How are public services provided in a context of a state which has been affected by enduring conflict and economic downfall? According to the 'failed state' literature, these places are characterized by a vacuum of authority. This is challenged by the literature on 'hybrid governance' which highlights how state actors are only one actor among a wide range of actors providing governance in a certain area: the weakness of the formal state framework does not necessarily create chaos, or a vacuum. By using a hybrid governance perspective, this research project wants to analyse primary education services in Somaliland: Somalia, and the Somaliland region, is considered a typical 'failed state', and although the state is largely absent from public services, education services continue to be provided. However, the hybrid governance perspective largely neglects two crucial aspects: the role of legitimacy and power in these arrangements, as well as the role of international actors. Both of these aspects have a profound impact on the outcome of these hybrid arrangements, but have been largely ignored in the analysis. Particular attention will be given to Islamic donors, which play an important role in supporting the education sector in Somaliland: their specific religious character, with specific sets of legitimacy, and their impact on public service (education) provision, has not been studied properly, particularly in the context of a largely absent state.