Status report on nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) 2016

Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) have continued to show steady growth in proposals over the past six months, while financing remains limited and implementation lags behind. This is one of the findings of the NAMA Status Report mid-year update which has been launched at the Bonn UN Climate Conference.

The update, written by Ecofys and ECN under the Mitigation Momentum project, takes a look at the role of NAMAs in light of the Paris Agreement, provides a snapshot of the current state of play and includes opinion pieces from government representatives of countries in Africa, Asia, and South America on NAMAs in the new climate landscape. While they state that NAMA development will continue after Paris, some new challenges for NAMAs are also associated with the Paris Agreement. 

The Mitigation Momentum project is part of the International Climate Initiative by the German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety. | 24-May-2016 07:04

Ethiopians’ views of democratic government: fear, ignorance, or unique understanding of democracy?

Five rounds of Afrobarometer surveys in up to 35 African countries show that ordinary African citizens tend to reach the same conclusions about the extent of democracy in their country as international expert rating systems. But the 2013 survey in Ethiopia produces a puzzling anomaly: While no expert assessment comes close to calling Ethiopia a democracy, 81% of Ethiopians consider their country either a complete democracy or a democracy with only minor problems. The best explanation for this anomaly is Ethiopians’ highly positive assessment of political and economic developments in their country. However, these opinions are marked by a syndrome of “uncritical citizenship” and a distinctively instrumental and paternalistic understanding of “democracy.”

Other contributing factors include the country’s low level of development, especially with respect to education and communications; its long-standing one-party dominance and low levels of political freedom; and significant political fear and suspicion of the interview environment. Because of the idiosyncratic way in which Ethiopians understand democracy, extreme caution must be exercised in attempting to compare any responses to democracy questions from Ethiopia with those from other African countries. Analysts are advised to use the Ethiopia data set only in a stand-alone setting or to limit their comparative analysis to items that do not use the “d-word.” | 17-May-2016 14:45

Do dreams come true? Aspirations and educational attainments of Ethiopian boys and girls

Most economic decisions that individuals take are forward-looking and are therefore shaped by the desire or ambition to achieve a goal. And yet, little is known about how aspirations shape decision-making. This paper partially addresses this gap using a rich longitudinal dataset following a cohort of children in Ethiopia for over a decade between the age of 8 and 19. We investigate the role of early aspirations for human capital investments in a context of poverty, traditional social expectations and gender roles. More specifically, the focus is on three related questions. First, the author investigates the relation between aspirations and boys’ and girls’ educational attainment, as an indicator of cumulative investments in education. Second, the paper look at how parents and children form their aspirations and at the transmission of aspirations from one generation to the other. Third, the paper explores the gender-based bias in aspirations and we investigate whether an initial pro-boys aspiration bias might constitute a source of gender inequality perpetuation particularly in a context of extreme poverty.

The author finds that:

  • aspirations have a strong predictive power for later educational attainment particularly for boys, who are more likely to drop out of school after the age of 15
  • there is a substantial gender gap in aspirations and steep gradient in aspirations across wealth
  • parents ground their aspirations on the expectations they have about their children’s future when they are 12 years old
  • children’s aspirations mirror parental aspirations
  • initial low aspirations might be a mechanism of perpetration of gender inequality among the poorest segment of the population
  • parents and children revise their aspirations over time adapting to external circumstance and social expectations, so that after the age of 15 the pro-boys gender bias in aspirations is reverted. | 22-Apr-2016 06:26

China and Brazil in African Agriculture: World Development Special Issue | Vol 81, Pgs 1-92, (May 2016)

Open Access Special Issue of World Development based on work on the changing role of China and Brazil in Africa’s agriculture from China and Brazil in African Agriculture’ project  of the Future Agricultures Consortium (FAC).

Articles include:

  • A new politics of development cooperation? Chinese and Brazilian engagements in African agriculture
  • South-South cooperation, agribusiness and African agricultural development: Brazil and China in Ghana and Mozambique
  • Chinese state capitalism? Rethinking the role of the state and business in Chinese development cooperation in Africa
  • Imagining agricultural development in South-South Cooperation: the contestation and transformation of ProSAVANA Lídia Cabral, Arilson Favareto, Langton Mukwereza and Kojo Amanor
  • Brazil’s agricultural politics in Africa: More Food International and the disputed meanings of ‘family farming’
  • Chinese migrants in Africa: Facts and fictions from the agri-food sector in Ethiopia and Ghana
  • Chinese agricultural training courses for African officials: between power and partnerships
  • Science, technology and the politics of knowledge: the case of China’s Agricultural Technology Demonstration Centres in Africa | 08-Apr-2016 13:31

Chinese migrants in Africa: facts and fictions from the agri-food sector in Ethiopia and Ghana

The role of Chinese migrants in Africa—when viewed from the perspective of the agri-food sector—is poorly researched and understood. A micro-level view suggests, however, that it does not fit neatly into Western media stereotypes (land grabbing, empire building) or Chinese government discourses (South–South cooperation and technology transfer). This is not a state-driven phenomenon, but rather a story of individuals.

This paper makes an empirical and ethnographic contribution to the literature on Chinese migrants in Africa by using five case studies to explore their role in the agri-food sector in Ethiopia and Ghana. The authors find that the realities of Chinese migrants in this sector matches neither popular media stereotypes of empire building and land grabbing, nor Chinese government narratives of South–South cooperation, technology transfer, and agricultural development. Far from being a “silent army” promoting larger Chinese state objectives, they operate independently and serve no agenda other than their own. Many migrants have little if any contact with the Chinese Embassy or other official Chinese presence in Africa. While none of the informants have received support from the Chinese government, they are nonetheless affected by government regulatory frameworks in African countries and their activities are shaped accordingly.

