On a visit to Kenya this year I spoke to a local Somali NGO that received funding from the humanitarian response fund (HRF), an in-country financing mechanism enabling donors to pool their humanitarian assistance. The HRF was in operation until June 2010, after which it was converted into a common humanitarian fund (CHF), a strategic pooled financing mechanism that allocates funding to projects in the consolidated appeal process (CAP).
In Somalia the donor community has to rely heavily on local civil society organisations to deliver assistance, as the insecure environment prevents many international organisations from operating in-country. The HRF is an example of this reliance on local capacity. In 2009 they represented 44% of the number of funded projects and received 33% of allocated funding. In addition many international NGOs and UN agencies relied on Somali NGOs to implement their projects.
The local NGO that I had the pleasure of meeting expressed concern that now the HRF had converted to a CHF, small Somali organisations would have problems accessing funding. This was mainly due to the fact that to receive funding a project must be included in the CAP and therefore writing a project proposal that is acceptable requires training for some organisations, something that would cost both time and money.
This comes at an inopportune time. Donor support to local capacity in Somalia has already been reduced following a report that implicated one of the Somali NGO implementing partners in violating the arms sanctions. It is now even harder for reputable local organisations to convince donors of their honest intentions.
Despite the negativity surrounding local Somali organisations the recent 2011 CAP appeal for Somalia details higher funding requirements for local organisations, US$27.3 million, which equates to 5.2% of the total. This compares to US$6.1 million or 0.9% of the total original requirements in the 2010 appeal. In addition the number of local organisations included has increased from 34 to 41 in the same period.
The real evidence of whether local Somali organisations are affected by this change to a new funding mechanism as well as the reduction in donor trust will only be seen as funding for the CAP projects trickles in.
 HRF annual report 2009