Supporting pastoral mobility in East and West Africa
This project aimed to increase understanding about the importance of livestock mobility in the drylands by drawing together lessons from initiatives in ten countries across East and West Africa.
Documenting what works
In several parts of Africa initiatives to facilitate livestock mobility and to remove the obstacles that constrain otherwise flexibile pastoral systems have seen some success. IIED and partners have documented these efforts in a series of country studies for:
- Mali (with Sahel Eco);
- Burkina Faso (with Le Centre d'Etude de Formation et de réalisations agro pastorales (CEFRAP));
- Niger-Nigeria (with Billatal Maroobe; Association pour la Redynamisation de l'Elevage au Niger (AREN));
- Chad (with Institut de Recherche et d’Applications des Méthodes de développement (IRAM));
- Sudan (with SOS Sahel-Sudan);
- Ethiopia-Somaliland (with SOS Sahel-Ethiopia; Tufts University; Save the Children/USA);
- Senegal (with Associés en Recherche et l’Education pour le Développement);
- and the Karamajong cluster (with Resource Conflict Institute (RECONCILE), Uganda Land Alliance).
The reviews, which were funded by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, focus on factors affecting livestock mobility and what government, development workers and researchers have been doing to promote livestock mobility. IIED, with further support from the Foundation, also produced an analysis of the policy environment in East and West Africa.
Modern and Mobile
We also produced Modern and Mobile, a book published in English and in French, that brings together the words of pastoralists and experts from across the drylands of East and West Africa. By presenting data from scientific research and case studies it challenges persistent misconceptions that pastoralism is outmoded and uneconomic. Explaining the reasons behind mobility, the book shows that mobile livestock feed better, produce more meat and milk, are healthier, and deliver more calves than sedentary animals. The real value of the national and international trade in livestock is revealed, as is the crucial need for mobility during Africa’s frequent and naturally occurring droughts.
The project experimented with scenario planning, an innovative methodology that lets pastoral communities analyse their situation and tell local and national policymakers what they want from various plausible futures.
SOS Sahel-UK produced a booklet and DVD on scenario planning called Planning with uncertainty: Using Scenario Planning with African Pastoralists. It is also available in French.
The booklet illustrates how scenario planning can help African pastoralists manage uncertainty and change. It describes the process involved and discusses the benefits, challenges and implications of the approach, drawing on three experiences — two in Kenya and one in Niger.
Scenario Planning with African Pastoralists: A 'How To' Guide
For more information on any of this work, contact: Ced Hesse, IIED