The regulatory policy environment is very different in the two countries, and this has implications for the livelihood strategies of Chinese migrants. While the impacts of their presence on local development are modest overall, these impacts do appear to be positive in the sense that they are creating economic opportunities, both for themselves and for local people. | 08-Apr-2016 11:55

Rapid fragility and migration assessment for Ethiopia

This report is based on 24 days of desk-based research and provides a short synthesis of the literature on fragility and migration in relation to Ethiopia.

It is difficult to obtain an accurate picture of the migration situation in Ethiopia today. Limitations with the migration data include the use of varying definitions for different categories of migrants, and the lack of documentation of irregular migration.

This rapid review has found a fairly large development practitioner and academic literature on the sources of fragility in Ethiopia. While migration statistics are unreliable, there is reasonably credible information about the routes and migrant profiles. This literature is more focused on those travelling to the Middle East, with a strong focus on young women in a number of reports. As much of the migration is irregular, this presents challenges for documentation.

Key evidence gaps include :

  • up to date information on migrant profiles, motivations and routes, taking into account the impact of the new global migration context (most survey data is from 2011 – 2013)
  • migrant journeys along the north/west and south routes
  • information on internal displacement
  • the impact of hos ting a l arge refugee population
  • the role development aid has played in relation to migration pressures | 07-Apr-2016 10:56

Women’s economic empowerment and care: evidence for influencing

Care responsibilities is being increasingly identified as a factor restricting women’s empowerment outcomes, yet there is limited evidence on determinants of long hours or gender inequality in care work. To gain a clearer understanding of care work and pathways of change to promote more equitable care provision, Oxfam conducted a Household Care Survey in communities of rural Colombia, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

Results highlight that gender inequality exists in all measures of care work, with women and girls doing significantly more primary and secondary care activities, and supervision of dependants, than men and boys. Key findings are presented in time use and work hours, and determinants of patterns of care work. In all countries, the research found that women have longer total hours of work than men, men spend more time on paid work than women, and women have longer hours of care work. The determinants of care are context-specific. Education and relative household wealth are less relevant as determinants of length, intensity or inequality in care hours than might be expected. Women’s paid/productive activities and access to labour-saving stoves and improved water systems are sometimes associated with decreases in women’s hours of care work. 

Adapted from authors’ summary. | 21-Mar-2016 14:26

Energy dialogues in Africa: is the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam transforming Ethiopia’s regional role?

Major hydropower projects, such as the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in Ethiopia, invite enquiry into the potential to increase the generation, transmission and distribution of power, how best to finance these infrastructures and how to balance them with the call for a sustainable development approach. Analyses of these projects make little reference, however, to the potential for interregional co-operation that goes beyond the construction of the dam and a focus on power pooling.

Concentrating on the GERD, this paper identifies several challenges to energy co-operation between Ethiopia and regional stakeholders. It argues that Ethiopia’s ownership of the GERD, the recent trade agreement between SADC, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and the East African Community, and growing interest in regional power pooling have created a timely opportunity for greater energy co-operation. Such cooperation will be sustained by an increase in power supply in these regions, but also by shifting national perspectives on regional prospects. | 18-Mar-2016 15:54

Promotion of micro and small scale enterprises sector and improvement of Addis Ababa city transportation system

2011 KSP with Ethiopia was initiated in November 2010 when the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MOFED) of the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (GOE) submitted a written Demand Survey Form. The form was officially channeled through the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Ministry of Strategy and Finance (MOSF). The requested topics were: (1) Capacity Building on Economic Policy and Economic Crisis Management; (2) Improving of Addis Ababa City Transportation Facilities; and (3) Transforming of Micro and Small Scale Industries into Exportable Industries.

Based on the topics submitted by the partner country, the MOSF and the Korea Development Institute (KDI) reviewed the form to judge if the topic would be suitable within the scope of Korea’s necessary expertise and experiences for sharing with Ethiopia, and decided to carry out the topic under the KSP (the “project”). MOSF and KDI pre-screened out transforming selected micro and small scale industries into exportable industries and improving Addis Ababa City transportation system project ideas to be addressed in the 2011 KSP. Korea Expert Consulting Group (KECG) was selected and requested to undertake the project in view of its expertise and consulting capacity. | 11-Mar-2016 13:43

Sustainable cities: local solutions in the global south

As the combined problems of urbanization, environmental degradation, and poverty become increasingly urgent, understanding the links between sustainability and poverty reduction is imperative. A sustainable urban future for all requires raising the quality of life of the most vulnerable.

Existing at the margins of urban life, low-income residents of cities in the global South are subject to numerous environmental burdens and are too often excluded from mainstream development and planning. In the face of these challenges, communities have proven to be remarkably resilient and innovative, with tremendous potential both to improve the quality of their own habitat and to contribute to the development of healthy and productive cities. The research presented in this book attempts to show how this potential can be harnessed, by showcasing sustainable solutions developed by the urban poor themselves.

The book’s case studies were conducted in the growing urban and peri-urban areas of Peru, Senegal, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Thailand, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. They outline concrete strategies for sustainable urban living and design, developed in partnership with low-income city dwellers. The book offers insights into both theory and practice, which will be useful and inspiring to students, researchers, development practitioners, and policymakers alike. | 10-Mar-2016 16:39

Strategy for the implementation of e-Government and the development and promotion of the leather and footwear industry of Ethiopia

The 2012 Knowledge Sharing Program (KSP) with Ethiopia was conducted by the Korea Development Institute (KDI), supervising agency of the project, which had prepared for the project in 2011.

The focus of the 2012 KSP with Ethiopia was diverted into two directions, as covered by this report:

  • establishment of strategy for the introduction of e-Government and ICT technology in the field of public service
  • policy advice for the main stream trend of R&D in the leather/footwear industry. | 07-Mar-2016 13:20

El Niño in Ethiopia: Programme observations on the impact of the Ethiopia drought and recommendations for action

Ethiopia is in the middle of one of the worst droughts for 50 years according to the December 2015 FEWS report, a drought which has left many poor and vulnerable families with nothing

As a result Ethiopia is facing a massive food insecurity crisis. The impact of failed rains and droughts have been worsened by the 2015 El Niño, which itself has been supercharged by climate change. Urgent humanitarian action is needed to support millions of people who have lost food, water and livelihoods. And long-term investment is needed so that communities can become more resilient and reduce their vulnerability to weather events in the future.

