March 2011


IGAD LPI team with the National Technical Focal Person of Somalia

Poised to move forward, IGAD LPI and Dr Ahmed Hashi, (Technical Focal Point for Somalia) finalise plans for the next round of engagement in Somalia. IGAD LPI will build on, and strengthen, the structures it established in all three Somali entities in 2009, when it developed the Somali position for the regional policy framework. Through participation, the use of evidence channeled in part through the IGAD LPI Information Node in Sheik Technical Veterinary School, working groups are to develop a Somali owned livestock development plan. In doing so they will use livelihoods approaches to focus programmes and policy directly on poor and vulnerable men and women. Dr Dil Peeling, the Chief Technical Advisor at IGAD LPI, stressed that ultimate aim of supporting the working groups to develop the plan is build Somali capacity to innovate, and respond to the complex challenges facing the countries poor through poverty focussed institutions.

Livestock play key role in fostering the livelihoods of rural communities in the IGAD Region

Livestock play key role in fostering the livelihoods of rural communities in the IGAD Region

A working paper on Livestock and Livelihoods in the IGAD Region: A Policy and Institutional Analysis is published by IGAD LPI. The paper is written by Ugo Pica-Ciamarra from FAO Animal Production and Health Division, Simplice Nouala from AU-IBAR and Sunae Kim from FAO Regional Office for the Near East.

This paper presents an analysis of livestock sector policies and institutions in the IGAD region to assess if and how they support inclusive development of the sector. It first reviews the objectives of major livestock related policies in the IGAD region and the development narratives that drive them. It then compares these objectives and narratives with the livelihood strategies pursed by poor men and women livestock keepers, as identified through the IGAD Livestock Policy Initiative (IGAD LPI).

The paper recognises that policies have their effect by changing the ‘rules of the game’, often called institutions, under which people pursue varied livelihood strategies. In particular, people will only benefit from policies when the resulting institutions open up livelihoods options to which they are capable of responding. Their capacity to respond depends on their assets and skills, which are invariably more constraining for poorer groups and women, and that are often already reflected in their existing livelihoods strategies.

The review of livestock related policies at pan-African, regional and country level, together with donor priorities, reveals a dominant development paradigm emphasising increased livestock productivity and marketing. Such an emphasis, as documented by the IGAD-LPI, results in realistic livelihoods options only being made available to wealthier livestock keepers and in so doing fails to support the livestock dependent poor. Although policies for increased production and sales may be essential to develop the sector, they are not sufficient on their own to support those households who, in their efforts to secure their livelihoods, build on all the broader livelihoods services provided by livestock, which represent, inter alia, a source of food, income, manure, draught power and hauling services, savings, insurance and social capital.

The paper further finds that the majority of livestock sector policies and programmes affecting the region focus on technical fixes to the exclusion of institutional dimensions and that there is little coordination in the development and implementation of the various policies and programmes, at both regional and country levels. Yet, policies are likely to succeed in poverty reduction only when they deliver changes in institutional mandates and administrative processes, and are consistent with the system of incentives which underpin poor livestock keepers’ behaviour,   In addition, an inclusive development of the livestock sector requires that a coherent set of policies be designed and implemented, including policies within and beyond the livestock domain (e.g. trade, cropping, environmental or credit policies).

The paper recommends that first and foremost, the dominant ‘production and market access’ narrative should be enhanced by a development paradigm that also appreciates the many livelihoods services provided by livestock, including both monetary and non-monetary services. An enhanced livestock-livelihoods narrative would ensure that most future policies, programmes and projects, by adhering to the new paradigm, will build on the many livelihoods services provided by livestock, thereby supporting a pro-poor development of the sector.  It also recommends that policies, programmes and projects should be designed through an inclusive process that embraces dialogue and the use of evidence to address institutional dimensions, and that some effective coordination be established between AU-IBAR, RECs and national governments; between RECs; and between livestock related policies at national level.

