Ethiopia: Pastoral community development project

News and Press Release
Originally published


WASHINGTON, May 20, 2003 - The following project was approved today by the World Bank's Board today:
GRANT AMOUNT: IDA-US$30.0 million

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The development objective of the Pastoral Community Development Project (which is the first phase of the Program) is, for a selected set of weredas, to establish effective models of public service delivery, investment, and disaster management in pastoral areas that address communities' priority needs and reduce their vulnerability. When this development objective is achieved, it will trigger subsequent project phases within a programmatic approach. These phases will expand the program geographically to a larger set of weredas to provide access of all pastoral communities to the program's benefits. For more information, please call Eric Chinje at (202) 473-7917, fax at 473-7917, or e-mail . For project information documents, please visit:

Project Name: ETHIOPIA-Pastoral Community Development Project

Region: Africa Regional Office

Sector: General agriculture; fishing and forestry sector (70%); Other social services (30%)

Project ID: P075915


Implementing Agency

Address: Ministry of Federal Affairs
Contact Person: Ato Lulseged Abate,
Head, Pastoral Development Department

Environment Category: B

Date PID Prepared: December 30, 2002

Auth Appr/Negs Date: January 30, 2003

Bank Approval Date: May 22, 2003

1. Country and Sector Background

Sector issues and government strategy were the focus of sector work carried out in FY01 (Pastoral Community Development in Ethiopia: Issues paper, June 2001). This section summarizes portions of this document.

Main Sector Issues

In Ethiopia, pastoralism is extensively practiced in the Somali and Afar national regional states (Regions), in the Borana zone of the Oromia national regional state, and in the South Omo zone of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples (SNNP) national regional state. Pastoralists are also found in areas of Tigray, Benshangule and Gambella regions. These lowlands encompass almost seven million people, in excess of 500,000 km2 (61 percent of the area of Ethiopia) and over eleven million animals -- the largest livestock population in Africa. People living in the pastoral lowland areas of Ethiopia comprise both the comparatively wealthy who hold substantial assets in the form of livestock, a larger number of poor people who have small herds and flocks, and those who, to a greater or lesser extent, depend upon cropping or sale of their labour ("agropastoralists"). Although the climatic conditions and hardships are similar for most pastoral areas, the people inhabiting these areas differ in their social structure, herd composition, coping strategies and in the extent of their integration in the market economy. The following sector issues dominate:

(a) Good governance and community participation are preconditions for sustainable development anywhere, and pastoral areas are no exception. The establishment of the National Regional States with their underlying woreda (district) and local kebele (sub-district) administrations has improved the opportunity for more participatory development. However, civil society, in its broader sense beyond clan loyalties, is embryonic in lowland Ethiopia. The governance process, despite its devolvement, lacks transparency, suffers from heavily bureaucratic administrative procedures, is dominated by local elites where women's rights are poorly representated, and lacks an enabling environment for private investment.

(b) Periodic drought has always been central to the livelihoods of people living in Ethiopia's lowland pastoral production systems. However, as a result of increasing human and livestock population pressure and an apparent increasing frequency of drought, the capacity to cope with drought has declined to the point where there is a growing threat to the survival of viable pastoral production systems. Government has established a disaster prevention and preparedness system through its Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Commission (DPPC). However, its primary focus is on upland agricultural systems, with lowland administration lacking both the resources and knowledge to effectively protect pastoralist livelihoods;

(c) Rangeland degradation, driven by rising human and livestock populations, is increasing in Ethiopia as evidenced by soil loss, bush encroachment, reduced bio-diversity, and deforestation close to urban and refugee concentrations. Traditional range management systems, based on indigenous knowledge, mobility, reciprocity agreements, fluid boundaries and traditional law are facing new pressures, which require different institutions, technologies and systems for their redress;

(d) Support services in pastoral areas are weak and often completely absent. Animal health services rarely extend beyond woreda town boundaries and livestock marketing infrastructure and information systems are inadequate. Pastoral research and extension services barely exist, despite the efforts of the Ministry of Agriculture to implement a "pastoral extension strategy". Health services in pastoral zones are often limited to trained birth attendants and education services reach less than a fifth of the population. Banking and other financial services are unavailable to the vast majority of pastoralists, and government lacks capacity to extend these services to remote areas. However, recent experience in community managed services has opened a new window of opportunity for isolated, mobile pastoral communities;

(e) Rural infrastructure in Ethiopia's pastoral areas is notoriously inadequate. While roads in rangelands are difficult to justify according to normal assessments of economic viability, often the most tangible economic and social benefit these areas have experienced has resulted from road development. Stock routes and watering points for livestock off-take are either nonexistent or poorly planned with resultant weak ownership and maintenance. Voice communication systems are equally weak, isolating pastoralists, traders and the supporting government agencies from the national mainstream.