[adapted from source] | 25-Feb-2016 15:00

Enhancing urban resilience: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Addis Ababa is urbanizing and growing at a rapid pace. The city faces potential shocks and stresses that could hinder it from achieving its development goals. These include urban flooding, fire, earthquakes, rapid urbanization, water scarcity, unemployment, and social vulnerability.

In February 2015, Addis Ababa invited a team of specialists from the World Bank Group to implement the CityStrength Diagnostic in close collaboration with local officials, technical staff, and stakeholders.

The objective of this publication is to share the findings of the diagnostic and the priority actions and investments agreed with local leaders. Designed to be accessible to a broad audience, this publication presents the most relevant and actionable information that emerged from the diagnostic process.

Although the implementation of CityStrength in Addis Ababa leveraged a substantial collection of studies, research, and plans prepared by multiple development partners, this publication does not go into detail on each. Where applicable, those studies are highlighted within this text and readers are invited to seek out the original files for more in-depth information (see Resources on Addis Ababa at the end of this publication).

CityStrength is an interview-based methodology; as such, a significant portion of the findings captured in this publication are based on statements made by local officials, experts, and stakeholders during the launch workshop, individual and group interviews, and field visits.

[adapted from source] | 24-Feb-2016 15:17

Industrial policy in Ethiopia

This report assesses industrial policy in Ethiopia. Industrial policy is a contested issue, especially for low-income countries. Proactive policies are required to make the transition from low-productivity resourced-based societies with large informal sectors to more productive, knowledge-based and formalised patterns of productive organisation. However, channelling resources into preferential activities may reduce allocative efficiency. This can create perverse incentives for stakeholders including investors and bureaucrats. This problem is exacerbated in low income settings, where political checks and balances may be weak.

The Ethiopian government has created the preconditions for a market-based and socially inclusive industrial transformation. It has demonstrated commitment to investing in technological learning in order to build new competitive advantages through programmes to strengthen the technical and vocational education system. Universities and specialised supporting institutions have been established. Diversification and industrial development are the objectives. Agricultural demand-led industrialisation and export promotion are central in its strategy. For the last ten years, the Ethiopian economy has grown at 11 per cent annually, mainly due to favourable agro-climatic conditions, high coffee prices, considerable inflows of aid and remittances, and a boom in construction. However, the economic structure has not changed much and competitiveness has not increased. This study focuses on the policymaking process in the leather/leather products and the cut flower industries. | 08-Feb-2016 13:19

Negotiating new relationships: how the Ethiopian state is involving China and Brazil in agriculture and rural development

This article provides an overview of Brazilian and Chinese agricultural development cooperation activities in Ethiopia.

In the context of a highly aid-dependent country, the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) has developed an effective way of balancing donor inputs, both regionally and sectorally. Development cooperation is carefully managed and coordinated, in line with the national 'growth and transformation plan'. The government promotes harmonisation and an alignment process of western donor support through the Ethiopian High Level Forum, with five subsidiary sector-specific working groups.

Brazil and China are currently not engaged in these coordination platforms working instead on a bilateral basis. Core activities include experience sharing in public governance, technical cooperation, and the attraction of private and public investments. In the case of Brazil, the cooperation focuses on renewable energy sector development mainly related to biofuels derived from sugarcane production, whilst in the case of China, cooperation is more focused on infrastructure, agricultural technology and skill transfer. The approach adopted by Ethiopia reflects a commitment to a 'developmental state' approach. This seems to be delivering results in the agricultural sector, and beyond. | 05-Feb-2016 14:03

'One hand can't clap by itself': Engagement of boys and men in KMG's intervention to eliminate FGM-C in Kembatta zone, Ethiopia, EMERGE Story of Change 3

This story of change pulls out the key findings and messages from EMERGE case study 3, which focuses on the work of Kembatti Mentti Gezzimma (KMG) in Kembatta Zone, Ethiopia. KMG works with men, boys, women and girls as part of its efforts to eliminate female genital mutilation-cutting. | 03-Feb-2016 17:28

Reforming higher education: access, equity, and financing in Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, and Tunisia

This chapter in the 2011 Africa Competitiveness Report analyses systems of higher education in Africa using five African countries— Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, and Tunisia— as case studies. Specifically, the chapter analyzes current enrolment 
trends, accessibility and equity, governance, quality and relevance, financing, university-industry linkages (UILs),
and entrepreneurship education in tertiary education curricula. The idea is to look at what works well and
 what does not, to consider what challenges need to be confronted, and to discuss lessons learned and the way
forward for reforming tertiary education in Africa.

The chapter argues that the major challenges identified as facing tertiary education in African countries are how to expand access and at the same time improve quality and relevance, how to make it more equitable, and how to provide adequate financial resources. Overcoming these challenges will involve a massive expansion and restructuring of tertiary educational systems in particular, and education generally. Based on the evidence from the five countries, this should be based on three pillars: quantity and equity, quality and relevance, and financing. | 01-Feb-2016 14:27

Chronic poverty in rural Ethiopia through the lens of life histories

Studying chronic poverty using retrospective qualitative data (life histories) in conjunction with longitudinal panel data is now widely recognised to provide deeper and more reliable insights (Davis and Baulch, 2009).

This paper uses three rounds of panel data and life histories collected by Young Lives, a longitudinal study of childhood poverty, to identify factors that contribute to households becoming or remaining poor in rural Ethiopia, with related effects on the children within those households. It combines a case-centred and a variable-centred approach (Ragin, 1987), analysing and comparing the experiences of individual households on the basis of qualitative and quantitative techniques and interrogating these findings by looking at attributes of households (variables) across a larger sample. The substantive findings on poverty ‘drivers’ and ‘maintainers’ (Baulch, 2011) support those of previous studies: rainfall, illness, debt, exclusion from the main form of social protection. But by mixing different types of data and analysis, the paper was able to show that combinations of factors rather than single events drive households into poverty, and that household characteristics can play an important factor.

