Livestock disease prioritisation: listening to the voices of the poor
In recent years, with the advent of the New Poverty Agenda and the wide acceptance of the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach, the role of livestock in poverty alleviation has been recognised. Indeed, NGOs and donors increasingly justify livestock projects as a means of directly supporting the well-being of the poor. However, a large-scale review of over 600 livestock development projects revealed that many interventions had little or no impact on poverty reduction (LID, 1999). Reasons offered include the lack of a poverty focus, inappropriate targeting and the development of technologies that were unsuitable and/or not delivered (ibid.). To address the issues, a number of agencies and institutions have undertaken priority-setting exercises to better focus activities on poverty alleviation (Thornton et al., 2000; McLeod et al., 1998). Indeed, a recent initiative funded by DFID (Perry et al. 2001) attempted to prioritise the livestock disease constraints of the poor, with the aim of improving the poverty-impacts of livestock-related research and development.
Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics Research Unit, School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, University of Reading, RG6 6AR, UK., 2 pp.