EAJ bolsters Somaliland Ministry of Justice communications capacity

July 29, 2019

“This is a good start on a journey that will help us maintain our reputation and position in expanding access to justice. In our direction of travel toward excellence, we can take great pride in the way we have engaged with each other, our partners and with our target audiences in the past, but we can always do better. This communications master class is designed to help us along that road to excellence. Together, let us create an institution of excellence – one that we are proud to be part of, a legacy for those who come in after us. That is what effective communication will help us achieve. To get there, we must view communications as a key capability in support of our work now more than ever.”

This is according to Abdirahman Sheikh Hassan, the Director General at the Somaliland Ministry of Justice (MOJ), just after a communications master class. With support from USAID’s Expanding Access to Justice (EAJ) program, the master class was conducted July 23-25, with the objective of strengthening the capacity of MOJ staff in strategic communication as well as how to make effective use of appropriate media and communication tools to support the ministry’s work in expanding access to justice for all.

The master class was identified by MOJ as an institutional strengthening priority that would enable the ministry to understand their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, target stakeholders, how to engage stakeholders, the kind of messages to send to their stakeholders, which tactics to use and how to monitor and evaluate the ministry’s communications activities.

Commenting on the importance of the training, Mohamed Kaise, the Director of Communications at MOJ said, “Strategic communication is at the center of everything. You can’t execute a strategy if you can’t communicate about it.”

The two-day training focused on how to develop a communications strategy and basic writing skills (press releases, blogs, success stories and policy briefs). Follow up trainings will be conducted on editing (using Adobe CC 2019), data visualization and infographics, media relations, branding, using Mailchimp, disseminating research findings, website management, podcasts production, photography, videography and resourcing (such as commissioning skills for external consultants).

Participants hold a group discussion during the master class.

During the training, Adirahman Dubad Elmi, the Director of Legal Profession & Access to Justice at MOJ said, “It is encouraging that this training has enabled us to answer four key questions: Where are we? Where do we want to go? How will we get there? And how will we know we have arrived? These fundamental questions point us in the right direction over the coming years, helping us to become better and better at what we do in fulfilling our promise of expanding access to justice.”

It is expected that after completion of the master class, MOJ will be in a position to develop a communications strategy and branding guidelines. Participants will be awarded a certificate of completion and a handbook on strategic communications that will contain tools and templates for future reference.

“This communications master class is part of our capacity development component that seeks to increase the capacity and sustainability of access to justice actors. To ensure efficiency and effectiveness in their work, access to justice actors need strengthened systems and the organizational capacities to steer them through the changing contexts and to enhance their sustainability. Additional trainings will be offered to the ministry on coordination, networking, monitoring and evaluation, as well as geographic information services (GIS) mapping,” said Hamdi Ismail Abdulahi, the project director of EAJ.