Flag of Somalia


girl with Somali flag
A young Somali girl holding the national flag of Somalia during a USAID supported arts and culture event in Puntland
Ahmed Farah/Riyo Films

Transition Initiatives for Stabilization (TIS)

TIS gathers community stakeholders to collaboratively identify and prioritize the projects that will provide the greatest benefit to their communities.  TIS assists communities to transparently select local contractors to implement each project, and ensures that communities and government counterparts are hands-on supervisors of the projects.  This process ensures a higher level of Somali ownership, and improves collaboration between citizens and their government.

TIS uses flexible funding and implementation mechanisms to ensure that activities respond to a community’s priorities and needs. With TIS programs, the process of determining priorities and jointly moving forward is as important as the activity itself. Examples of projects that have been funded through TIS include: rehabilitation of roads, government buildings, health clinics, schools, community centers, and stadiums; installation of street lighting and flood control equipment; technical training and equipment for government administrations; entrepreneurial training and vocational education for youth; and cultural and athletic events.  All of these activities were jointly chosen by communities and governments, and contracted in a transparent manner.

USAID, through TIS, is supporting over 850 projects in 17 of Somalia’s 18 regions, focusing on high-risk communities in hard-to-reach areas, particularly those liberated by the ongoing Somali National Army (SNA) and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) campaign.

High levels of unemployment and lack of education among youth make them susceptible to violent extremism, recruitment, and sea piracy.  To deter this from happening, USAID, through TIS supports youth engagement activities in sports and arts, as well as practical job skills training workshops.  USAID has constructed, rehabilitated, and supported 14 sports facilities and dozens of sports initiatives that serve more than 50,000 at-risk youth across Somalia.

For example, in a community planning session held in December 2014 in Garowe, the capital of Puntland, citizens identified sports as an integral part of a community that can bring families together and offer youth active and healthy alternatives to violent extremism.  In February 2015, USAID responded and organized the first girls’ basketball camps and tournaments ever to take place since 1991. Two new basketball teams were officially created, and with their new uniforms, equipment and eventually a new basketball court built in March 2016, the two teams grew to four and now have a number of games lined up for them in the coming months.  Even a women’s sports steering committee was created so that games continue to be organized and supported.

Aniso Abdiazis, one of the basketball players told us, 

"Since we started playing, community perception of us has completely changed. People who used to shame us, now clap for us."

USAID is changing the lives of thousands of Somalis overnight.  Over 100 kilometers of roads has been built with more than 1,200 new solar street lights. One city, Baidoa, located 140 miles northwest of Mogadishu, has especially benefited.  For years the citizens could not walk the streets at night.  Businesses closed at 6:00 p.m. and people locked themselves up in their home in fear. Amina Hussein Haji explains, “Women could not walk anywhere because of the possibility of rape, robbery or killings by local gangs.” Citizens also ran the risk of militia attacks and violence occurring unimpeded, favored by the cover of darkness.

When USAID supported the local government with the installation of 27 solar streetlights on the main street in Baidoa, the life for residents changed.  Amina has noticed the difference that the streetlights have made.

"Since the lights are working, we can walk freely at night to shop and visit our neighbors without fear."

Saeed Adan Yusuf, a business owner in one of the areas where TIS reconstructed a main road said, “My brick-making business has expanded, thanks to the new road.  People are building more, and as a result, I have hired three young men as new staff.” Abdi Yahye Isse, a 19-year-old brick making machine worker remarked, “My life is different and much better now that I have a permanent job and earn a living.”

Mohamed, another resident from the community said,

"When I first saw that the road was built and customers began to shop more in this area, I opened a bakery shop. I receive new customers every day, and my business is growing with nearby restaurants asking me to bake for them."

The new road has also increased the confidence that the community has in their local government. Mohamed said, “I’m grateful to my government for bringing a project like this road.”


  • Almost 100 kilometers of roads built across Somalia, benefiting an estimated 5 million people
  • Over 13,000 employment opportunities created to improve livelihoods, reducing the risk of youth joining extremist groups
  • 240 government-community dialogue events organized to build trust in the government and sustain activity impact
  • 150 government buildings constructed to improve government’s capacity to deliver vital services in the regions
  • 312 community projects contracted using transparent and fair processes that mitigate conflict and establish high procurement standards in Somalia
  • Over 70 reconciliation and social cohesion forums organized across Somalia, reducing the risk of conflict
  • Over 16 technical staff embedded in Ministries across Somalia to improve government capacity
  • 25 schools constructed or rehabilitated
  • More than 1,214 solar powered streetlights installed, increasing urban safety and security