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About SDF

Who we are

The Somaliland Development Fund was established in 2012 as a pooled fund to provide a single vehicle through which Development Partners could support Somaliland’s development goals. The SDF supports the Government of Somaliland in delivering strategic infrastructure contributing to inclusive economic development and is aligned to Somaliland’s National Development Plan. 

The objective of the second phase of the Somaliland Development Fund (SDF) is inclusive economic development for the people of Somaliland.

The second phase started in September 2018 and will run to March 2024. 

The first phase was implemented from 2013 to 2018. 

Where we work

The Somaliland Development Fund currently works throughout all six regions of Somaliland. SDF2 will balance the projects it supports across regions and ensure it benefits both rural and urban citizens equally.

How we work

SDF works by funding projects that bring economic opportunity and long-term stability to Somaliland. SDF invests in rehabilitating basic economic assets, strengthening government capability to manage them, and improving the lives and livelihoods of millions of people in Somaliland.

Somaliland line ministries, departments, and agencies submit concept notes to the SDF2 for funding. SDF support helps ensure that these proposed projects have clear objectives and implementation plans and align with the SDF2 theory of change. After approval by the SDF Joint Steering Committee, project management teams are then created to take the projects forward from design through to completion, again supported by SDF technical experts and using SDF procurement systems.

This model avoids the fiduciary risks of providing budget support whilst strengthening government capabilities in project design and management, technical skills, and operation and maintenance. Working this way helps build capacity through enhancing the GoSL’s ability to efficiently utilise its own resources and those from other donors.

The Fund Manager, BMB Mott MacDonald, is contracted by FCDO and is responsible for the day-to-day management and administration of the Fund and provides the Secretariat to the Joint Steering Committee.

Our guiding principles

SDF follows eight guiding principles in its programming and implementation

Government led

Priorities for investment are guided by the NDP2, and implemented by Government

Economic development

SDF is conceived as an Inclusive Economic Development (IED) programme


SDF is committed to Gender Equity and Social Inclusion (GESI) programming


Committed to Conflict Sensitive Programming (CSP), consciously seeking to avoid or minimise negative impacts


The prioritisation and implementation of projects is transparent and encourages mutual accountability

Value for Money

Committed to the maximum benefit with the resources available within a framework

Climate change

SDF promotes environmentally friendly and low carbon technologies


All investment projects must have an operations and maintenance budget included in GoSL's planning


Operational Guidelines: The SDF Operational Guidelines provide the overall framework for the implementation of the SDF and as such, are the basis for all processes and procedures for the management of the SDF. Any changes to the Operational Guidelines require approval from the Joint Steering Committee.

Financial Management and Accounting Manual: The SDF Financial Management and Accounting Manual provides the financial policy, procedures and guidance required to manage the financial activities of the Somaliland Development Fund.

Procurement Manual: The SDF Procurement Manual provides the overall policy, procedures and guidance required to manage the procurement activities of the Somaliland Development Fund.

Development Partners

The Somaliland Development Fund is a pooled multi-donor fund with contributions from UK, The Netherlands, Denmark and Norway. Representatives from these four countries sit on the Joint Steering Committee (JSC) with the finance and planning ministers of Somaliland. The role of JSC is setting the overall strategy of the Fund.

Government Partners

The Somaliland Development Fund implements projects through the ministries and agencies of the Government of Somaliland. These Ministries are the Project Holders and deploy Project Management Teams to design, implement and hand over each project to the operators.

SDF currently works with these MDAs:

  • Ministry of Planning and National Development
  • Ministry of Agricultural Development
  • Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development
  • Ministry of Transport and Roads Development
  • Ministry of Water Resources Development
  • Ministry of Education and Science
  • Hargeisa Water Agency