Changes in the drylands of eastern Africa: case studies of pastoralist systems in the region

Abstract

While there has been recent convergence on the meaning of resilience, translating this into appropriate, practical policy and interventions has been far more challenging. This is all more difficult in contexts of dynamic change, in which the levels and combinations of capacities needed for resilience may themselves shift markedly in response to what is happening in wider systems – ecological, economic, political, security. The tendency to focus on recent trends and current conditions can also obscure understanding of longer-term dynamics influencing what is needed to strengthen resilience.

This report applies a conceptual approach to understanding longer-term pathways for pastoral livelihoods and their consequences for poverty, vulnerability and resilience in different areas of dryland eastern Africa: Pastoralist Livelihoods Systems Analysis, as detailed in an accompanying report, consists of three layers of evidence and data gathering and analysis: (i) methods for mapping the overall context of pastoral systems and how they have developed over time using textured evidence as well as meta-level data indicating key influences on livelihoods and productive activities; (ii) evidence and literature to help categorise the livelihoods of individuals and groups within a system and; (iii) the use of household-level data to map livelihood trajectories over time and resilience to shocks.

As the case studies included show, diverse trends shaping pastoralism in the region have very different consequences, with distinct trajectories apparent at a system-level as well as diverging prospects for individuals and groups within systems. This report assesses key insights from academic and grey literatures concerning trends and drivers of change over time in pastoral areas, the outcomes of these for poverty and vulnerability, and their implications for thinking about and approaching resilience.

Citation

Lind, J.; Sabates-Wheeler, R.; Kohnstamm, S.; Caravani, M.; Abdurehman Eid; Manzolillo Nightingale, D.; Oringa, C. Changes in the drylands of eastern Africa: case studies of pastoralist systems in the region. IDS, Brighton, UK (2016) 47 pp.

Changes in the drylands of eastern Africa: case studies of pastoralist systems in the region

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