The primary contribution of the paper is methodological as it presents a novel method of using life histories to investigate chronic poverty in rural Ethiopia by generating or testing hypotheses/findings on poverty drivers and maintainers. . | 26-Jan-2016 12:52

“We are dying while giving life”: Gender and the role of Health Extension Workers in rural Ethiopia
The health sector is a key priority sector for addressing women’s needs and priorities in Ethiopia. Under the Health Sector Development Program (HSDP), the Health Extension Program (HEP) aims to improve equitable access to essential health services through neighborhood (kebele) based services with a strong focus on sustained preventive health actions and increased health awareness. The HEP includes 16 health intervention packages that are delivered by two government-salaried Health Extension Workers (HEWs) who are assigned to each rural kebele of around 5,000 people. HEWs spend much of their time on community outreach programs to households, especially to mothers and children. Women are selected for the HEW role because of their key role in improving the health of mothers and newborns at the community level.

Within this document, the authors wanted to understand gender dimensions of the HEWs’ role and experiences of serving in that role in the HEP; issues of HEWs’ performance and satisfaction; and to identify possible gaps and come up with recommendations for improvement. They specifically wanted to give voice to the HEWs; to critique some of the assumptions underlying the gender aspects of the HEP; and, to make recommendations for considering gender issues/mainstreaming gender and HEWs empowerment in the HEP. Job opportunity and desire to help the community were the main reasons for HEWs joining the HEP.

The things that make them HEWs happy are helping mothers and children, ensuring they are vaccinated and that women attend Antenatal Care (ANC) and are referred to health centers for skilled attendance during delivery—things that coincide with the goals of the HEP. However, a recurring theme among HEWs’ responses is that they struggle with excessive workload including unpaid overtime in fulfilling their responsibilities. This is exacerbated by their gendered household duties, which have not diminished with their taking up of paid work in the HEW role. Other constraints in their duties include trying to manage day-to-day with a shortage of medical and other equipment and lack of transport.

Many HEWs spoke of feeling unhappy with the lack of career path or opportunities to move into positions with more or different responsibilities and better conditions. While there are some limited opportunities to upgrade training, few HEWs believe there is much opportunity for them to better themselves or move beyond the HEW role. For some, the lack of opportunity for advancement impacts on their enjoyment of being a HEW. The lack of opportunity to transfer was raised repeatedly by HEWs and appears to have been a source of considerable dissatisfaction and practical inconvenience, or worse, for many HEWs. Under HEP policy, HEWs have been unable to transfer from one location to another because they have been recruited from their own kebeles on the understanding that they will return to them after training and serve in their own community. The no-transfer policy means that some HEWs who have worked for many years in one place and have married and had children are unable to live with their husband and children. The authors examined the findings in the data through a ‘gender lens,’ using a number of established gender analysis conceptual frameworks. A key conclusion is that the health system, and the HEP specifically, are in some ways gender blind in that they fail to look at the gender of the health workers who are responsible for delivering the health services to women. | 21-Jan-2016 11:24

The context of REDD+ in Ethiopia

Recent policy developments and emerging undertakings by the Ethiopian government signify the building of considerable government commitment to REDD+ implementation and carbon emission reductions in Ethiopia.

In light of the country's ambitious plan for building a climate- resilient green economy, the adoption of REDD+ will also likely reinforce the government's interest in embracing the new financial opportunities that REDD+ may generate.

In sum, analysis of Ethiopia's context for REDD+ policy development and implementation demonstrates the presence of a promising environment in many aspects, yet confronted with serious practical challenges and constraints that need to be addressed. | 08-Jan-2016 12:54

Climate adapted vilages. The Development Fund's model for local climate adaptation. Ethiopia.

The Climate Adapted Villages model aims to make farmers and local communities capable of organizing themselves, identifying climate threats and practicing climate smart agriculture, enabling them to adapt to the current consequences of a changing climate. The model focuses on building capacity and expertise in local communities, so that they can manage their own recourses and implement measures for climate change adaptation, in a systematic and effective way. Communities gain a strong ownership to the activities, and the method can be transferred of other areas. Many countries want to do something on climate adaptation, but hesitate to allocate money directly to poor people in rural areas. However, more climate adaptation measures should take place where people are the most vulnerable, i.e among poor people in rural areas.
The main focus of the CAV model is promoting a collective management of community resources such as forests, water, energy, soils, plants and animal diversity. A key element in CAV is to ensure that communities themselves participate, and take center stage throughout the processes, from the climate vulnerability assessment to the planning and further implementation of the adaptation plan.
The CAV model contains three main stages. The first stage, to know, means to gather knowledge and to analyze the problems (climate vulnerability assessment). A second stage, to do, addresses the planning and design of adaptation measures and their implementation. The third stage, to sustain, addresses sustainability issues, which go beyond the project period. It is about maintaining and securing the projects’ achievements in the long-run. | 23-Dec-2015 10:01

The politics of seed in Africa's green revolution: alternative narratives and competing pathways

As calls for a ‘uniquely African green revolution’ gain momentum, a focus on seeds and seed systems is rising up the agricultural policy agenda. Much of the debate stresses the technological or market dimensions, with substantial investments being made in seed improvement and the development of both public and private sector delivery systems. But this misses out the political economy of policy processes behind this agenda: who wins, who loses, and whose interests are being served?

Drawing on lessons from country case studies from Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi and Zimbabwe, as well as insights from a set of complementary studies of cross-cutting themes, this article assesses the evolution of seed system research and development programmes and processes across the region. By examining how the contrasting politics and different configurations of interests affect the way cereal seed systems operate, it highlights opportunities for reshaping the terms of the debate and opening up alternative pathways to more sustainable and socially just seed systems. | 16-Dec-2015 15:21

Climate shocks, food and nutrition security: evidence from the Young Lives cohort study

Many people living in poor communities in Ethiopia, India (particularly, Andhra Pradesh), Peru and Vietnam experience climatic shocks such as droughts and floods, and are often faced with issues of food insecurity. 

