment towards Garowe Technical and Vocational Training center. However, due to low pay, the institutions have not been able to retain all the trained personnel.

However, as captured by End of Project evaluation[7] report of PETT (Promotion of Employment Through Training) project, there are many gaps that the current grants are not able to completely address owing to the large number of people who need the skills.

The vocational training manuals developed by UNESCO for 11 crafts and trade skills covering levels 3 & 2 are the only coherent manuals that exist. The manuals have been good references materials for vocational training programs implemented from different funding sources in Somalia.

Several studies undertaken by international development partners indicate that the vast majority of the 14-20 year age group is out of school and with very limited access to education and skills training. Among the urban, rural and pastoral families, lack of employment and poverty are consistently ranked the most common problems and potentially the most common causes of other social problems.

The institutional framework for implementing TVET in all the three zones (Puntland, Somaliland and South Central Somalia) is weak and currently not able to offer technical support that would guarantee quality control, registration and certification of all the institutions providing vocational training.

The situation in south central Somalia is different; Coverage of Ministry of Education as an implementing partner is limited to small pockets of Mogadisho; No recognizable central authority for liaison purposes; Widespread destruction of facilities which could create demand for more capital especially for institutional based intervention (IBTVET); fluid security situation pitting the armed groups against the Transitional Federal Government and threatening to result to full blown conflict.

The Technical, vocational and livelihood skills development envisaged by UNESCO is in tandem with the Rehabilitation and Development priorities for Somalia that can partly be pursued through supporting sustainable livelihoods improvement via provision of employable skills to the youth. Currently the majority of the youth have limited knowledge and skills to enhance their employability (self or paid) and productivity. It is recognized that chances of gainful employment are enhanced by acquisition of employable skills.

The Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Somalia is very limited due to lack of adequate infrastructure and systems to implement the activities falling under the sector. Trainings are provided by private vocational training centers and the few public training centers funded by the international community. As institutionalised training is limited, most trainees acquire their skills through apprentice training. In effect the quality of skills acquired is dependent on the capacity of the trainee and the quality of the trainers/craftsmen to provide training. TVET needs to be expanded in order to produce skilled artisans and middle level technicians who will eventually strengthen the Somali economy, which can then increasingly rely on their own domestic workforce. Consequently, the MoEs need support in order to expand their capacities by strengthening the TVET framework.

The increased efforts by the international community to provide improved technology (eg motorised water pumps, grain milling machines, tractor hire, and improved livestock management systems) are intended to raise productivity and value addition to cushion people's livelihood activities from the effects of extreme weather patterns. Due to limited technical skills, the uptake and sustainability of this technology has been discouraging. The low unemployment in the rural areas by itself is deceiving as there is plenty of disguised unemployment. Many implementing partners (IPs) have activities under the broad category of livelihoods development. These entail beekeeping, tailoring and dressmaking, soap making, sesame oil extraction and flour milling. By funding livelihood activities, Implementing partners plan to graduate the communities from emergency to development status. But despite the increased programming around the livelihoods development activities, beneficiaries are not being linked to vocational training institutions to acquire the relevant skills; in other regions, skills training opportunities are completely lacking. Evaluation reports of many of these interventions present a very grim picture of the sustainability of provided technologies. The primary objective in providing the technologies was to increase productivity that was to result to increased income and employment opportunities for the many unemployed youth in the urban and rural areas.

As poverty and unemployment are the major drivers of conflict in Somalia, employment creation for the youth is not only a social and economic necessity but also a political imperative.

The study is based on the information needs by UNESCO to guide in planning interventions in TVET and livelihoods Skills Development in Somalia. The study aims at analysing the status of Technical Vocational Education and livelihood skills Development (TVELSD) in Somalia to map out current interventions and gaps in the sector. It also aims to assess the policy and resource capacity of the respective MOEs to implement a sustainable TVET. The survey is reviewed against the existing policies by the government in the respective regions.

The broad national development study in Somalia is well documented in the Joint Needs Assessment (JNA) report and the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) report.

A previous survey undertaken by UNESCO PEER[8] in 2002 revealed that a number of the institutions providing TVET lacked proper management structures, standardised curriculum and assessment system. Additionally, they lacked adequate equipment, teaching and learning materials, and qualified and motivated personnel.

