Policy Support to the Pastoralist Livelihoods Initiative, Ethiopia

Feinstein support to the USAID Pastoralist Livelihoods Initiative (PLI) aimed to strengthen policy and practice in selected pastoralist areas of Ethiopia. Feinstein supported PLI in two main phases between October 2005 and March 2013. The common elements of the approach were:

  • To promote evidence-based analysis and learning, and institutionalize good practice in new policies, guidelines and strategies of government, aid donors and NGOs.
  • To support livelihoods-based programming on the ground by supporting regional governments to coordinate programs in pastoralist areas.

The first phase of PLI (2005-2008) was livestock-focused, on the basis that livestock are the main financial and social asset of pastoralists. The occurrence of a major drought soon after PLI started influenced the direction of the Feinstein support towards practical guidance to USAID and NGOs on livelihoods-based livestock programming, plus technical coordination, development of federal government guidelines, and impact assessments of drought responses. The development and testing of the Pastoralism and Policy Course was also completed during this phase.

The second phase of PLI (2009-2013) had a broader outlook and considered more non-pastoral livelihoods and the growing problem of destitution or “pastoral drop outs.” With the emergence of the Ethiopian government’s Growth and Transformation Plan and the USAID Feed the Future (FtF) program, Feinstein support included analysis to understand the futures of pastoralist areas, with the results feeding into the strategies of USAID, EU and other donors in Ethiopia and the region. The center also supported the development of the African Union’s new Policy Framework for Pastoralism in Africa during this phase. Within this broader approach, the impact assessment and review work moved beyond livestock projects per se, to a wider range of projects, including small-scale irrigation, human health and cash transfers.  The analyses, impact assessments and review fed directly into the Pastoralism and Policy Course content, as the course was rolled out, and as Ethiopian universities began to institutionalize the course.

Review of Pastoral Rangeland Enclosures in Ethiopia
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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
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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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Impact Assessment of Small-Scale Pump Irrigation in the Somali Region of Ethiopia
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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
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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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Livelihoods-based Drought Response in Ethiopia Impact Assessment of Livestock Feed Supplementation
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By Gezu Bekele, Tsehay Abera | August 2008

This impact assessment aimed to measure the impact of an emergency livestock feed supplementation program implemented by Save the Children US during drought in pastoralist communities in Liben district (Guji...

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Impact Assessments of Livelihoods-based Drought Interventions in Moyale and Dire Woredas A Pastoralist Livelihoods Initiative report produced by the Feinstein International Center in partnership with CARE, Save the Children, and USAID-Ethiopia
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| March 2007

The Pastoralist Livelihoods Initiative (PLI) is a two-year program funded by USAID Ethiopia which combines field level implementation and learning in pastoral areas, with the development of national guidelines for...

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The work involves collaboration with government partners:

  • Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Afar Region Pastoralist, Agriculture and Rural Development Bureau
  • Oromiya Pastoral Areas Development Commission
  • Somali Region Livestock, Crop and Natural Resources Development Bureau

and NGO partners:

  • Save the Children US
  • Save the Children UK
  • CARE International
  • Mercy Corps
  • International Rescue Committee