Participants of the first Regional Lesson Learning Workshop in Addis Ababa, EthiopiaIGAD LPI country teams drawn from Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, the Sudan and Uganda agreed on the need for a change in development thinking among decision makers, to exploit the potential of the livestock sector in reducing poverty and food insecurity in the IGAD Region. Participants further stressed the fact that changes should change the “rules of the game” so that the policy environment should open livelihoods options on the one hand, and remove constraints to livestock related livelihoods strategies on the other. They also underscored that the institutional change to allow policies to respond to livelihoods needs can be developed through innovative practices, i.e. by doing things differently.

In his closing remarks, Dr. Dil Peeling, Chief Technical Adviser of IGAD LPI, welcomed the fact that the first lesson learning workshop had already produced clear messages to national governments and development partners to see and do things differently. The process will not end there however.

The purpose of the workshop was to prepare national teams to facilitate lesson learning workshops in the respective countries, which will produce draft recommendations for their ministers and for IGAD. The outcomes will be shared at a second regional Lesson Learning Workshop, scheduled to take place in July.

IGAD will finally host a high-level meeting in December 2011, which will convene government ministers and officials, IGAD secretariat, AU-IBAR, and other key actors from the livestock sector in the IGAD Region, to agree a common way forward on pro-poor livestock development for the region.