A countrywide market feasibility study conducted by European Commission[9] in 2004 re-confirmed this state of affairs by citing the following constraints in the TVET sub-sector.

* Weaknesses in the management of TVET activities;

* Difficulties of quality assurance for TVET, especially limited availability of course syllabi and lack of qualified technical trainers;

* Limited number of standardized TVET courses;

* Lack of standardized assessment and certification services;

* Urban bias of TVET opportunities and limited benefits to rural communities;

* Difficulties of sustaining TVET interventions;

* Lack of strategic planning for TVET by local authorities;

* Limited capacity of local authorities to manage TVET

Prior to the civil war that culminated in the collapse of the government in 1991, Somalia had functioning technical and vocational institutions in Mogadishu, Kismayu, Burao and Hargeisa that specialized in a range of technical courses and traditional trades at craft and artisan levels. Youth joined these institutions to acquire specialized skills that in turn enabled them to join the employment sector, either as employees or self employed persons.

Most of these institutions were however destroyed or run down during the long period of civil. Consequently, these events resulted to high drop out of youth from schools to add to the number of unskilled youth that existed even before the civil war. With limited skills and no functioning education system, the youth had limited livelihood options.

In apparent response to the demand for education and vocational skills training, the international community through UN, INGOs, LNGOs have supported the rehabilitation and or construction of vocational training centers in major towns of Somaliland (Hargeisa, Berbera and Burao), Puntland (Bosaso, Garowe, Gardo and Galkaio) and Central South Somalia (Mogadishu, Merka, Baidoa). Most of the functioning institutions are owned by local Institutions and governments through the support of the International Community.

Several skills provided in these institutions include: garment making, soap making, tie and dye, carpentry, computer technology, masonry, electrical installation, plumbing and metal fabrication.

UNESCO PEER through Technical and Vocational Education projects funded by the Italian Government initiated several interventions to revitalize technical and vocational education in Somalia at the grassroots level. Some of those interventions include: development of curricula/syllabi in selected marketable and demand driven trade areas, training of instructors and center managers, provision of course materials and textbooks to vocational training centres and initiation of standardized assessment and certification.

This study commissioned by UNESCO PEER draws lessons from past and current activities on TVET in Somalia.


According to the TOR, the study will identify dimensions of technical and vocational education training (TVET): Skills Development and issues of economic relevance, social relevance, and management models effectiveness. Based on this; make recommendations for increased and improved TVET delivery in Somalia.

The anticipated results of the study will be as follows:

1 Analysis of the organization and structure of TVET, public and private, formal and non-formal, by levels and management structures, including objectives, strategies and results, as well as the regulatory framework for private TVET

2 Identification of the main issues and problems in TVET delivery in terms of relevance to economic and market requirements, access to training, quality of training, and efficiency in the delivery processes.

3 Analysis of government TVET management and delivery.

4 Recommendations on improving the relevance, equity, quality, efficiency and management of TVET


The study was planned to cover the whole of Somalia but due to insecurity in the Central South Somalia, the Consultant limited his visits to Puntland and Somaliland- the two semi-autonomous regions of Somalia. The survey covered the Non Formal, technical and vocational Education sub-sector targeting the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS), Refugees, Returnees, pastoral communities and ex militia as study groups. The study involved undertaking socio-economic and prefeasibility investigation of vocational and livelihoods skills training in Somaliland, Puntland and Central South Somalia. Unfortunately, field visits to south central was not undertaken due to insecurity.


i. Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in conflict and post conflict areas is a critical component of the socio-economic development of target communities. It has been assessed that acquisition of livelihood skills results in enhancing communities' ability in battling poverty and social exclusion in favour of self-employment. By spreading know-how, it inspires innovation and works to curb unemployment, especially among marginalized population in conflict and post-conflict countries.

ii. It will act as a catalyst for streamlining the TVET sector in Somalia by providing information which will better inform policy makers and service providers and facilitate TVET programme development.

iii. It will contribute to better coordination and implementation among stakeholders.