Drawing on survey data from Young Lives, an international study of childhood poverty involving 12,000 children in four countries, this paper examines the effects of environmental shocks on food insecurity and children’s development. The data, from children and their families living in rural and urban locations in Ethiopia, the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, Peru, and Vietnam, provide information on the same individuals over time, allowing consideration of how earlier incidences of food insecurity and exposure to environmental shocks shape later outcomes

After introducing the data and methods, this report considers the reported incidence of environmental shocks in the studied communities, and, the reported incidence of household food insecurity. Following a review of previous Young Lives evidence on how households cope with these events, the report then analyse the effects of environmental shocks on households’ food security and on children’s nutritional outcomes, measured in terms of their height-for-age, or stunting. | 08-Dec-2015 15:44

‘One hand can’t clap by itself’: engagement of boys and men in Kembatti Mentti Gezzimma’s intervention to eliminate female genital mutilation and circumcision in Kembatta zone, Ethiopia

The successful involvement of men and women as part of a community-wide approach to shifting deep-rooted norms is critical for the abandonment of female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM-C). However, there is limited research exploring how and why men engage in processes of abandonment and how this relates to shifts in gender relations within private and public spaces.

This study assessed the process of change among men and boys targeted by Kembatti Mentti Gezzimma (KMG) Ethiopia’s intervention in the Kembatta zone of Ethiopia, which has challenged social acceptance of, and reduced the prevalence of, FGM-C at phenomenal rates. Across four villages, in two districts in the Kembatta Zone, 21 interviews were conducted with KMG staff, male and female beneficiaries, and stakeholders including women’s group association members, youth group members, idir (mutual assistance groups or agricultural assistance groups), and religious and sub-district leaders. Additional interviews were conducted with a staff member in Sidama zone and two KMG management staff in Addis Ababa. Interviews assessed achievements of KMG’s intervention and how men and boys were successfully engaged. Most significant stories of change, which elicited narratives around how and why KMG has impacted participants’ lives, were collected from all interviewees. Data was analysed using thematic analysis.

The data indicates how KMG considers boys and men as agents of change including as members of community FGM-C prevention assemblies, supporting boys and men to disseminate prevention information, and developing and implementing sanctions for those who continue the practice. KMG’s community conversations educated men and women collectively about the harmful health, economic and interpersonal effects of FGM-C, and the related benefits of abandoning the practice. Providing alternative income generating opportunities for traditional circumcisers, celebrating whole body, ‘healthy life’ events to replace former celebrations of FGM-C, and integrating economic and environmental development were particularly effective for harnessing community support. The data indicated that the intervention diminished other harmful practices including bride abduction and widow inheritance and generated shifts in men’s and women’s support for women’s access to property inheritance, political participation, positive sexuality, household decision-making and reducing women’s domestic burden. Although men were effectively engaged in both public and private spaces, men’s participation appeared to be more gender transformative in interpersonal domains. Given the significant achievements, many valuable lessons can be learned from KMG’s approach to shift underlying social norms, and meaningfully engage men in FGM-C abandonment and gender equality. | 01-Dec-2015 12:54

COP 21: Ready or not - drought tests Ethiopia
ADDIS ABABA 27 November 2015 (IRIN) - Herding weary sheep up a dusty path, Hussein Boru knows he won’t find green pastures. He’s just looking for the minimum to keep his flock fed in drought-hit eastern Ethiopia. | 27-Nov-2015 01:00

How bad is the drought in Ethiopia?
LONDON 19 November 2015 (IRIN) - Alarm bells are ringing for a food emergency in Ethiopia. The UN says 15 million people will need help over the coming months. The government, wary of stigma and therefore hesitant to ask for help, has nevertheless said more than eight million Ethiopians need food assistance. Inevitably, comment and media coverage compare the current situation with 1984 – the year Ethiopia’s notorious famine hit the headlines. Reports suggest this is the worst drought in 30 years. One declares it a “code red” drought. So how bad actually is it?
IRIN | 19-Nov-2015 01:00

Africa’s meningitis A vaccine: how partnership replaced ‘Big Pharma’
LONDON 17 November 2015 (IRIN) - For years, the unwillingness of big pharmaceutical companies to invest in treatments for diseases that primarily affect the poor has hampered epidemic management in the developing world. But now an experimental partnership working without the support of 'Big Pharma' has delivered an incredible success: a vaccine that has all but wiped out meningitis A across Africa in less than four years. Is this the future of medical research and development in lower-income countries? Elizabeth Blunt reports: | 17-Nov-2015 01:00

Afar Resilience Study

This paper has been prepared in conjunction with a project for resilience building in Afar National Regional State, Ethiopia under the auspices of the Afar Region Disaster Prevention, Preparedness and Food Security Coordination Office and the Agriculture Knowledge Learning Documentation and Policy Project (AKLDP), Ethiopia which is implemented by the Feinstein International Center, Tufts University.

This paper provides an analysis of the situation in Afar National Regional State that the current project to strengthen and build resilience must take into consideration. It is the second part of an AKLDP resilience study. A mapping study has been carried out in ANRS, indicating the kinds of development interventions that are currently being supported by the regional government and its development partners. The mapping study was discussed at a regional resilience conference in Semera in September 2014. | 16-Nov-2015 19:18

Case studies: men, boys and gender equality

Produced as part of the second phase of the Engendering Men: Evidence on Routes to Gender Equality (EMERGE) project, these case studies illustrate key evidence based approaches and highlight evidence gaps in engaging men and boys in efforts to promote gender equality. 

