Drivers of Public Participation in the Local Government Planning Process in Afgoye District,Somalia
Omar, Kadar Hassan
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Public participation in Somalia started in 2016 and therefore there is need to interrogate its drivers in local government planning process in Somalia. The aim of this study was to examine the drivers to public participation in Local Government Planning process in Afgoye District in Somalia. Specifically, it was important to conduct the study given that people had been living without government authority for many years. The study analyzed how Institutional and Regulatory framework, citizen awareness and socio-economic status of citizens drive participation process in Local Government Planning. The study adopted a descriptive research design to investigate the factors leading to public participation in planning within the study area. Stakeholders Theory was employed as the lens to inform the study in order to analyse the role of citizens in public participation forums. The target population consisted of business people, government administrators, civil society groups and religious leaders in Afgoye District. The sampling procedure involved picking 10 percent of the household leaders through stratification. Purposive sampling was used to select key respondents including political leaders, administrators and religious leaders. This research used a structured questionnaire to gather primary data from the participants, while secondary data was accessed from books, journals, thesis and internet from the Somali International University library. Quantitative data was used in analysis with the aid of Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) where results were displayed in frequency tables and diagrams. Qualitative data was analysed by the content analysis. The study found that respondents strongly agreed that socio-economic factors was a driver to public participation. Respondents als agreed that institutional and regulatory framework was a driver to public participation. The study also established that respondents agreed that citizen awareness was a driver to public participation. Respondents also agreed that there was quality planning process as a result of public participation. The study findings indicated a positive insignificant relationship between public participation and local government planning of Afgoye District. The study recommended involvement of women and all stakeholders in public participation. The study recommended more community based techniques be implemented to support public participation. There was also the need to make laws to support initiatives and funding be made available for more coordination of public participation. The study recommended future research to determine other factors that drive public participation in local government planning within Afgoye District.