Following initial meetings with the Head of UNESCO PEER in Somalia, it was agreed that the study would review the initial study report, assess information gaps not addressed by the submitted report and use a combination of methods to collect information necessary in re-drafting the report.

The study thus reviewed available information on TVET projects that included the PETT and STEO, relevant TVET-related surveys, project evaluations reports and best practices undertaken elsewhere in the world. There was a feasibility Survey done by EC[10] in June 2008 covering Puntland and Somaliland and the report was extensively used as a key source of information for this study especially in the general overview of livelihoods and vocational training situation in Somaliland and Puntland.

However, from the gaps identified from the direct interviews with stakeholders in Somaliland and Puntland and to validate some of the information contained in the report and documents reviewed, questionnaires were designed to elicit information from the some of the VTC where much of the information gaps existed. The data collection was undertaken by consultant assisted by field based UNESCO staff.

The methodologies adopted in redrafting the report included:

i. collection of data from the submitted report,

ii. stakeholders consultations and interviews,

iii. Review of literature available, and

iv. internet research,

The methodology and approach used in generating data for the first report included:

i. Discussions with different TVET stakeholders, NGOs, UN agencies, institutional managers and trainees to understand implementation of TVET;

ii. Focused group discussions with the Somali Ministries of Education officials at various levels and other stakeholders to establish policy aspects of Non Formal and Technical and Vocational Education;

iii. Site visits to observe institutional facilities;

iv. Document review of UNESCO PEER reports and syllabuses and reports of other agencies' hard copies and online including UNESCO Website to gain insight into technical and vocational education;

v. Structured questionnaire used to access baseline data on institutions offering technical and vocational training;

vi. An assessment of the job market to find out the livelihood skills and skill gaps.

The consultant was not able to visit some central south Somalia but was able to interview MOE officials in Puntland, Somaliland and other implementing partners in both locations. Much of the information in compiling this report is derived from the initial field interviews undertaken by the first consultant and enriched by additional literature reviewed.


The time allocated for this assignment was grossly inadequate considering the expectation of the TOR. The initial report done, and which formed the main source/reference of the re-drafted report was a very difficult read. The consultant did not have adequate time to visit many sites in the field; rather, much of the data was collected from the internet and secondary sources.



In an effort to achieve optimum benefit from different donor's interventions, the Somali Support Secretariat (SSS) was established to support, serve and facilitate the policy, planning and dialogue between the various coordination structures with an aim to support a coherent coordination framework for the implementation of the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP). The Somali Support Secretariat provides complementary and responsive secretariat services in support of the coordination structure between Somali authorities and the international aid community.

Starting 2009, EC is funding the ‘Education Sector Development Programme'[11] for Somalia with one of its priorities being to achieve quality universal basic education and vocational training. As part of the effort to realise this priority, Save the Children Denmark was funded to implement VETAPE (Vocational Education and Training for Accelerated Promotion of Employment) project in Somalia. The project builds on the lessons learned from PETT I &II (Promotion of Employment Through Training I & II) and STEO (Skills Training for Employment Opportunities) funded by EC and implemented by Diakonia and Save the Children Denmark in different regions of Somalia.

As of June 2004, World Bank did not have Country Assistance Strategy (CAS)[12] for Somalia due to significant arrears on past debt-servicing obligations. However as part of undertaking the World Bank low-income countries under stress (LICUS) approach in Somalia, the world bank and UNDP issued a re-engagement note which sets forth the rationale for the use of their common resources to provide basic public goods, accelerate socio-economic recovery, and create an enabling environment for long-term institutional and policy change.

The Somali Joint Needs Assessment (JNA) was an initiative by UN and World Bank done in full consultation with Somali counterparts aimed to overcome consequences of conflict or war, prevent renewed outbreak and shape a 5-year (2008-2013) reconstruction and development plan (RDP) of priorities as well as articulate their financial implications on the basis of an overall long-term vision or goal and orientated to the Millennium Development Goals. The Somali RDP is the resultant output of the JNA process.

The RDP pillars include investing in people through improved social services especially in education, health and water supply.