The case studies document evidence from across the regions of Africa, Middle East, Latin America and South Asia. They highlight: 

  • How Brazil's national healthcare policy for men is helping to create positive changes in gender roles and relations 
  • The work of a social movement in Bangladesh in organising landless people to fight for gender and economic justice
  • How men and boys are engaged in interventions to eliminate female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM-C) in Ethiopia
  • How a project in rural Maharashtra in India engages men to support women’s participation in local politics
  • The work of the MenCare campaign in Latin America and its engagement of men as involved, non-violent fathers 
  • How the One Man Can community mobilisation approach engages men for gender equality and HIV prevention in South Africa 
  • How the Living Peace project in the Democratic Republic of Congo uses group therapy to reduce sexual and gender based violence and promote equitable gender roles
  • The work of HarassMap and Imprint in Egypt in challenging sexual harassment in public spaces


Each case study is accompanied by a Story of Change, which pulls out the key findings and recommendations. | 02-Nov-2015 18:10

Visions, voices and priorities of young people living with and most affected by HIV

This report shares perspectives and insights from young people from around the world living with and affected by HIV, who share their visions for realising and claiming their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and for setting priorities for HIV and SRHR integration.

The publication was produced by the Link Up project, as part of discussions held to help advocate for young people to be a priority when setting development agendas, particularly within the emerging post-2015 framework. The Link Up project is being implemented by a consortium of global and national partners, working with young people aged 10 to 24 years old, with a specific focus on young men who have sex with men, young people who do sex work, young people who use drugs, young transgender people, and young women and men living with HIV. Two consortium partners, the Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS (GYCA) and the ATHENA Network led consultations with young people, which involved nearly 800 people from around the world who responded to a global online survey, and over 400 young people who participated in a series of community dialogues and focus groups with national partners in Ethiopia, Uganda, Burundi, Bangladesh, and Myanmar.

The report discusses five "vision areas for positive change" that emerged from the consultations, and outlines the related recommendations that emerged, which speak to young peoples’ shared perspectives on what is needed to achieve real progress.

Recommendations emerging from the consultations:

  • provide quality sexual and reproductive health services from ethicaland well-trained health service providers tailored to the needs, rights, and desires of young people—especially those living with and most affected by HIV
  • protect, respect, and promote young people’s sexual andreproductive rights, including their right to love and be loved safely and freely
  • ensure full access to age-appropriate information and education onHIV and sexual and reproductive health and rights, including on sexual orientation and gender identity
  • promote gender equality and address gender-based violence, including sexual violence, in all its forms, including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity
  • meaningfully engage young people, in all their diversity, in all decision-making that affects their lives | 15-Oct-2015 17:54

The African capacity for immediate response to crisis: advice for African policymakers

Despite the operationalisation of the African Standby Force (ASF) within the AU security system, rapid reaction remains a challenging task. The current paper states that the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crisis (ACIRC) has been proposed following an initiative from South Africa, in order to equip the AU with a rapid deployment instrument.

The document clarifies that the ACIRC not only fills the capability gap but also aims at providing more African ownership in crisis management and response situations. However, many challenges lie ahead. These range from outright opposition from some member states, to mandate issues on generating, as well as the question of how to integrate the ACIRC into the AU’s existing security structures.

The authors argue that African leaders must invest in the operationalisation of ACIRC, not only by redefining their national defence policies on external military operations but also by investing in strategic and operational capacities at the continental and regional level. In addition, the paper suggests that:

  • the ACIRC needs to be harmonised with the operationalisation of the ASF in light of the multiple challenges that the ACIRC will encounter in launching interventions
  • the AU should utilise African think tanks to engage in an annual critical review of ASF/ACIRC operations | 04-Oct-2015 23:27

China–Africa co-operation: capacity building and social responsibility of investments

Over the past decade, African economies have enjoyed a sustained period of growth, and this has made the continent an attractive destination for international investors. This paper reviews the contours of Chinese investment and aid programmes on the African continent, focusing on the issues of capacity building and social responsibility of investments.

The paper clarifies that the Chinese have made foreign direct investments in Africa-based industries from oil and mining to shoe manufacturing and food processing. Furthermore, Chinese firms have made major investments in African infrastructure, targeting key sectors such as telecommunications, transport, construction, power plants, waste disposal and port equipment.

The document notices that China’s need for natural resources and agricultural products complements Africa’s needs in the areas of infrastructure and human development. However, it is important for African countries to establish a regulatory framework that allows for the responsible utilisation of the continent’s resources.

Equally important, the author recommends that:

  • a concerted effort should be made to train semi-skilled, skilled and managerial African personnel in areas where there is active Chinese economic investment and a lack of African expertise
  • China–Africa co-operation should be reinforced in teaching, research and management to support human resource needs in Africa as local economies develop
  • special attention must be paid to environmental impact issues as industries are established, to ensure an appropriate quality of life | 02-Oct-2015 23:07

Predictors of nutritional status of Ethiopian adolescent girls: a community based cross sectional study

Malnutrition is a major health issue affecting children, women and adolescents globally and developing countries in particular. Adolescence is a time of enormous physiological, cognitive, and psychosocial change but it remain a neglected, difficult-to-measure and hard-to-reach population. The critical role of adolescent nutrition in the intergenerational cycle of Growth failure has not been well addressed in Ethiopia. Hence, this study assesses level of low BMI-for- age and height-for- age and their associated factors among adolescent girls in northwest Ethiopia.

Finding of this study indicated that prevalence of adolescents with low BMI-for-age and low height-for-age Z-score <−2 were high. Age, dietary diversity score and community based nutrition service utilization were factors affecting low BMI-for-Age in adolescent girls. Age, food insecurity and Nutrition and health information were factors affecting low height-for- age in adolescent girls. Improving community based nutrition service utilization, food security specially in young adolescents is highly recommended. | 23-Sep-2015 17:02

Evaluation of the social cash transfer pilot programme, Tigray region, Ethiopia

In 2011, the Bureau of Labour and Social Affairs (BoLSA), Regional Government of Tigray, with support from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), introduced the Social Cash Transfer Pilot Programme (SCTPP) in two woredas, Abi Adi and Hintalo Wajirat.

