The Future of Pastoralism

Pastoralists in Africa are among the most marginalized and vulnerable communities.

Within countries with large pastoral populations, pastoralists often have far worse health, education, and other indicators of development relative to urban or sedentary areas.

Our long-term program on the Future of Pastoralism in Africa will continue to engage senior policy makers in regional organizations to support the implementation of new regional policies within countries. The aim is to align national policies to the regional frameworks. We will also continue to track and explain livelihood trends in pastoralist areas and channel analysis and evidence directly into policy forums. At a more local level, our work on coordinating large-scale programs will continue, as will the use of impact assessments to improve the development strategies of donors and NGOs.

Growth, Health, and Governance, Karamoja, Uganda

This USAID-funded five year project (2012-2017) aims to improve livelihoods outcomes for the pastoral, agro-pastoral, and agrarian populations in the region.

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Karamoja Resilience Support Unit (KRSU)

KRSU is a four-year project of USAID/Uganda aimed at increasing resilience and economic development in the Karamoja Region of northeast Uganda.

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Policy Support to the Pastoralist Livelihoods Initiative, Ethiopia

This project aimed to strengthen policy and practice in selected pastoralist areas of Ethiopia.

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Seers as War makers, Peace Makers, and Leaders within the Karamoja Cluster

Feinstein field research throughout the Karamoja region will allow us to document and analyze how seers operate within their own communities and shed light on the complex nature of their relationships with other tribal groups, both friends and enemies.

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Customary Law, Livelihoods Change, and Conflict Mitigation in the Karamoja Cluster The Case of Uganda

Under a two-year research project with funding from Irish Aid/Kampala, FIC researchers are studying how groups are using customary mechanisms to respond to the changing social, political and economic environment in Karamoja.

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Milk Matters: Improving the Health and Nutritional Status of Children in Pastoral Communities

This project seeks primarily to clarify some of the underlying causes of the chronically high levels of acute malnutrition found in pastoral regions in Ethiopia, Somalia, and Uganda.

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Moving Up, Moving Out

This project expands on initial research on the impacts of livestock commercialization in pastoralist areas of Africa.

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Regional Policy Support to IGAD

The study on livestock exports and related benefits has helped to raise awareness of processes of commercialization in pastoralist areas, and how this trend contributes to a robust group of commercial actors on the one side, and increasing pastoral destitution on the other.

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Community Animal Health and Participatory Epidemiology (CAPE)

This project supported community-based animal health worker (CAHW) systems in pastoralist areas, and contributed to the final eradication of rinderpest under the Pan African Program for the Control of Epizootics.

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Five years on: Livelihood advances, innovations, and continuing challenges in Karamoja, Uganda

This fifth year report examines key areas of change in Karamoja over the past five years to inform development programming decisions.

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Evidence Brief: The Impact of In-Kind Food Assistance on Pastoralist Livelihoods in Humanitarian Crises
Impact of food assistance on Pastoralism Evidence Brief

This is an evidence brief, accompanying the full systematic review on the impact of in-kind food assistance on pastoralist livelihoods in humanitarian emergencies.

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The Impact of In-Kind Food Assistance on Pastoralist Livelihoods in Humanitarian Crises
Impact of in-kind food assistance on pastoralism cover

This evidence synthesis represents the first ever attempt to identify, synthesize and evaluate existing evidence on both the short- and long-term impacts of in-kind food assistance on pastoralist populations and their livelihoods in humanitarian crises.

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The Impact of Food Assistance on Pastoralist Livelihoods in Humanitarian Crises: An evidence synthesis protocol
Pastoralist livelihood intervention protocol cover
By Karol Czuba, Tyler O’Neill | March 2017

This protocol outlines plans for conducting an evidence synthesis on the impact of food aid on pastoralist livelihoods.

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A Better Balance: Revitalized Pastoral Livelihoods in Karamoja, Uganda

This report reviews the state of animal-based livelihoods in the Karamoja region of northeastern Uganda and examines how animal ownership affects a household’s ability to weather shocks.

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“It’s Better to Sweat than to Die:” Rural-to-Urban Migration, Northern Karamoja, Uganda

Much of the literature on urbanization focuses on migration to large cities. In contrast, this report traces the process, challenges, and opportunities of rural-urban migration to towns and small cities…

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Community-Based Animal Health Workers in the Horn of Africa An Evaluation for the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance

This report describes the process and findings of an evaluation of community-based animal health workers (CAHWs) in Kenya, Ethiopia, and South Sudan. Overall, the researchers find that CAHWs continue to…

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Participatory Impact Assessment: A Design Guide Updated Version 2014

The Feinstein International Center has been developing and adapting participatory approaches to measure the impact of livelihoods based interventions since the early nineties. Originally released in 2009, this updated version…

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Standing Wealth: Pastoralist Livestock Production and Local Livelihoods in Sudan

This report highlights the importance of pastoralist livestock production for the country’s economy, and outlines ways in which pastoralism can be supported in the future, to benefit livelihoods and the…

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Briefing Paper: Standing Wealth Pastoralist Livestock Production and Local Livelihoods in Sudan

This is the briefing paper for a larger report, “Standing Wealth: Pastoralist Livestock Production and Local Livelihoods in Sudan.” The report highlights the importance of pastoralist livestock production for the country’s…

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Briefing Paper: Standing Wealth (Arabic) Pastoralist Livestock Production and Local Livelihoods in Sudan

This is an Arabic translation of an existing publication. Read the full report (in English) here. Click here to read this briefing paper in English.