(f) Non-livestock sources of income: The emergence of dryland agriculture and some irrigated agriculture has produced increasing numbers of "agropastoralists". While rainfed farming is equally at the mercy of drought as is livestock, it has provided some diversity of income sources and synergies with livestock systems. The PCDP will promote crop production and non-farm sources of income in response to demands from communities.

Government Strategy

The PRSP states that "the problem of food security and agricultural growth in the nomadic areas is being conceived in terms of the development of the pastoral economy in its entirety." The PCDP corresponds with the central features of the Government's new strategy for pastoral areas by promoting an integrated and holistic approach that focuses on people, not merely their animals or the rangeland which they inhabit. The project will also pursue several of the recommendations proposed in the Food Security Strategy, such as those pertaining to animal health, marketing, water supply, agropastoralism, and early warning systems.

The PCDP would also supports the PRSP's emphasis on community empowerment, by enabling communities to identify their own priorities, propose modest development, and gain access to the financial resources and training necessary for their implementation. The government also proposes to decentralize service delivery and channel more resources directly to woreda administrations and to strengthen the chain of technical and regulatory authority from national to regional and woreda level offices. These reforms provide an opportunity for building pastoral advocacy at the national level, strengthening technical service delivery, and improving community participation in resource allocations at the local (woreda) level.

Land tenure and settlement policy is are politically-charged issues in Ethiopia. Grazing lands have, since the early 1900s, been regarded as property of the State. Government does not, however, provide the by-laws for the protection of the rangeland or for compensation for alienated land and remains underpinned by a strong State sentiment for voluntary pastoralist settlement; the new 1994 Constitution provides for pastoralists "not to be displaced without their wish". The Minister of Federal Affairs, which has a mandate for emerging regions, promotes settlement of pastoralists, but recognizes that this must be voluntary and implemented over a very long time period. This debate will remain until such time as the State recognizes efficient use of range resources by pastoralists as a sustainable land use strategy.

Government has recently revised its institutional framework for rural development. This has involved the appointment of a Minister of Rural Development, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister. The Minister has overarching responsibility for agriculture and rural development. In addition, the Ministry of Federal Affairs (MoFA) has been delegated to address the governance and administrative needs of emerging regions which comprise the larger pastoral areas of Afar and Somali Regions. MoFA also chairs a new multi-ministerial "Emerging Regions Development Board" which has as a mandate development in pastoral areas. In addition, a Standing Committee on Pastoral Development has been created, composed of nine Parliamentarians from pastoral regions, which is now highly vocal in promoting pastoral interests.

2. Objectives

The development objective Pastoral Community Development Project (PCDP), which is the first phase of the program is, for a selected set of woredas, to establish effective and functional models of local governance and investment in pastoral areas that address communities' priority needs and reduce their vulnerability.

If this development objective is achieved according to performance indicators, this will trigger subsequent project phases within a programmatic approach. These phases will expand the program geographically to a larger set of woredas (see below) to provide access of all pastoral communities to the program's benefits.

3. Rationale for Bank's Involvement

Dialogue on poverty reduction policy: With support to the PRSP, IDA is well positioned to push forward discussion on how to coordinate and strengthen Government's commitment to poverty reduction. However, this will have to involve all other major development partners. IDA collaboration is expected to make a significant contribution to the goals of the PRSP, including the development of community-driven initiatives and the decentralization of service delivery to the woreda. The close collaboration between the IDA specialists and the senior Government officials responsible for project implementation has already paved the way for a strong consensus on project design and approach.

Scaling up CDD efforts: IDA has the ability to mobilize sufficient funding to undertake such an ambitious national program. With the wide range and large scale of many of its operations, IDA is well positioned to link the PCDP goals with the national reforms and financing mechanisms required to support them. The involvement of IDA in the project also provides a framework, as evidenced by IFAD's involvement, within which other donors and NGOs can complement IDA's support, ensuring the linkages between and within on-going and planned programs.

International experience: IDA brings international experience in the areas of social funds, decentralization, and demand-driven rural investment funds. Aside from experience in Ethiopia listed above, IDA now has many similar operations ongoing in the region, and the PCDP may draw from the positive and negative lessons of this experience. Examples include the many West African CDD projects, the Mongolia Sustainable Livelihoods project, and the many examples of social funds. In addition, the growing focus and debate in the World Bank on community-driven development will help to consolidate lessons and experience which the PCDP can use to its advantage.

