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. 

Dr. Simplice Nouala, called on regional institutions to recognise the multiple services that livestock provide to livelihoods
Dr. Simplice Nouala called on regional institutions to recognise the multiple services that livestock provide to livelihoods

AU-IBAR’s Chief Animal Production Officer, Dr. Simplice Nouala, called on CAADP, AU IBAR and IGAD to recognise the multiple services that livestock provide to livelihoods, particularly those of the poor, in a recent address to the 12th Annual Meeting of the Inter-Agency Donor Group in Nairobi. He was presenting the findings of a working paper he had recently published through IGAD LPI (available here), in collaboration with FAO.

AU-IBAR’s strategic plan for the period to 2014 already recognises that “The potential of animal resources in contributing to the fight against poverty and the development of Africa is still under-exploited”, and goes on to say “Policies designed to increase production do not necessarily benefit poor livestock keepers who … prioritize survival rather than production”.

The authors built on this and on IGAD LPI case studies that have revealed how little the poor actually participate in the Horn of Africa’s lucrative livestock export markets. They looked at the many services livestock provide to the poor, such as wealth accumulation, managing vulnerability or providing transport, then contrasted these with the objectives of the IGAD region’s livestock policies. They found a policy environment that is successfully supporting those who are in a position to increase production and market their agricultural surplus, but that is failing those who are further down the livestock development ladder.

“The problem is that because the dominant development narrative looks only at production and access to market” he explained “we cannot ensure that livestock development helps the poor…Only when policies consider livestock’s other roles will livestock development become a pathway out of poverty”.

IGAD LPI’s CTA, Dil Peeling, added that one reason why markets and production have dominated policy in the livestock sector is that their benefits are clearly measurable in terms of revenue, whereas setting a value on such goods as traction or social capital requires a different approach. IGAD LPI has been attempting to redress this in IGAD member states by recalculating the contribution of livestock to national economies. Those results they have so far suggest that Dr. Nouala’s analysis also has implications at the macro level. Forthcoming results from Ethiopia, for instance, indicate that whereas the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development had assigned a value of 32 billion Ethiopian Birr to economic activity in the livestock sector in 2008-9, the economic value of the ‘other’ services that were the subject of Dr. Nouala’s presentation were worth a further 65 million birr – around twice as much.

Closing his presentation, Dr. Nouala acknowledged the advances made in the IGAD region through IGAD LPI, but stressed AU-IBAR’s pan-African mandate and the role the organisation can therefore play in advocating for a broader livestock development paradigm throughout the continent.

IGAD LPI is now in discussions with AU IBAR as to how best it can support it in that role.

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.

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.”

The three entities of Somalia (Central and Southern Somalia, Puntland and Somaliland) took part in Livestock, Livelihoods and Gender workshop, which was organized by IGAD LPI from June 8 to 10, 2010 in Djibouti. The training was timed to prepare members of policy fora that IGAD LPI has established in the 3 Somali entities, as they embark on process of agreeing the livestock related development priorities for Somalia.

At the end of the workshop, participants expressed their view that the training enabled them to understand the nature of policies in the livestock sector that are likely to deliver benefits for poor women and men. They also said that the training was supporting the livestock policy dialogue that the project is facilitating in Somalia. In a related development, Dr Abdi Jama organized an aside meeting with the Director Generals of the Ministries of Livestock of Somaliland, Puntland and Transitional Federal Government (TFG) along with representative of Sheikh Veterinary School (STVS) on the implementation of the Central Information Node hosted by the Reference Centre at STVS to support evidenced based policy making in the Somali livestock Sector. In effect, the Director Generals agreed to establish a sub-Node in their respective ministries. This would involve appointing an officer and office to assemble and upload information into the IGAD LPI Livestock Information Portal and to feed that information into the policy development process engaged by their respective Technical Working Groups. Dr Abdi Jama has also met with the IGAD LPI national team in Djibouti to review progress on of the Policy Hub on adequate representation of livestock in PRSP in the country. The team has plans to conduct several meeting in the coming months to identify priority areas and to develop proposal to be included in the new phase of PRSP that is expected to be concluded in October 2010, it was learnt. 

Photo: Worksop participants with IGAD LPI trainer, Ms Sehin Teferra