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Lifting Livelihoods with Livestock A review of REST's livestock value addition practices in Raya Azebo, Ethiopia and potentials for diversification
By Yacob Aklilu | November 2011

Between 2008 and 2011, over two thousand households were provided with informal loans for livestock value addition in an effort to graduate them from the Productive Safety Net Programme in…

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Review of Pastoral Rangeland Enclosures in Ethiopia
By Alison Napier, Solomon Desta | November 2011

Access to productive rangeland has long been a critical issue affecting pastoralists in Ethiopia. In November 2011, the Feinstein International Center at Tufts University facilitated a review of a specific…

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Shifting Sands: The Commercialization of Camels in Mid-altitude Ethiopia and Beyond
By Yacob Aklilu, Andy Catley | April 2011

Although pastoralists in Ethiopia are often characterized as unresponsive to market opportunities, the bulk of Ethiopia’s growing formal and informal livestock and meat exports are supplied from pastoralist areas of…

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Mind the Gap Commercialization, Livelihoods and Wealth Disparity in Pastoralist Areas
By Yacob Aklilu, Andy Catley | December 2010

This was a follow up study to earlier regional analysis for the IGAD-FAO Livestock Policy Initiative that examined the benefits of livestock exports by pastoralist wealth group. Mind the Gap focuses on the Borana and Somali areas of Ethiopia, and describes the growing formal trade in meat and animals from pastoralist areas, destined for export markets.

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Impact Assessment of Small-Scale Pump Irrigation in the Somali Region of Ethiopia
By Feinstein Center | September 2010

Gode zone in the Somali National Regional State of Ethiopia is a remote area in the east of the country, characterized by marked under‐development and frequent humanitarian crises. In addition,…

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Rapid Review of the Cash-for-Work and Natural Resource Management Components of the RAIN Project
By Andy Catley, Alison Napier | July 2010

The project Revitalizing Agricultural/Pastoral Incomes and New Markets (RAIN) is a three‐year project implemented by Mercy Corps and Save the Children UK (SCUK) in parts of Somali and Oromiya Regions…

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Moving Up or Out? A Rapid Livelihoods and Conflict Analysis in Mieso-Mulu Woreda, Shinile Zone, Somali Region, Ethiopia
By Andy Catley, Alula Iyasu | April 2010

The pastoralists of Shinile Zone in the Somali Region of Ethiopia experience multiple livelihoods challenges and various types of conflict. Among international NGOs in the area, there is increasing interest…

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Impact Assessment of the Community Animal Health System in Mandera West District, Kenya
By Gezu Bekele | December 2009

This report examines the impact of a privatized, community-based veterinary service in the far northeast of Kenya, and focuses on the outcomes of clinical services provided by community-based animal health workers (CAHWs).

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Livestock Exports from the Horn of Africa An Analysis of Benefits by Pastoralist Wealth Group and Policy Implications
By Yacob Aklilu, Andy Catley | October 2009

Support to the export of pastoralist livestock from the Horn of Africa is often viewed by aid organizations as a key poverty reduction strategy. Drawing on existing literature and field research in Ethiopia, Kenya and Sudan, this report examines if and how different wealth groups benefit from the export trade.

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Milk Matters The Role and Value of Milk in the Diets of Somali Pastoralist Children in Liben and Shinile, Ethiopia
By Kate Sadler, Andy Catley | September 2009

This report is the outcome of the first phase of Milk Matters: a joint venture between the Feinstein International Center, Save the Children USA and Save the Children UK in…

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Milk Matters: A Literature Review of Pastoralist Nutrition and Programming Responses

Children across pastoralist/semi pastoralist areas of the horn of Africa are often referred to as some of the most nutritionally vulnerable in the world. The dominant response from the international…

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Livestock Marketing in Kenya and Ethiopia A Review of Policies and Practice
By Yacob Aklilu | December 2008

The last few years have witnessed a renewed interest in the export of live animals and meat from Kenya and Ethiopia. In both cases, the private sector has taken the…

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Participatory Impact Assessment
By Andy Catley, John Burns, Dawit Abebe | October 2008

The Feinstein International Center has been developing and adapting participatory approaches to measure the impact of livelihoods based interventions since the early nineties. Drawing upon this experience, this guide aims…

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