The Forum of Federations, with its project partner Conflict Dynamics International (CDI), organized a training and dialogue session with Somalia’s Federalization Negotiation Technical Committee over 1-3 May in Nairobi, Kenya.
The committee, made of senior representatives from federal and state government, is tasked by the National Security Council (the senior-most intergovernmental body in Somalia) with developing recommendations for solutions to difficult issues remaining unfinished in the current “provisional” constitution of 2012.
This event focused on fiscal issues, including the constitutional assignment of revenues, institutional arrangements, supportive good fiscal management practices, local government fiscal arrangements, natural resources, designing transfer systems, relating fiscal issues to other federal governance systems, and the like.
The program was supported by international experts Nico Steytler (South Africa), V N Alok (India), Rose Osoro (Kenya) and Shawn Houlihan (Forum staff).
In closing the event on May 3rd, Chair of the committee, Ahmednur M. Abdi, Office of the Prime Minister noted: “This workshop has been very valuable in getting all the committee members to a similar level of understanding of the complex issues of fiscal federalism; but it will not be the last step. »
Mr. Abdi concluded, « We will call on the Forum and CDI to help with more issues and particular problems as we go forward with our very challenging tasks.”
The project, Political Accommodation and Reconciliation in Somalia is funded by the Kingdom of Netherland Foreign Ministry.
The Forum of Federations was invited to participate in a conference organized by the Peace Research Institute Oslo and the German Friedrich Ebert Foundation held in Nicosia on September 15, 2016. The conference aimed to explore the prospects and challenges regarding education in a post-settlement Cyprus.
At the conference, Felix Knuepling, the Forum’s Head of Programs, presented the main findings of the Forum’s comparative project on “Federalism and Education: Cross-National Lessons on Governance, Standards, and Accountability for the 21st Century”
The Forum’s program on federalism and education, led by Prof. Kenneth Wong from Brown University, aims at examining how countries with federal systems of government design, govern, finance, and assure quality in their educational systems spanning from early childhood to secondary school graduation. Particular attention is given to functional division between governmental layers of the federal system as well as mechanisms of intergovernmental cooperation in education. Through this project, the Forum aims to draw out comparative lessons and experiences in an area of great importance to many federal countries. The program covers ten federal and devolved OECD countries.
Participants at the Nicosia conference discussed ways in which federal education policies may take shape in Cyprus under a structure that has both federal and decentralized elements. These proposals were informed by a comparative discussion of different systems, such as those implemented in Canada, Spain, and Ireland. Discussions also focused on issues such as general concerns of federal education policy, as well as specific issues arising in post-conflict settings. Through a study of these systems, their advantages and shortcomings were evaluated, providing a basis for solid proposals that might be applicable to the case of Cyprus.