UK aid in a conflict-affected country: Reducing conflict and fragility in Somalia

In extremely challenging circumstances, UK aid is making a positive contribution to state-building and stability in Somalia.

Score: Green/Amber
  1. Status: Completed
  2. Published: 23 June 2017
  3. Type: Performance review
  4. Subject: Country focus, Cross-government aid spend, Fragile states, UK aid funds
  5. Assessment: Green/Amber
  6. Location: Somalia
  7. Lead commissioner: Richard Gledhill


Somalia is a strategically important country for the UK, with numerous historical and trading links, and is situated within a set of interlocking regional conflicts sometimes described as the “arc of instability”. There is a UK National Security Council (NSC) strategy for the country, which the aid programme supports. The UK has played a major role in some of the key peace-building and state-building processes in Somalia over the past decade.

Our Somalia review assesses the performance of the UK aid programme in tackling conflict and reducing fragility in Somalia, focusing mainly on the period from 2011 onwards. We examine the evolution of the overall approach, and review a selection of bilateral programmes managed by the Department for International Development (DFID) Somalia and projects funded through the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) and its predecessor, the Conflict Pool. Given the highly insecure environment, much of the aid programme is managed remotely from Nairobi in neighbouring Kenya. We look at the effectiveness of the delivering mechanisms in overcoming access constraints.

Overall we found that UK aid was making a positive contribution to state-building and stability in Somalia in extremely challenging circumstances and awarded a green-amber score. We also made eight recommendations for improvements.



Published 4 October 2016

Evidence gathering


Review publication

Published 23 June 2017

Government response

Published 4 August 2017

Parliamentary scrutiny

IDC hearing 18 October 2017

ICAI follow-up

Published 29 June 2018