The SCTPP aims to improve the quality of life for vulnerable children, older persons, and persons with disabilities.

The three objectives of this endline report are:

  • The core objective is to assess the contribution of the SCTPP to improvements in household welfare, broadly defined. In addition, it :
  • Updates and summarizes work on the operational aspects of the SCTPP, including the role of Community Care Coalitions; targeting; and pay processes; and
  • Provides basic descriptive statistics on the well-being, livelihoods, schooling, and health of individuals and households of both SCTPP participants and non participants living in Abi Adi and Hintalo Wajirat.

Key findings:

  •  BoLSA demonstrated that it could effectively implement an ongoing cash transfer program. The SCTPP effectively communicated with beneficiaries, reached its target group and provided full transfers on a timely and consistent basis.
  • The SCTPP improved household food security and reduced hunger.
  • The SCTPP had modest effects on schooling and asset formation. There were no large or measurable impacts on a range of other outcomes.

. | 22-Sep-2015 11:06

Qualitative research and analyses of the economic impacts of cash transfer programmes in Sub-Saharan Africa

This report synthesizes the analysis and findings of a set of six country case studies that explore the impact of cash transfer (CT) programmes on household economic decision-making and the local economy in sub-Saharan Africa.

The study seeks to understand the impact of CT programmes in three interrelated areas:

  • Household economy, i.e. the activities surrounding decisions on how to distribute resources within a beneficiary household.
  • Local economy, i.e. the economic activities– the production and exchange of goods and services – beyond the beneficiary household, in the beneficiaries' communities.
  • Social networks, specifically risk-sharing arrangements underpinned by social capital, and the contribution of beneficiaries to local decision-making processes. | 22-Sep-2015 10:44

Looking back, looking ahead : land, agriculture and society in East Africa : a festschrift for Kjell Havnevik

Professor Kjell Havnevik is retiring from the Nordic Africa Institute (NAI) in 2015. For four decades, he has carried out research, taught and supervised students as well as participated in policy debates on different aspects of agriculture, the environment and African and international development policies. His output has been voluminous and is internationally recognised. His academic record includes research and teaching positions at universities and research institutes in Tanzania, Norway and Sweden as well as shorter assignments in several other countries. Yet his intellectual home has over the last three decades been at the Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala.
NAI has therefore taken this opportunity to publish a book mainly centred on development issues in Tanzania in the context of rural development in Africa – a theme that Kjell has pursued throughout his career. The book brings together research issues with which Kjell himself has been actively involved.
It is NAI's hope that this will be more than a traditional Festschrift, inasmuch as it includes reflections on the academic and wider intellectual debate on development issues from the 1970s until today. | 19-Sep-2015 22:21

Food security in a climate perspective: what role could the private sector play regarding investment in smallholder agriculture in Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia

The purpose of this study is to discuss different ways of implementing the "Food Security in a Climate  Perspective  strategy 2013-15" in  relation  to  support  to  private  sector  development and  public-private  partnership  (PPP)  as  regards  agriculture,  climate  change  and  food security in Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia. We assess eleven different cases  of  private  sector  development  and  their relevance  to smallholder  investments  in agriculture.  An  important basis for this  study  is  the  voluntary Principles  for  Responsible Agricultural Investments (RAI) developed by the Committee on World Food  Security (CFS). These  guidelines  define  both  business  enterprises  and  smallholders  as possible private sector actors, and thereby included  in private  sector  development.  The  implications  of the CFS-RAI guidelines is  that  investment  in,  by  and  with  smallholders,  and  support  to  such investments,  are  seen as private  sector  development.  We assess three  different  approaches to supporting private sector developments: i) promote an enabling environment for private sector  development;  ii)  provision  of  public  goods  and  services;  and  iii)  direct  investment support. In all three approaches, the interests and needs of both business enterprises, such as  companies, and  smallholders  should  be recognized.  The  enabling  environment  should balance  the  needs  and  demands  of  both  smallholders  and  business  enterprises; the  public goods   and   services should address factors affecting   both   smallholders   and   business enterprises, and direct support could be provided to both   business enterprises and smallholders. | 10-Sep-2015 18:01

India's development cooperation with Ethiopia in sugar production: an assessment

Ethiopia is one of the few countries in Africa with whom India has enjoyed a long standing partnership in development cooperation. In 2006, India provided a US$ 640 million line of credit to Ethiopia for development of its sugar industry.

This paper analyses the impact of India’s line of credit (2007-12) on Ethiopian sugar industry. It finds that on completion of the ongoing projects Ethiopia would be able to produce 1.6 million tonnes of sugar per year. This will lead Ethiopia towards self-reliance in sugar production and by the end of 2015 the country will be a net exporter of sugar. The author also finds that estimated economic gain from sugar and ethanol production in Ethiopia would be close to US$ 961 million per year.

Based on field visits, the paper explores several practical challenges to India’s endeavour like inadequacy of appropriate mechanisms for monitoring and verification of the project. This leads to delays, information gaps and coordination failures in project implementation. India’s engagement in Ethiopia’s sugar sector signifies a major boost for the agriculture value chain in Ethiopia; and the ancillary support for railway tracks building is likely to play an important role in facilitating port connectivity and exports. | 08-Sep-2015 15:18

Sex Workers, Empowerment and Poverty Alleviation in Ethiopia

This case study explores economic, legal and social issues that affect sex workers, with a particular focus on the role of poverty in sex workers' lives and the potential for poverty alleviation policies and programmes to help lift as many sex workers as possible out of poverty in order to reduce the exploitation, illness and violence associated with their work.

In surveys, sex workers overwhelmingly indicate they would like another occupation, particularly in very poor countries. This has been taken to mean that relieving the poverty of individual sex workers will lead them to stop or reduce sex work. On this analysis, reduced poverty will mean that the number of women entering the sex industry, or staying in it, will be reduced and/or that the harm associated with sex work would be diminished because the numbers of partners or of unprotected sexual contacts would reduce. However, the validity of this logic and the benefits, costs and consequences (intended and unintended) of poverty alleviation in the context of sex work have not been tested or even well documented.