The United Nations Transition Plan (UNTP) for Somalia for 2008-2013 was formulated as a common plan for agencies, funds and programmes of the UN. The UNTP sets out the strategy of the UN in Somalia, what it aims to achieve, and how it will do this within the RDP. In the area of education, the UN will focus on ensuring equitable access to quality education services in Somalia in their strategy.

Since 1993 the institutional initiatives had evolved without any strategic plan. The UNTP aims at harmonising, aligning and informing the education sector actor initiatives among many others.

Reports and chosen development strategies by EU, UN and other donors to Somalia acknowledge that there is need for concerted efforts to strengthen the capacity of the public sector to enhance governance systems and economic development. It is widely agreed that support to the government should be done simultaneously with support to other implementing partners who include; local and International Non Governmental Organisations (L/INGOs), United Nations (UN), Non-State Actors (NSA) and Civil Society Organisations (CSO). Developing synergies between projects and increased capacity of partner governments will hopefully enable the government to gradually reclaim its prime mandate of ensuring access to basic needs by its citizens.

The Puntland government has not formulated strategies for the ministry of education. However, it has a draft education policy in which it propose that the strategies should cover the following areas: early childhood education, primary education, curriculum development, secondary education, tertiary education, non-formal education, technical and vocational education, training, teacher education, education management, planning and finance.

The TFG's White Paper, which is a policy document, has prioritised the following areas: curriculum development, school financing, teacher training, vocational and technical education, rehabilitation of educational facilities, higher education management, and development of a national education policy.

Somaliland has developed an education policy and an education sector strategic plan which guide the Ministry of Education's development path. The ministry has also developed a TVET policy, Teacher Education policy and financing strategies for Somaliland. The policy and strategy documents have been useful tools in guiding the efforts of the government and the development partners in enhancing growth of the education sector.


Puntland Education Policy Paper outlines clearly determination by the government to expand TVET access to both men and women. In particular, it is envisioned in the policy that by upgrading and expanding some of the existing TVET training institutes to offer courses for crafts, technicians and technologists and by developing a framework that will attract and support the participation of the private sector in the provision of TVET programmes, Puntland government hopes to increase enrolment by those completing primary and secondary education by 30%[13]. Encouraged by the growing involvement of the private sector in TVET development, the government is encouraging employers to introduce attractive terms and conditions of service for TVET graduates as one way of promoting and sustaining economic gains of expanded access to TVET. A programme of sponsorships/bursaries for TVET trainees, especially women and learners from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, is a major consideration of programs implemented. The government plans establishment of gender-responsive guidance and counselling units in TVET institutions, to promote retention of learners.

The priorities identified by the government to revitalise the TVET sector include[14]:

1. Development, review and revision of the TVET curriculum to improve the quality and relevance of the TVET system to reflect the needs of Puntland and the trainees;

2. Establishment of standards and performance evaluation mechanisms for TVET graduates;

3. Adequate staffing of institutions with academically and professionally competent instructors

4. Development of a strategic plan for TVET teacher education and development;

5. Establishment of instructional resource centres;

6. Establishment of a TVET unit within the MOE to deal with issues related to standardization, assessment, evaluation, equivalence and certification.

7. Documentation and analysis of gender information related to enrolment, staffing, course offerings, status of facilities and linkages within the labour market.

It should be noted that many youth are willing to attend trainings that link them directly to the market. It will be futile to put them through trainings that cannot offer them employment. In a country with limited employment opportunities, education or training is never a priority unless it is perceived or assessed by the learners to have the potential to link them with livelihood opportunities. Training is seen to be a waste of time and money if the trainees are not able to determine the immediate economic benefits of the training.


The Ministry of Education in Hargiesa is comprised of a Minister of Education; Vice Minister Director General and Departments of: Schools; Curriculum and Training; Planning, Research and Coordination; Administration and Finance; Personnel; Inspectorate; Supervision; Secondary Education; and Higher Education. There are also two autonomous public institutions in the sector, the National Examination and Certification Board and the Orphanage School.

The Ministry has completed a strategic plan to improve Gross Enrolment Rate (GER) to 75 percent by 2012 and an “Education Act” to provide a new legal and institutional framework for expanding and normalizing the provision of public education. Most of the officials interviewed expressed the need to undertake a strengthening of the Ministry structures. The Education budget in 08/09 represents about 4.7 percent of the total Somaliland budget.


