As part of the District Participatory Planning and Budgeting Process, supported by the five agencies of the UN Joint Programme on Local Governance and Decentralized Service Delivery for Somalia, district profiles were developed in six districts of Somaliland in November 2009: Hargeisa, Boroma, Berbera, Burao, Sheikh, and Odweyne. Such profiles give an overview of the current social, economic, and environmental conditions in a district. One main purpose is to help district authorities prepare District Development Framework documents to guide future development and determine priority projects for the coming five years.
The district profiles were prepared by the respective district councils with support from local NGOs and joint programme partner agencies, as well as technical guidance from UN-HABITAT, which brought its extensive experience in 2004/2005 assisting districts in all three regions of Somalia to prepare city profile documents to guide urban sector investments. The new profiles also serve as updates to the first Strategic Urban Plan documents, prepared in seven towns during UN-HABITAT’s Urban Development Programme for the Somali region. It is expected that, by 2012, district councils will have developed the capacity to improve and update district profiles with minimal support from the UN agencies.
Although a Rapid Urban Spatial Analysis was postponed to a later stage of the District Participatory Planning and Budgeting Process, Berbera District Council made an initial attempt to develop thematic maps using satellite images.
It is essential that the district councils are supported to use the profiles for the identification of development priorities, and that the profiles relate to the spatial development potential of the district.