DAN Somaliland
Disability Action Network (DAN) is an NGO based in Hargeisa, Somaliland. It caters for the persons with disabilities of all age.

DAN embraces the social model of disability in a human rights context; we look at society and the environment as the sources of the barriers against the inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities. We therefore aim to change society in which persons with disabilities live by removing or minimizing the attitudinal barriers, physical barriers, informational and communication barriers, and legilative, procedural and programmatic barriers.

We strongly beleive that the removal of societal and environmental barriers and accommodation of people with disabilities is the right way to ensure full inclusion and participation in society of persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others.

DAN carries out two types of programmes: humanitarian work done in emergencies, and long-term development work; both actions focus on children and adults with disabilities.

DAN’s core business involves an exclusive focus on services which address the needs of the most vulnerable of Persons with Disabilities. Its priority focus include serving War Victims with Disabilities, Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) with disabilities, Children with Disabilities, Women with Disabilities and Child Protection issues.

Somaliland has been affected by Landmines and Explosive Remnants of War as a result of the 1964 and 1977–1978 border wars between Somalia and Ethiopia as well as civil conflicts in 1988–1991 and 1994–1997.

War and conflict increase people’s vulnerability to injury and permanent disability, especially from land-mines, unexploded ordinance/Explosive remnants of war and gunshots. Moreover, the legacy of war is the collapse of the health care system making curable and preventable diseases such as polio and meningitis to spread. The inadequate assistance provided to pregnant women, and the lack of well functioning maternity hospitals have resulted in many cases of children affected by cerebral palsy and other impairments.

Disability Action Network (DAN) was established in 2002 out of the aspirations of local people to address issues of disabilities amongst children and adults in a post-war context of Somaliland. 

People with disabilities in Somalia are often disregarded by their families because they are thought to be a burden to the family and add stigma to the community. Therefore, it is up to civil society organizations to take care of them, to develop a collective conciousness and challenge society's disabling barriers so that people with disabilities can enjoy their rights to live a prosperous and independant life.

From its humble beginnings, DAN has grown over time and established an orthopedic and physiotherapy structure within the capital city known as Hargeisa Rehabilitation Centre. In the process of its growth, it also established outreach activities in three major regional towns; namely Erigavo, Burao and Boroma where fledgling physiotherapy and orthopedic services as well as referral mechanisms are in place.

Additions to the above portfolio of service delivery include reaching out to the villages and camps of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) within Hargeisa and on the periphery. Besides, the organization runs a Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) using a home based service delivery, one-on-one and group psychosocial counselling and referral system.


An inclusive Somaliland society in which all persons with disabilities and other vulnerable groups realize their full potential, and enjoy equal rights and opportunities.


DAN exists to empower persons with disabilities and their families/care-givers through disability mainstreaming, as well as improved and equitable access to quality rehabilitation services.


  • Equality and Equity
  • Respect and Protection of Human Rights
  • Transparency and accountability
  • Empowerment
  • Networking and Linkages
  • Gender Sensitivity.
  • Participation.
  • Spirit of Teamwork.
  • Ethical Conduct (i.e. Confidentiality and Informed Consent)
  • Innovation and creativity
  • Adhering to Quality Standards and Legal Frameworks.


  1. Provide comprehensive quality rehabilitation services, which are commensurate with the needs of clients.
  2.  Limit and prevent developmental delays in children under the age of 5 affected by severe and moderate acute malnutrition (SAM & MAM).
  3. Lobby and advocate for mainstreaming of disability issues in policies, legal statues and development programs.
  4. Strengthen and sustain diversified capacities for DAN, its clients and stakeholders.


  1. To facilitate the provision of comprehensive quality rehabilitation services to enhance the participation and empowerment of clients with disabilities.
  2. To facilitate the mainstreaming of disabilities in all strategic areas of development by ensuring authentic participation of persons with disabilities.
  3. To provide inclusive stimulative therapy and psycho-social support for severely malnourished children in drought affected zones in Somaliland.
  4. To facilitate continuous staff capacity, competencies and motivation enhancement in order to respond to work related challenges.
  5. To explore creative and innovative ways of mobilizing resources for sustainable operations of DAN.


We are greatful to STARS Foundation for kindly funding the development of this website.