About Heritage Institute

About Us

The Heritage Institute for Policy Studies (HIPS) is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit policy research and analysis institute based in Mogadishu, Somalia.


A stable and peaceful Somalia guided by policies based on sound research and inclusive deliberations.


To conduct evidence-based research and facilitate dialogues that:

  • Inform national policymaking through practical and innovative solutions to advance peacebuilding, statebuilding and socio-economic development in Somalia;
  • Inform international efforts to support Somalia’s statebuilding with evidence-based research, analysis and policy tools
  • Advance regional peace and economic development in the Horn of Africa

Guiding Principles

The Heritage Institute is a Somali-owned, Somali-led nonprofit entity and, for that reason, it will uphold its independence in all its work.

HIPS will strive to maintain the highest ethical standard in its research, reports and policy tools as well as its operations.

As a non-partisan organization driven by empirical research and analyses, HIPS will strive to be objective in its outputs and actions.

Diversity and equal opportunities
In its recruitment, HIPS will promote gender and social diversity among its staff, fellows, board and interns. HIPS will open opportunities to all who have the competencies needed to advance the institute’s vision and mission with a particular focus on inclusion of disadvantaged segments of the society.

Transparency and accountability
HIPS strive for transparency and accountability in all its operations. The website allows for easy access to all its work in both Somali and English. The Annual Report provides an account of activities, finances, and operational issues. Social media platforms present an avenue for interactive and open communication. HIPS management is accountable to its Board of Directors.

HIPS strives for the highest quality and rigor in all its activities and outputs. To reach this goal, The institute welcomes constructive and critical feedback on its activities from interested parties.

Do no harm
As an independent institution promoting evidence-based policymaking and deliberative dialogue, HIPS addresses critical policy issues for the purpose of peacebuilding, statebuilding and socioeconomic development in Somalia. Throughout its work, HIPS will aim not to cause harm in the situation of Somalia and its neighborhood.


Mursal Saney

Mursal Saney is the acting director of Heritage Institute, responsible for overall operations with a focus on finance and administration. Saney leads external relations and resource mobilization for HIPS. Mr. Saney is also the chief organizer of Heritage Institute’s flagship program, the Annual Forum for Ideas (AFI). Before joining the institute, Saney held senior positions in the Federal Government Somalia where he was the chief protocol officer at the presidency, and a senior liaison official at the office of the prime minister. Mr. Saney also led a number of nonprofit organizations and managed several private sector entities over the past 30 years. Saney earned a Certificate of Mathematics and Statistics at Birkbeck College in London and a BSc (Hons) of Mathematics, Statistics and Management degree from Brunel University of London, UK.

Deka Abdullahi

Deka Abdullahi is the Finance and Human Resource Manager. She has more than 10 years of experience in finance, operations and grants management in humanitarian aid, social development and research and monitoring and evaluations projects. Deka has managed a portfolio of USD 12 million funded by several donors including ECHO, EC, UNICEF, SIDA, WFP, DEC, DFID, FAO, Bahrain Royal Charity and SSF. She served at Save the Children International (SCI), Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW), and SACH Struggle for Change. She has a proven track record and expertise in financial management, operational effectiveness and monitoring and evaluations. She holds a master’s degree from Iqra University Islamabad Campus specialized in finance.

Uweis Ali

Uweis Ali is a senior researcher at HIPS and a doctoral (Ph.D.) candidate in Economics and International Development. He coordinated major research projects such as the recently completed Human Capital Development Mechanism for Somalia. Mr. Ali’s primary areas of research include: labor economics, human capital development, economic growth, institution building, poverty reduction, education and environment. He has written numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals and policy reports and has delivered various presentations at national and international conferences. Uweis holds master’s and BA degrees in Human Resource Management from Universiti Putra Malaysia. His doctoral research at the same university examines the impact of remittance on human capital and poverty reduction in Sub-Sahara African countries.


Dr. Abdi M. Kusow

Dr. Abdi M. Kusow is a senior research methodology fellow with HIPS and Associate Professor of Sociology at Iowa State University. Dr. Kusow is an internationally recognized sociologist with extensive expertise in both qualitative and quantitative methods and data analysis, social demography, international migration and refugee integration, social transformation and change in East Africa, and social theory. His research has appeared in flagship journals like Symbolic Interaction, the official journal of the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction; Ethnic and Racial Studies and Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, arguably two of the top immigration journals in the world; International Journal of Migration and Integration; Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, the official journal of the American Sociological Association’s Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities; Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World, the official open-access journal of the American Sociological Association. His most recent article, “Formula Narratives and the Making of Social Stratification and Inequality,” won the 2015 David Maines Narrative Research Award, sponsored by Carl Couch Center for Social and Internet Research, University of Northern Iowa, Communication Department. Dr. Kusow is the Co-Editor of the Journal of Somali Studies.

Dr. AbdirashidElmi ‘Ainan’

Dr. AbdirashidElmi ‘Ainan’ is an environmental policy fellow with HIPS. He is an Associate Professor at the College of Life Sciences at Kuwait University, having obtained his Ph.D. in Environmental Science from McGill University in Canada. He is the recipient of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council’s visiting scientist’s fellowship and is currently Vice Dean for Academic Affairs at Kuwait University. Dr. Elmi serves on the editorial boards of two international scientific journals and acts as a referee for a further ten. He has been invited as a keynote speaker to various global conferences and presented his research findings at more than 30 others.

Dr. Abdirashid Ismail

Dr. Abdirashid Ismail is an economics policy fellow with the Heritage Institute. He’s also a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki where he obtained his Ph.D., and the author of “Somali State Failure: Players, Incentives & Institutions”. He has done extensive research on political economy, post-conflict economy and state formation in Somalia. Ismail also studies Somalis in the diaspora, with a focus on those in Europe. His academic articles have been published by some of the top journals in the world.

Download our Annul Report PDF

Contrary to popular belief, Lorem Ipsum is not simply random text. It has roots in a piece of classical Latin literature from 45 BC, making it over 2000 years old. Richard McClintock,


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