Rako projects

Impact of Somali diaspora humanitarianism on foreign relations efforts in Mogadishu and Hargeisa

Rako Research and Communication Centre and Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS)


The main objective of this research is to explore the impact of Somali diaspora humanitarianism on foreign relations in Mogadishu and Hargeisa. The study will delve into the experiences, motivations, and roles of Somali diaspora humanitarianism to understand how their contributions are shaping policies and practices in these areas. We believe that this research is essential as it will provide us with insights into the dynamics of diaspora humanitarianism and how it is influencing the social, political, and economic landscape of the Somali region. To achieve this, we will use various qualitative methods including focus groups, interviews and document analysis. We are excited to embark on this journey and are optimistic that the findings will be invaluable in understanding the impact of diaspora humanitarianism on the region.




The contemporary humanitarian landscape increasingly witnesses the active involvement of diaspora communities, often contributing to their countries of origin. Among these, the Somali diaspora emerges as a notable participant owing to its widespread dispersion and historical ties with humanitarian endeavours. Many members of the diaspora are engaging in humanitarianism offering valuable skills, experiences, and networks. They play a significant role in building resilience and responding to recurrent shocks, often through the effective use of remittances and social connectedness. Some work in collaboration with International and Local NGOs while others operate on their own. Positioned within the broader Diaspora Humanitarianism in Complex Crisis (DHUM) research project, this research seeks to understand the impact of such diaspora humanitarianism efforts on foreign relations in Mogadishu and Hargeisa, focusing on their roles, motivations, and contributions.


Main themes and topics

The main themes and topics that emerge from the literature on the Somali diaspora include the motivations of diaspora humanitarianism in the Somali regions, the challenges they face and the impact of their humanitarian efforts on foreign relations. Other key themes include the role of diaspora networks and organizations in facilitating diaspora engagement, the relationship between diaspora members and the Somali government, and the potential of diaspora-led initiatives to contribute to sustainable development and peacebuilding across the Somali regions.



  • Explore the impact of Somali diaspora humanitarianism on foreign relations efforts regarding Mogadishu and Hargeisa.
  • Examine the Somali diaspora's perceptions of their influence on international media and public perceptions of Somalia/Somaliland.
  • Investigate the Somali diaspora's perceptions of the impact of diplomatic relations on their activities.
  • Analyse how the Somali diaspora views their relationships as aiding collaboration between Hargeisa, Mogadishu, and other countries.
  • Evaluate the Somali diaspora's perceptions of their role in peace efforts in Somalia/Somaliland.
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Project status: active
start date: 10/DEC/2023
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Mohamed Aden Hassan

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Sureer Hussein