Sectoral experience: IDA has projects in every sector, which can contribute technical solutions and facilitate institutional linkages with line ministries. The PCDP will benefit from the experience of the ESRDF in terms of community participation and implementation of micro-projects. The sector investment programs in health, education, and transport will help in coordinating and ensure technical standards when pastoral communities choose micro-projects in these sectors.

Limitations: While recognizing IDA's comparative advantage, it is equally important to acknowledge that we are relatively weak in several areas, particularly concerning on-the-ground experience in community-driven approaches in pastoral areas and in working with NGOs. In this respect, it will be vitally important for the PCDP to collaborate with development partners who possess diverse strengths and considerable operational experience.

4. Description

Component 1. Sustainable Livelihoods

This component would establish decentralized and participatory planning procedures at the community and woreda levels, enabling men and women in pastoral communities to identify, prioritize, design, and implement micro-projects and programs. Communities would be supported by project-financed Mobile Support Teams (MSTs) who would work together with woreda administrations. The MSTs would use participatory rural appraisal (PRA) techniques and tools to conduct needs assessments and help communities develop modest local development plans. Proposed community investments would be approved by kebele committees, including representatives of local community groups, business, NGOs and administration, and successful proposals would be forwarded to woredas for funding through the Community Investment Fund (CIF). Investments covered under the CIF would not be limited to specific sectors, in order to preserve the multi-sectoral nature of the project and respect the priorities of the poor. As such, this component could finance micro-projects in livestock, agriculture, water supply, small-scale irrigation, health care, education, rangeland management, etc., (subject to a short negative list). Investment assessment would be against transparent criteria known in advance to all stakeholders. The development plans, which would require a significant community cash or in-kind contribution to demonstrate committment, would be implemented directly by communities to build capacity, ensure correspondence of investments to needs, and guarantee accountability to the community.

Community level investments would be complemented by strengthened agricultural and social services. The project would support the comprehensive development of a community-based animal health service in pastoral areas, including related support to public and private veterinary centers. Agricultural services would also be strengthened through integrated participatory research and technology transfer programs and contracted studies for more holistic technology and resource constraints. The project would also provide policy, institutional and training support for the development of community-based health and education services. However, given the weak capacity currently present in most woredas, project support in these areas would begin in more capable woredas and phased in gradually.

This component would finance basic office, communications and transportation requirements for MSTs at woreda and kebele levels, training of community leaders and government administrators in rural leadership and participatory development, the CIF, agricultural research and technology transfer, training and equipment for veterinary services and the institutional and training requirements for a sustainable community-based pastoral education and health service.

Component 2. Pastoral Risk Management

This component includes a community-based early warning system which will build upon ongoing efforts by DPPC and NGOs to establish, at the woreda level the collection and analysis of basic household welfare data using a survey instrument designed for the primarily pastoral production system. Using part-time data monitors at the kebele/community level, woredas would be able to compile and analyze trends in household and environmental conditions in discrete areas. Regions would then receive these reports, which would assist in planning and ultimately the implementation of a better system of targeting early reaction to declines in the welfare of pastoralist communities. The component would begin in year one in the focus project woredas, but as the early warning system should be region wide as soon as possible, it should scale up to all pastoral woredas in the three Regions. In the Drought Contingency Planning subcomponent, the project will invest in capacity building in at woreda and regional levels to prepare drought contingency plans, monitor local disaster indicators, and manage funds made available for drought response, primarily from other donors and government, but also with small amounts made available under the project. This should result in improved response as a result of the implementation of appropriate disaster and drought mitigation, management, and recovery activities. As this process is intensive in terms of human capacity, the project would only aim to produce functioning drought contingency plans for the initial focus woredas. Finally, the Drought Preparedness and Contingency Fund would provide the initial thirty woredas with development grants to finance activities identified in their contingency plans. It is expected that woreda level drought contingency plans would include both investments to better mitigate drought, such as small feeder roads, improved water management, fodder banks, and range improvement, as well as funds set aside for rapid response, such as destocking, water tankering, response to human and animal disease outbreaks, and the like. An acceptable contingency plan, including documentation of the participatory process and environmental assessment, if applicable, would be a condition for release of fund resources. A relatively small portion of this Fund would be earmarked to jump-start investments in critical infrastructure identified in the regional inventory, however it is expected that other government and donor resources would be the prime source of funds for major infrastructure investments. Investments could include roads, livestock water points (based on catchment management plans), flood control structures, grain stores and electronic communication systems. Local labor would be employed and paid, providing an injection of cash into the local economy.

(pdf* format - 831 KB)