About Heritage


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


To conduct evidence-based research and facilitate dialogues that:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


Dr. Afyare Elmi is the executive director of the Heritage Institute for Policy Studies in Mogadishu. Prior to this, Elmi was an associate professor at Qatar University’s Gulf Studies Program. In addition to his book, “Understanding the Somalia conflagration: Identity, political Islam, and peace building published by the Pluto Press, he authored/co-authored more than 20 peer-reviewed publications and a dozen policy papers. Afyare Elmi has a BA in Public Administration from Ryerson University, an MA in Political Science from Brock University, a second MA in Education Policy from the University of Toronto, and an interdisciplinary Ph.D., specializing in political science from the University of Alberta. He has also provided commentaries and published opinion/editorial articles in some of the leading international media outlets.

Mursal Saney is the deputy 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 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.


Dr. Abdirashid Elmi ‘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 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.

Dr. Abdullahi Hussein has a Ph.D. in education from the University of London’s Institute of Education (now UCL). Dr. Hussein has published extensively, and in peer-reviewed journals, in the areas of impacts of wars on education, teacher development and the use of technology in education. Dr. Hussein’s recent publications include a book with the title ‘Freirian and Postcolonial Perspectives on The Development of ICT in HE’ and a book chapter on the ‘Impacts of wars on Curriculum and Medium of Instructions: Somali as a case study’.

Abdullahi Hussein has a PhD in Education from the Institute of Education (IOE) at University College London (UCL), an M.Ed in Curriculum and Instructions from the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM), and a B.Ed from the International University of Africa (IUA). Dr Hussein’s research expertise and interests are in the areas of curriculum, teacher education, e-learning, higher education and critical pedagogy.
Dr Hussein has published widely and produced peer-reviewed journal articles, policy papers, a book and a book chapter, and he regularly attends local, regional and international conferences on education. He has also delivered keynote speeches at a number of conferences. Dr Hussein is a member of the British Educational Research Association (BERA) and the American Educational Research Association (AERA)


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