Many of SWALIM’s key stakeholders lack the technical expertise and material resources needed to develop, interpret and manage information on water and land resources. To ensure improved access to and usage of its products and services, SWALIM opened three liaison offices in 2006, in Hargeisa to serve Somaliland, in Garowe to serve Puntland and in Baidoa to serve South-Central Somalia. Although the office in Baidoa was shut down due to security concerns, efforts are underway to open an office in Mogadishu. The liaison office staff receive continuous capacity development from SWALIM experts. Their in-depth knowledge of the water and land resources information available at SWALIM makes them an important link for stakeholders and beneficiaries.
The liaison offices serve two key functions on the ground:
♦ Increase client access to SWALIM products
The liaison offices provide a platform for clients based in Somalia to directly request and access water and land information. The offices host an archive of water and land information products and a reference library. These reference libraries hold key water and land reference documents, such as pre-war reports and studies, FAO water and land documents and all SWALIM technical reports produced since its inception. The liaison offices also support the development of regional water and land datasets and contribute to building the capacity of Somalis to collect, manage and maintain water and land data.
♦ Link to Government Ministries
In most countries, land and water data collection is managed by government ministries to ensure long-term continuity. SWALIM has established close collaboration with government ministries, as the institutions set to take up the land and water data collection networks in the future. The liaison offices play a key role in building the partnership between SWALIM and relevant government ministries. SWALIM has established an extensive capacity development program targeting the responsible ministries to enable them to maintain and manage their land and water datasets respectively. Reference Library at SWALIM Hargeisa Office
To encourage the participation and involvement of the ministries, Regional Coordination Committees (RCC) were set up in Somaliland and Puntland. The RCCs guide and coordinate the government ministries' collaboration with SWALIM and the liaison offices. In the long term, SWALIM aims to transfer the functions of the liaison offices to Somali authorities or institutions equipped with the capacity to manage water and land information.
The liaison offices are open to clients from Sunday to Thursday from 8.00am to 04.30pm. Enquiries and requests can also be made via email firstname.lastname@example.org. All water and land products are provided free of charge.