© Mahmood Abdi

The Sababi blog is where we (very occasionally) share things we think are useful: data we've compiled that should be public, tips or resources others might benefit from, and reports we've read that we think are interesting or important.

Public Support for OPOV Elections in the Wake of Puntland’s 2023-2024 Electoral Crisis

Following the completion of Puntland’s parliamentary and presidential elections in January 2024, the Sababi team worked with PDRC and SPA to understand public preferences for OPOV elections, as well as broader democratic norms and principles. The controversy that marked Puntland politics over most of 2023 pitted the use of an OPOV election model against the need to hold elections in line with the constitutionally-mandated timeline. Our research represents the only public opinion data on citizen views of this tradeoff and of democratic practice in the wake of the 2024 elections, with important implications for Puntland’s democratization process. Read the full report here.

Shapefile of Somaliland Regions

An accurate shapefile of Somaliland’s six official regions (including Saxil), rather than the pre-1991 five regions used in most/all publicly-available shapefiles.


Mahad Mohamoud Ibrahim

Mahad oversees Sababi’s Somali Portfolio, including operations and administration of Sababi’s office in Hargeisa, and all aspects of fieldwork implementation. Over the last 8 years, he has managed some of the largest fieldwork initiatives in Somalia, with teams numbering up to 60 enumerators, for organizations like CARE International, UNICEF, UNOPS, Somalia Stability Fund and others. He has also collected primary data in every region of Somalia, typically on nuanced or conceptually challenging topics (e.g., constitutional reform and democratization). From 2016 to 2019 he was a Researcher and FW Manager for Forcier Consulting, after which he was the Senior Fieldwork Manager at Consilient. Mahad graduated at the top of his class (highest distinction) at Admas University with a B.B.A. in Management in 2013 and subsequently helped coordinate Admas’ distance learning program from 2014-2016.

Brenton D. Peterson

Brenton is a political scientist who studies political behavior, social identity, and survey methodology. His research has appeared in some of the top journals in political science. Within the development sector, he specializes in evaluations of large-scale education programs, political and context analyses, and research on election- or democratization-related conflict. He has led data collection in Kenya, Somalia/Somaliland, and South Sudan. Prior to Sababi, he was the Director of Research at Consilient, based in Hargeisa (2020-2022), and served as the internal technical backstop, trainer, and reviewer of research outputs as the Chief Research Quality Officer at Forcier Consulting (2015-2020). In both positions, he focused on applying the best possible research methods in contexts where standard practices break down. He was previously a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Virginia, and completed fieldwork in northern Kenya.


Manar Zaki

Manar is a social scientist who specializes in research on access to justice, policing, and the relationships between customary and statutory institutions. Her recent work includes studies of Somalia’s customary justice system, the justice attitudes and needs of Somali women, and community-police relations. She has developed most of the internal systems Sababi uses for monitoring and assessing data quality and has managed primary data collection over 50 fieldwork initiatives in the Horn of Africa. From 2019 to 2022 she was the Research Manager and then Director at Consilient, in Hargeisa. Prior to her work in East Africa, Manar worked in both the private and nonprofit sectors in Nepal, India, Ireland, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and the US. Manar holds a Masters in Development Practice from Trinity College Dublin and a BA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.