Summary from Source | 02-Sep-2015 18:57

Strengthening the resiliency of dryland forest-based livelihoods in Ethiopia and South Sudan: A review of literature on the interaction between dryland forests, livelihoods and forest governance

This literature review explores how political, economic and resource management policies and programs can reduce forest degradation and increase the contribution of forest goods and services to sustainable livelihood strategies.

In Ethiopia, studies indicate that forest dependency is strong throughout the country, but the importance of forest income varies across different regions and wealth categories. In South Sudan, civil war has limited the depth and scope of research on dryland forests and livelihoods In Ethiopia, research and policy reform should focus on the relationship between forest rights devolution, livelihoods, forest management practices and forest conditions as well as on the impacts of demographic change on forest-based livelihoods, forest management and forest cover. In South Sudan, research should focus on documenting the impacts of conflict on forest-based livelihoods with a view to structuring humanitarian aid programs in ways that mitigate the negative impacts.

[Adapted from source] | 01-Sep-2015 17:14

The politics of what works in service delivery: an evidence-based review

This paper examines the evidence on the forms of politics likely to promote inclusive social provisioning and enable, as opposed to constrain, improvements in service outcomes. The paper focuses particularly on eight relatively successful cases of delivery in a range of country contexts and sectors where independent evaluations demonstrate improved outcomes.

The document traces the main characteristics of the political environment for these cases. The findings indicate that it is possible to identify connections between good performance and better outcomes at the point of delivery and the main forms of politics operating at local, sector and national levels.

Furthermore, the document highlights the relationship between inclusive delivery and:

  • periods of crisis and transition
  • the nature of the political settlement
  • the types of calculations of political returns being made by political actors at all levels
  • the extent to which the state derives or seeks to enhance its legitimacy through the provision of a particular service

Equally important, the authors conclude that:

  • future research needs to give special importance to the point of implementation, where formal policies most often fail and where “real” policies emerge from the interplay of interests and incentives
  • future research needs to be multi-directional, tracing both the influence of politics on services and, in turn, the influence of services on politics | 19-Aug-2015 23:52

China in Africa: impacts and prospects for accountable development

China is the major “new” player in Africa and impacts on development and politics in numerous ways. This paper shows that China impacts on African development in multiple ways that go well beyond aid. The paper sets out an analytical framework which identifies the channels through which China engages with African development and the role the African state plays in mediating these interactions.

The author clarifies that in most cases China delivers much needed infrastructure which benefits wider society. However, he underlines that a feature of this engagement is inter-elite brokerage which tends to bypass domestic channels of accountability and so undermines good governance. Subsequently, civil and political society in Africa has started to contest this elitism, pointing that there are more transparent attempts to negotiate this relationship.

All things considered, the document concludes that China is changing the political landscape of African states though not as drastically as western sceptics would believe. As a result, there is a clear opportunity for Africa to grab now, since both traditional and “new” players are in an important phase of reforming and designing their development policy towards Africa. Yet, to capitalise on this opportunity requires a series of coordinated responses across African, BRICS and multilateral political spaces. | 14-Aug-2015 21:35

Co-producing ineffective states: social knowledge, social policy and social citizenship in Africa and in development

This paper explores the links between social knowledge, social policy and state forms in Sub-Saharan Africa. Its central argument is that the capacities of states to establish inclusive welfare regimes for citizens are limited by the ways in which states themselves are organised, including the constitution of state society relations.

The paper points that the capacity constraints of African states in relation to citizen welfare are accentuated rather than mitigated by the range of policy interventions promoted by development actors. In this respect, the new generation of social protection programmes currently being implemented in countries such as Ghana, Ethiopia and Tanzania link entitlement with community residence or with community structures of beneficiary selection.

The document highlights that such interventions are not only inadequate in the context of the increasing mobility of capital and labour, they also perpetuate the “bifurcated state” based on a dual system of social entitlements. As a result, the potential capacity to implement inclusive social policy is effectively designed out of state systems.

All things considered, the author suggests that the normalisation of community support in development policy models for Africa can mitigate against state effectiveness in relation to social policy. | 13-Aug-2015 12:00

Walking into danger: migrants still head to Yemen
HARGEISA 11 August 2015 (IRIN) - Yemen has long been a transit point for Ethiopians heading to Gulf states in search of employment, and also hosts almost a quarter of a million refugees from Somalia. Civil war in Yemen may have made travelling there even more dangerous, but it has done little to slow the flow of arrivals from across the Red Sea.
IRIN | 11-Aug-2015 02:00

Supporting ambitious Intended Nationally Determined Contributions: Lessons learned from developing countries

This working paper summarises the findings from the provision of technical assistance to nine developing countries as they prepare their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) for submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The authors conducted a series of interviews with people preparing INDCs in Bangladesh, Colombia, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Kenya, Pakistan, Peru, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and Uganda. This Working Paper sets out the five principal conclusions that emerge from these interviews: 1) Consider INDCs as statements of political ambition, both domestically and internationally, 2) Have a clear vision for the structure and content from the outset, 3) Build on existing policies, with targeted use of new analysis to fill knowledge gaps, 4) Build broad-based support across economic sectors through innovative approaches to consultation, 5) Make plans for effective implementation now, and consider how international support, finance and other mechanisms may adjust ambitions after 2015.

[Adapted from source] | 03-Aug-2015 18:34

Authority to transfer Tidhar's road projects to other contractors

The Addis Ababa City Roads Authority is considering to suspend the contract it signed with Tidhar Excavation and Earth Moving Ltd., an Israeli construction company, which is in turmoil after corruption allegations. The Federal Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission has frozen assets of the company that is undertaking the construction of three road projects in Addis Ababa. | 30-Jul-2015 07:21

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