The Central South Somalia is lacking in any central authority to regulate the sector. The emerging VTCs, sponsored by local NGOs and groups have weak systems and unqualified trainers. The promoters or managers lack appropriate qualification or comprehension of the dynamics of the sector. They provide quick-win type of TVET activities that target IDPs, refugees and any groups sponsored by donor agencies. They have no standardised curriculum, the content and scope is determined by the trainer. Learners' progress is rarely monitored to inform review of methodology or content. They have no specialisation and will commit to implement any training program sponsored by a donor even when they lack the minimum capacity.

Ironically, for VTE to succeed in Central South Somalia, these very NGOs offer the best alternative. Due to their flexibility and readiness to learn, their capacity can be improved to enable them implement other VTE skills. With the current insecurity prevailing in Central South Somalia, and bearing in mind the importance of close monitoring of these interventions, UNESCO PEER may wish to consider services of a private firm to do the monitoring, should it chose to intervene in this region of Somalia.



According to the Guidelines issued jointly by UNESCO and ILO and adopted by UNESCO General Conference at its 31 Session in 2001 and recommended for implementation by countries according to their socio-economic status, TVET (Technical and vocational education and training) is defined accordingly as “a study of technologies and related sciences, and the acquisition of knowledge, skills and attitudes related to occupation in various sectors of economic and social life.”

It aims at preparing learners and trainees for occupational fields and the world of work, promoting environmentally sound and sustainable development and facilitating poverty alleviation.

In Somalia context, the target beneficiaries include; out of school youth due to drop out, demobilized soldiers, returnees, disabled persons, young adults of 18-24 years, girls and women heads of households whose husbands have either fled the country or killed in civil strive, refugees and secondary school leavers.


The weak administrations existing in Puntland, Somaliland and Central South Somalia are not able to effectively coordinate and streamline on their own all the different interventions towards TVET. UNESCO will have to seek to the most possible extent synergy effects with other donors' interventions. These include EU, UNDP, UNHCR, ILO and International NGOs executed programs. The organisational platform where this synergy can be sought and reached is the Education Sector Committee (ESC) of Somali Support Secretariat and the field coordination mechanisms in Puntland and Somaliland. The challenges of accessing south central Somalia make Nairobi the most suitable hub for coordinating activities for South Central Somalia. Ultimately, coordination of interventions will have to been transferred to the respective administrations. As this cannot happen immediately, a systematic program of strengthening capacity of the partner ministries of education is an important aspect of achieving coordination.

Presently, EC is funding vocational training programme covering all the three administrative zones of Somalia. Other donors like Italian cooperation, UNDP continue to support vocational training centers with equipment and management capacity of the institutions. These efforts will not achieve the desired outputs unless coordination structures are strengthened at all levels. NATIONAL COORDINATION

In both Somaliland and Puntalnd, TVET is managed as part of Non Formal Education and thus falls within the NFE department, headed by a Director. The departments in both zones are understaffed; and even the few staff in the department lack appropriate technical background or experience. Existing TVET management structures are weak and require strengthening so that there is effectiveness in implementation.

In all the three zones, the individual VTCs operate independently with limited input or guidance from the Ministry of Education. They are owned by CBOs and local NGOS. The few that are owned by the government in Somaliland and Puntland are run by a management committee selected by the government and the community. The structures are decentralised and no central authority is exercised to regulate or streamline the TVET sector. The government which is naturally expected to play this role lacks requisite capacity.

The choice of curriculum, skills and determination of fees to charge is the sole responsibility of the management board of respective VTCs. Donor preferences and VTCs management's assessment of the market guide in course selection. Owing to the weak management structures and poor qualifications of VTC managements, their analysis of the market skills demands is weak leading to oversupply of people having similar skills. As the absorption capacity of the skills into the economy is low many VTCs are graduating trainees destined for unemployment. Even the few ‘owned' by the government in Somaliland and Puntland, are run with limited government input. This is understandable as the government itself lacks capacity to supervise TVET.

The link between the national and regional education offices in regard to TVET is weak and beset with challenges of certification, quality, coordination and standardisation.

