DFID Research Strategy (2008 - 2013). Consultation - Africa. Country Report for Ethiopia


This report presents the outcomes of the DFID research strategy (2008-2013) consultation in Ethiopia. The aim of the consultation was to seek views regarding what research DFID should support to make the biggest impact on poverty and on how research should be conducted for maximum relevance and uptake. Representative individuals across different key sectors (Agriculture, Health, Governance and Climate Change) including both researchers and research users were consulted. Key informant interviews, focus group discussions and a multi-stakeholder workshop (held from 6-7 November 2007) were used to gather views. Some 103 stakeholders drawn from Addis Ababa, Oromia and Southern Nations and Nationalities Peoples regional states were involved in the consultation.

Stakeholders believed that in view of the large proportion of the population engaged in agriculture and the low level of industrial development, agriculture is a key sector that could accelerate growth if given proper investment. All respondents stressed the need to transform the fragmented and subsistence-oriented agriculture into a high input-output, market oriented, commercial and mechanized agriculture.

Opportunities and constraints of the different sectors were considered and the following research priorities were identified:

Livestock (breed, feed, health); high value cash crops, and crop diseases and pests; optimum crop-livestock integration; validation and integration of indigenous knowledge; post-harvest technologies; marketing research; biotechnology; irrigation, soil and water conservation; strengthening linkage between relevant actors, and communication of available research findings.

Association between climate change and trends/incidence of diseases; alternative health service delivery mechanisms and factors hindering use of reproductive health services; malnutrition; traditional medicines and knowledge; multi-drug resistance (TB, and others), and communication and up-take of available findings.

Environment and climate change
Impacts of climate change and adaptation strategies; carbon marketing; impact assessment of investments and industries; waste management and use; impact of land policy and natural resource conservation; harvesting run-off water; alternative sources of energy; communication and utilization of existing information.

Improving the performance of civil service and impacts of the reform programmes; effectiveness and limitations of existing policies, laws and regulations; research into the judiciary system; improving coordination and collaboration among different institutions; institutionalizing M &amp: E; role and contribution of civil society and mass media; and governance in relation to environmental protection.

Approaches to education expansion; improving quality of education including quality of teachers training and curricula; developing approaches for experiential learning; adaptation and adoption of proven methodologies used elsewhere.

Technologies that can reduce women's workload; income generating technologies; roles and constraints of women in different sectors; harmful traditional practices; improving women's schooling and participation in social, economic and political processes.

Research implementation
From the discussions on research implementation, a lack of mechanisms to elicit demand for research was noted, together with a lack of capacity among users to influence the research agenda, and insufficient focus on national priorities. Involvement of relevant actors in the whole research process would make it targeted and problem-oriented.

Inadequate communication of research findings was highlighted as a problem, and it was recommended that donors should commit a significant share of the research fund to communication and implementation of the findings. The need to promote action research was emphasized.

Respondents indicated that establishing partnerships with local partners would allow the pooling of resources, sharing of experience and information, and coordination of efforts. They also identified the need to encourage local partnership and enhance local innovation, as well as to strengthen public-private partnership. It was emphasized that donors should encourage local or nationally-grown initiatives, and should adopt participatory, consultative and democratic process and procedures. Most respondents stressed that donors/partners need to focus on capacity building and empowering the national staff and local institutions.

Lack of capacity was seen as a problem across all sectors, and the need for capacity building at individual, organizational and systems levels in a systematic and strategic way was stressed. Areas identified for capacity building included research methodology, evidence-based policy-making, dissemination of information and new technologies, access to information, and capacity building for women.

The appendices to this report comprise the consultation methodology and the workshop report.


CABI Africa. DFID Research Strategy (2008 - 2013). Consultation - Africa. Country Report for Ethiopia. (2007) 64 pp.

DFID Research Strategy (2008 - 2013). Consultation - Africa. Country Report for Ethiopia

Published 1 January 2007