The paper recognizes that AU-IBAR, RECs and national governments could contribute towards addressing the above recommendations, but notes that IGAD, in partnership with AU-IBAR, has generated encouraging experiences in this respect, through IGAD-LPI.

Members of the Ethiopian GDP Taskforce

Members of the Ethiopian GDP Taskforce

A national taskforce has started examining how Ethiopia can better calculate the contribution of livestock to its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Based on the findings of an IGAD LPI study, “Livestock Contribution to the Ethiopian Economy”, which found the contribution of livestock to the agricultural GDP to be more than 80% higher than previously thought, the Ethiopian Livestock Policy Forum is advocating for more resources for the sector. The forum is also collaborating with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED) by way of the taskforce to recommend changes to the methodology MoFED uses in calculating GDP.

The taskforce, with members drawn from MoFED, Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), the Central Statistics Agency (CSA), the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), the Ethiopian Agricultural Research Institute (EARI), the Pastoral Forum Ethiopia (PFE) and the Ethiopian Veterinary Association (EVA), held its first meeting on February 11, 2011 at IGAD LPI’s office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


H.E. Eng. Mahboub Maalim addressing the Meeting
H.E. Eng. Mahboub Maalim addressing the Meeting

The Executive Secretary of the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Eng. Mahboub Maalim stressed the determination of the Secretariat to set up an IGAD Center for Pasoralism and Livestock Development, which would, among other things, help in maintaining the gains made by the IGAD LPI. Eng. Maalim went on further to underline the importance of livestock in poverty reduction and food security efforts in the region which is currently receives 40% of the world’s food aid. IGAD Executive Secretary made his remarks while opening the Djibouti Policy Hub meeting, on the 16th and 17th February 2011 in Djibouti, organized by IGAD LPI. In its two-day meeting, the Djibouti Policy Hub took a major step forward to review and validate pro-poor project concepts which, when ultimately incorporated in the country’s national planning document (INDS), will go a long way towards improving the livelihoods of the poor men and women who are dependent on livestock. In his remarks, H.E. Idris Abdou Ali, Secretary General of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Sea, also underscored the key principles of pro-poor policy making, emphasizing that the recommendations from this participatory and multi-stakeholder forum for the livestock sector will be integrated into INDS and also in CAADP.

CTA Dil Peeling with officials of IGAD Secretariat and Member States, outlining the proposed mandate for the pastoralism and livestock centre
CTA Dil Peeling with officials of IGAD Secretariat and Member States, outlining the proposed mandate for the pastoralism and livestock centre

A little over a year since IGAD LPI facilitated agreement of a policy framework among its livestock ministers, detailing how they will collaborate to support the region’s 43 million poor livestock keepers, the IGAD secretariat took a major step forward this week with the first meeting of a steering committee to develop the concept of an IGAD Centre for Pastoralism and Livestock Development (ICAPLD). The steering committee is responding to article 5 of the regional policy framework, which calls for such a unit to be put in place. It is also a response to a Communiqué, issued by the 33rd Ordinary Session of the IGAD Council of Ministers, directing the secretariat to explore the possibility of establishing a strategic institution for management of natural resources and governance of the drylands. Its work will conclude with an assessment and recommendations to the Council of Ministers on the feasibility of the centre. A positive outcome would open the door for IGAD to assume a key role at the heart of poverty focussed policy development for the drylands that cover more than half of its landmass.

Many of IGAD LPI’s stakeholders are also watching the development of the centre as hopes are high that it will provide an important regional link for their national policy hubs, as IGAD LPI’s activities draw to a close in February 2012

IGAD LPI’s Chief Technical Adviser, Dil Peeling, joined representatives of IGAD member states and the IGAD secretariat for the meeting on 27th February in Djibouti. “One of early lessons of IGAD LPI was that that member states want to manage regional issues regionally, and improve the level of coordination between themselves.” he said, adding “In terms of developing the capacity to do that, it looks like we are seeing a new chapter opening, with this meeting.”