For TVET to be reflective of the local economic needs the current TVET institutional management has to be streamlined and capacity developed in personnel, systems and policies that are vital for structured growth of the sector. The private sector participation-, being the major driver of economic development in Somalia- is necessary.

Concerted efforts by development partners should be further enhanced so that the government's capacity to provide enabling environment while ensuring quality control is strengthened. Taking into account the level of growth of the private sector vis viz that of the government, private public partnerships should be forged in managing selected vocational training centers in key urban centers to serve as model vocational training centers (VTC). Appropriate attention to issues affecting access to quality TVET will not be realised unless and until a specialised TVET unit under the ambit of NFE is further strengthened by investing in appropriate material and financial resources. Currently, TVET lacks regional structures as the REOs do not view NFE monitoring and support as part of their responsibility. The capacity building should thus entail inducting them on TVET working towards jointly designing monitoring tools. This calls for review of job description of the regional education staff to include TVET development. It should be well coordinated with the NFE director. Ideally, each region should have an NFE officer to steer the TVET activities.

A program rather than a project will serve the long-term sustainability needs of the sector better. As such, any input to the sub-sector should be planned with the commitment to strengthen and build on past and current interventions.

The hosting of TVET under the NFE department has great relevance in the sense that adult education, women education and lifeskills training that fall under the department do enhance outputs of TVET. People interviewed in the field agree that TVET fits well within the NFE department.

A consolidation of discussions with stakeholders identified the functions[15] of TVET unit as:

i. Plan and coordinate TVE Programmes, monitor supply and demand for goods and services, knowledge and skills in demand and approve new TVE Programmes,

ii. Provide a sound financial framework in which TVE costs are shared among the government, industry, community and the trainees;

iii. Establish a quality assurance mechanism that should enable the units to direct the following aspects of the TVET programme:

* Quality admission criteria and standards which should be reviewed and evaluated periodically

* Acceptable quality of curriculum and teaching materials

* Acceptable ratio of teaching and training staff to learners

* Staff qualifications

* Physical facilities and layout

* Quality and type of equipment

* Trainee qualification requirement

The units are constrained by the following factors:

i. Understaffing of the units makes implementation of the above functions difficult

ii. Management and implementation of TVET is decentralized and left in the hands of various stakeholders including UN agencies, NGOs and Government institutions. The State Governments do not have the resources to run these institutions in an efficient manner. This state of affairs makes the management and control of standards difficult in a situation where implementation may be determined by donor interest. The institutions lack strategies for sustainability.

At the national level the following were identified as key players and stakeholders in the provision of TVET in the three zones: ministry of education, directorate of non-formal education, the examination board and Curriculum Development Department. Programs designed to develop TVET are required to generate inputs from these important departments for standardisation and sustainability.

Other stakeholders identified for their role in implementing vocational training include:

Puntland: Puntland Community College (PCC), Garowe Vocational Training Centre (VTC), School of Professional Studies and Services (SPSS), Somali Institute of Business Administration (SIBA) and Galkayo vocational training center.

Somaliland: Havoyoko vocational and Technical training center; Hargeisa vocational and training school; SIITCO (Scientific Institute and Information Technology College); BVTC ( Burao Vocational Training Centre); SOSTA (Somaliland Skills Training Association.

Hiran: Kanava youth center,Kulmiye youth organisation and ISRAC Women origination.

The VTC possess facilities and systems albeit weak for delivery of vocational training. These institutions have gained crucial experience through successfully implementing vocational training programs funded by different agencies including EC funded PETT project. Reasonable capacity has also been developed among the VTCs referred to.

Puntland, Somaliland and Central South Somalia don't have a standardized curriculum or syllabi for TVET. There is also no standardized system for TVET assessment, examination and certification that has been developed by the Ministry of Education (MoE). The only standardized curriculum available but not being used in most of the TVET centres is the UNESCO PEER developed curriculum[16]. However the level of adoption of the UNESCO PEER developed curriculum in Somaliland is much better than in Puntland. It is imperative that this is considered in any future intervention.

