What happened: NCA head office received in December 2019 two complaint concerning one of our local partners in Somalia. The main allegations were procurement issues, conflict of interest, nepotism, as well as claiming that the partner had not completed work according to plans.
What did we do: Covid-19 as well as serious security issues led to restrictions for travelling the spring of 2020. The NCA Regional Security Advisor did travel to the region to investigate the claims but was unable to access the specific project location due to high insecurity in the area. He did meet with representatives of the partner.
However, due to the insecurity, it took several months for NCA or senior partner personnel to undertake monitoring visits or to verify whether the complaints are genuine. In November 2020 a third-party monitoring team was sent in. The team was able to verify that most project activities had in fact been implemented.
NCA has, however, not renewed the partnership agreement with this partner for continued projects and does not intend to re-engage with them in the future. (Terminated the partnership in 31.12.2019).
What did we learn: An important learning in this case was of course the complexity of running a project in an area with such high risk, monitoring hardly accessible for NCA or for the local partner. The village where the project was implemented was the only safe island in a larger area of Al-Shabab domination and recruitment.Security situations can change very fast making it challenging for local partners and NCA.