Professor Eric Herring

Eric Herring specialises in the process of international development that encourages self-help and builds on local capacities.

Eric Herring leads the joint venture between the University of Bristol and Transparency solutions called the Somali First (SF) initiative.  Somali First initative promotes Somali-led development through impartial facilitation, research, training and education this encourages self-help and builds on local capacities. It is more cost effective, more relevant to local needs and more sustainable. Academics who wish to work productively with Somalis do not have to be experts on Somalia/Somaliland: Somalis are the experts on Somalia/Somaliland, so our work is about combining academic knowledge with Somali knowledge. Both sides lack capacities that the other can provide. The SF team have a balanced relationship across government, business, civil society and academia in Somalia/Somaliland and with the Somali diaspora, including the Somali community in Bristol. The SF team are aiming to transform the process of development itself so that it is Somali led by integrating our approach across issues and through levels of governance.

Find out more about Eric Herring's research

The approach to development seen far too often is that foreign organisations generate project ideas and appoint consultancy teams at arm’s length and short notice, with limited chance of leaving a positive longer-term legacy. In that flawed approach, Somalis are kept in subordinate positions and are defined as lacking capacity that has to be provided by outsiders.

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Francis Frith
Engineering BusinessAccount Manager
0117 946 3930

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