From discussions with stakeholders, it was deduced that a top down approach should be adopted to create a standard management model for all VTCs. The MOE assisted by a Technical and Vocational Education Board (TVETB) should be the forum to lay down all policy matters and guidelines pertaining to TVET. The Parent Teacher Association is visualised to play and advisory role to achieve better interaction, improve and develop harmonious working environment at the VTC. The study recommends a three tier system as depicted in figure 1. ORGANISATIONAL ARRANGEMENT

At VTC level an effective management structures should be in place though the nature of organization chart will depend on the complexity of the institution. Some basic minimum provision should be as proposed in the organizational chart below.


There are a number of donor organizations, UN agencies and local and international non-governmental organizations that are actively engaged in TVET. Few of them are mentioned here.


European Commission remained as one of the leading donors towards TVET activities in Somalia. Since 2004, EC has supported TVET activities by funding PETT I&II, STEO and VETAPE projects implemented in partnership with International Non Governmental organizations (Diakonia and Save the children). Currently EC and UNESCO-PEER are in consultation with each other for better planning and support to VTCs in Somalia.

Key achievements registered from ECs support to TVET include:

* Translation of UNESCO PEER developed TVET text books to Somali language for use by local VTCs

* Review and synthesis of Local Economic Development materials

* Local Economic Development (LED) study undertaken to help in identification of LED opportunities that could be utilized in employment promotion through the provision of skill training in technical and vocational education and training (TVET) centres.

* TVET quality control/ assurance and supervision system development

* Labour market survey undertaken to guide in reviewing the training being provided to ensure its responsiveness to the market needs for both Puntland and Somaliland

* Provision of skills training and employment opportunities to over 7,000 graduates of TVET

* Capacity of NFE/TVET strengthened in both Puntland and Somaliland


It is UNESCO-PEER's key donor for the TVET activities and has been helping in the development of TVET curriculum and capacity building of the instructors, trainees and VTCs in Somalia UNESCO PEER

It has been one of the major providers of TVET services. Main initiatives being undertaken by UNESCO-PEER are as under:

* Training of Centre Managers and Instructors. A number of workshops have been organized under the supervision of the qualified trainers aimed at capacity building of managers and trainers.

* Development of Curriculum/Syllabi. It has been undertaken in market demanded trade areas. The courses being undertaken previously were mostly supply based rather than need based. So far syllabi for 11 trade/skill areas have been written at two skills proficiency levels (level 3 and level 2).

* Instructors Guide and Assessment Guides. They were prepared to help the trainers in teaching and assessing the performance of the students

* Provision of Support materials and textbooks. These were provided to VTCs besides miscellaneous training aids.

* Initiation of Standardized Assessment and Certification System. UNESCO-PEER has been helping these institutions to adopt a standardized assessment and certification system. All assessment papers have been developed in the recent years which will be adopted with the joint agreement of all the stakeholders.

* Application of Uniform Curriculum in all States. There have been positive achievements in adoption of uniform curriculum in all states. Central South Somalia and Somaliland have agreed to follow the curriculum developed through the assistance of UNESCO-PEER with slight modifications based on the demand of different NGOs like Diakonia, SCD and Gotenberg Initiative. Puntland government has also been in discussion with UNESCO-PEER and has also agreed to implement the same syllabi.

* Enterprise Based Training (EBT). To support this, UNESCO-PEER'S TVET Programme has made EBT mandatory in all trade/skill areas so that trainees graduating from the Programme may easily engage in self-employment rendering themselves as job creators rather than job seekers.


A large number of private vocational training centres exist in Somalia that are offering courses mostly in business administration, management, accounting, English, Arabic and computer software & hardware. They are a dynamic and successful part of the technical training market in Somalia with a good grasp of the type of training Somali people are willing to pay for. They are strong competitors to any donor-funded training institutions offering similar courses. They can also be enlisted as partners in implementation of TVET.


There are a number of local and International Non Governmental organisations implementing TVET in many regions of Somalia. They implement short term projects that are interwoven with bigger projects. There is limited coordination of their activities under the TVET thematic area. It is common to find NGOs implementing food security projects also having a small component of training women in tie/dye or weaving. These will be reported under the food security thematic area and not TVET.

