Analysis – the politics of Ethiopia’s Somali Regional State

Country: Ethiopia
Organization: European Institute of Peace
Closing date: 22 May 2020

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We are looking for consultancy and research services for the analysis of the politics of the Somali Regional State of Ethiopia in accordance with the conditions detailed below. The primary target audience of the analysis are Ethiopian and international political analysts with knowledge of Ethiopian politics.

Contract title: Analysis – the politics of Ethiopia’s Somali Regional State

Location: Ethiopia

  1. Introduction

1.1 Background

The Somali Regional State (SRS) is one of the nine federal states of Ethiopia.1 It borders the Ethiopian states of Afar and Oromia, and the chartered city Dire Dawa, and shares international borders with Djibouti, Somalia, and Kenya. The state capital is Jijiga, where the executive and legislative branches of the government are located.

The SRS has seen rapid political developments in recent years. These include, but are not limited to, the removal and arrest of long-time President Abdi Mohamed Omer, known commonly as Abdi Iley, in August 2018; the return of the previously outlawed Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) to Ethiopia, relinquishing armed struggle in favour of participation in Ethiopian politics; the creation of the Somali Prosperity Party as an integral part of the national Prosperity Party; complex internal political positioning and alliance-making in the lead-up to national elections; and a recent shake-up in the region’s security forces by current President Mustapha Mohamed Omar. Clan affiliation continue to play an important role in SRS politics; the cross-border ties to Somalia proper and the wider region mean that regional events, not in the least in Somalia’s Jubaland, have an impact; and fears of al-Shabaab infiltration in the region persist. Meanwhile, the region continues to struggle with difficult economic conditions that negatively affect public health, which is further compounded by the current threat of the covid-19 pandemic.

Against this background, the purpose of this paper would be to evaluate the current political developments in the SRS, their relevance for Ethiopian national politics, and the likely future scenarios.

1.2 Relevance to EIP

EIP has been active in Ethiopia since 2017 and is currently implementing an EU-funded programme focused on reducing the drivers of internal and external extremism in Ethiopia (August 2019 – February 2021). The intervention intends to strengthen Ethiopia’s approaches and capacity to address internal and external threats of extremism and political violence. One of the outputs is to develop a deepened understanding of political movements and developments across the country that have an impact on extremism. This is done through activities of research, mapping, and the creation of networks. The requested research report would contribute to a deepened understanding by providing an in-depth analysis, mapping, and assessment of threats and risk factors in the lead-up to the national elections.

2. Description of the research

2.1 Main objective

The research will provide a thorough analysis of the politics of the Somali Regional State.

2.2 Specific deliverables and Terms of References

Specifically, the service provider will provide the following deliverables:

  • A finalised research product (indicative length 5-6 pages) in accordance with the terms of reference outlined below:

  • To conduct interviews and research for the development of the paper;

  • To ensure that the field research and the subsequent policy recommendations paper address the following questions:

a) Mapping of political dynamic:

  • Somali Regional State (SRS)’s political parties and the prominent politicians within them. What are their political programmes/objectives? Where is their likely voter base? What are the dynamics between the political parties?

  • The SRS government and regional security services – could you map the key individuals within these government bodies? How are the relations between Jijiga and Addis? What was the reason for the recent shake-up in the region’s security forces?

  • Any armed groups in the region, what is their leadership structure and where do they operate?

  • What influence (if any) do youth movements have in the Somali region, and how is this recognised?

  • Other power brokers – religious, economic, clan, etc.

b) How do dynamics in Somalia (Jubaland) and Kenya impact politics in the Ethiopian Somali Regional State? What Somali political clan affiliations cross the border into, and are influential in, the Ethiopian Somali Region?

c) What are the likely scenarios during the covid-19 state of emergency and as Ethiopia moves towards elections or the postponement thereof?

  1. To keep EIP duly informed about the progress of the research;

  2. To agree with EIP the excact start date and delivery date; and

  3. To remain available for the finalisation of the paper for at least one (1) months after that date.

2.3 Timeline


Publication date:15 May 2020

Deadline for submitting tenders: 22 May 2020 at 23:59 hours CET

Interviews (if any): N/A

Evaluation: No later than 29 May 2020

Notification of award: No later than 29 May 2020

Contract signature: No later than 29 May 2020

Start date: Late May or Early June 2020 (tbc)

First draft: Mid-June 2020 (tbc)

Final draft: Late June 2020 (tbc)

2.4 Target audience

The primary target audience of the analysis are Ethiopian and international political analysts with knowledge of Ethiopian politics. The paper will be publicly available.

2.5 Phases of research and working days

EIP estimates ten (10) working days, based on four (4) days of research, four (4) days of writing, and (2) days of editing/finalisation.

2.6 Monitoring and comments

EIP’s Programme team, consisting of Programme Manager, Programme Officer, and Senior Advisor, will monitor the delivery of the research as set out according to the above deliverables and timelines. EIP will report progress to the EU Delegation to Ethiopia and the Service for Foreign Policy Instruments in the EU Delegation to Kenya in a timely manner.

Upon submission of the draft report EIP will provide the contractor with feedback after which the contractor will submit a final draft.

2.7 Language

The language of the final research product and all intermediate notes is to be English.

2.8 Presentation and copyright

The final report will be published as a policy brief formatted according to the standard lay-out of the European Institute of Peace. The name, organisation, and logo of the contractor can be displayed on the report alongside the EIP logo. EIP will retain all copyright rights of usage to the report.

3.Qualifications and Requirements

  • An excellent understanding of Ethiopian politics, and Somali Regional State of Ethiopia in general;
  • Extensive experience over 5 years in writing and/or reporting on Ethiopia;
  • Excellent network, sources, and contacts in the Somali Regional State;
  • Fluency in English, with any of the languages spoken in Ethiopia a significant benefit; and
  • Be based in Ethiopia, with the right to work in Ethiopia

4. Submission of proposals and criteria for evaluation
The interested consultant / consultancy firm is invited to submit:

  • the proposal in one (1) attachment covering technical and financial aspects of the proposal using the organisation and methodology attached.

  • CV of the consultant(s) who will undertake the research

How to apply:

Inputs and outputs.

Please submit all above documents via email to:

Deadline 22 May 2020 at 23:59 hours CET.

EIP will select the provider on the basis of:

  1. the qualifications and requirement outlined above (exclusionary criteria that applicants have to meet);

  2. The quality of the proposal (80% weight)

  3. The cost of the proposal (20% weight)

EIP is under no obligation to award the contract or to award it to the bidder whom scored the highest points. Kindly note that we unfortunately cannot accept telephone inquiries.

Should you require any additional information, please contact Camille Schyns at

Organisation and Methodology

To be completed by the tenderer

Contract title: Analysis – the politics of Ethiopia’s Somali Regional State
Location: Ethiopia

Please provide the following information:

1. Rationale (1/2 to 1 page)

What is the problem that needs to be addressed? Provide a short analysis of the reason for the action, and its relevance.

Any comments you have on the terms of reference for the successful execution of activities

Assess the risks and assumptions affecting the contract

2. Strategy (1/2 to 1 page)

How do you propose to carry out the assignment?

A list of the proposed tasks you consider necessary to achieve the contract objectives.

Inputs and outputs.

3. Timetable of work

The timing, sequence and duration of the proposed tasks, taking into account travel time.

4. Budget

The expected number of working days required from each category of expert each month during the period of execution of the contract

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