In the Central South Somalia regions of Bay, Bakool, Geod Lower Juba, Benadir, Lower and Middle Shabelle, INTERSOS is being supported with course books by UNESCO PEER to implement vocational skill in the field of masonary, auto mechanics and electrical installations.

GTZ Germany is also actively engaged in implementing TVET targeting ex-militia and ex-combatants. The funding provided by UNDP and EC has facilitated implementation of these activities in Hargeisa, where it collaborated with Hargeisa Technical Institute and Mogadisho vocational training centers.


UNDP is a major donor to Somalia, particularly targeting the public sector. It funds projects under recovery and sustainable livelihoods.


Based on findings from different studies and implementation experiences of partners captured in their evaluation and other technical studies on the TVET sector, UNESCO should plan the program taking into account the following important strategy / policy priorities.


Programme proposals developed by UN agencies and other implementing partners are discussed with the partner governments to evaluate their viability. Upon acceptance of the proposed methodology, the local administrations will sign letters of agreement with concerned parties to clearly spell out the responsibilities of different stakeholders. Some proposals designed in the past have failed to take of the ground after the government expressed concerns of the security implications of implementing such interventions. This can be avoided by involving the local partners in the design of the proposal where such concerns can be accommodated in the design.


UNESCO PEER could also consider adopting a multi-sectoral approach, where the organization enters into a consortium with other organisations to implement certain programme activities or UN agencies enter into strategic partnerships with donors and partners. Besides leveraging on resources and distinct competencies of consortium members, the approach spreads the risk of implementation across many partners. The consortium members will either share geographical areas or share specific project activities or both. The details of the partnership or consortium need to be negotiated at the time of developing the proposal to avoid obvious conflicts that may emerge in sharing project activities and resources after the funding approval has been communicated.


Agreed TVET activities can be implemented by MOE as partners in the implementation of the project activities. The Ministry of Education in this case will be both a beneficiary and implementing partner. Besides the project benefiting from already existing structures within the ministry, through this partnership, the capacity of the Ministry of Education to implement TVET will be strengthened. Prior to this, UNESCO PEER will need to carry out a Organisation Capacity Assessment of MOE to determine early enough capacity gaps existing, and use this information to design capacity development plans for the ministry. The process will help map out other capacity development programs by other partners. Using this information, UNESCO will be able to establish synergy with other ongoing or planned programs by other partners.


The partner governments in Puntland, Somaliland and Central South Somalia have weak financial basis as their revenue collection mechanisms are weak. For example, in Puntland, education funding is only 1.9% of the budget.

Resources for education and training must be mobilised from different sources to increase allocation at the national and regional administrations. This will have to be reflected in policy / strategy and in the design of interventions as well as related technical advisory services that need to be extended to the host government.

Great caution must be observed that the financial assistance does not erode the local administrations' initiatives to mobilise resources (from taxes, local communities and Somalis in the diaspora) to contribute to TVET. UNESCO PEER should only fund an agreed percentage of the budget so that the assistance does not jeopardise the overriding principal of a community or government driven sustainable development process.

The financial support could include capacity strengthening of the TVET department to be operational or supporting the VTCs with equipment and other training materials.


Presently and in the near future, given the dire financial situation of Puntland, Somaliland and Central South Somalia, access to TVET will require increased contribution from the donors and the local communities. Local communities must own the process by designing TVET programs that easily translate into employment for the graduates. This requires intensive market studies and analysis to feed in course design. This will make a big contribution towards realisation of the overall goal of achieving ownership and sustainability. However, a step in this direction will be the feasibility review and increased coordination with partners' investing into income generating activities for the youth.


Administrations of respective regions will have to improve efficiency and quality of their TVET systems. With very small education budgets there is need to raise and maintain at least reasonable quality levels. The policy option to address this is to increase and optimise capacity, mainly through better management and utilisation of facilities, better coordination of interventions and increased provision of qualified trainers. It also entails standardisation of curriculum and examination systems for TVET.

All this will require substantial funding from the donors, partner administrations and the local communities. Therefore, there is need to lobby the partner governments to increase allocation of funding to TVET in the educational budget. It also points at the need to link the educational budgetary issues with technical advisory services at MOE headquarters level so that there is structured implementation of TVET.

In addition to such an approach, a div