Evaluating policy effects on pastoral development in Ethiopia

The article “Unsustain the sustainable: an evaluation of the legal and policy interventions for pastoral development in Ethiopia” published in Pastoralism: Research, Policy and Practice (2016 6:2 DOI: 10.1186/s13570-016-0049-x) is a critical appraisal of interventions under the Imperial, Derg and Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) governments.

Based on an extensive review of pastoral policies, laws and practices, it is found that the legal and policy interventions are not pastoral sensitive, and have not been able to bring the desired result. They have created pressure on pastoralists and the pastoral economy, as they do not consider pastoralism as a viable system. Particularly the settlement policy threatens pastoral culture, social institutions and identity.

The article argues that Ethiopian pastoralists have a right to development in the manner that advances the enforcement of their human rights, and the Ethiopian state assumes a legal obligation to undertake pastoral development consistent with a human rights-based approach. Legal and policy interventions need to be (re)considered in line with international human-rights standards, the bill of rights and the National Policy Principles and Objectives of the Ethiopian Federal Democratic Republic Constitution. Pursuing pastoral development based on agrarian and flawed assumptions challenges not only the pastoral system but also the continued viability of pastoralists, as it makes a sustainable pastoral way of life unsustainable.

Posted on 18 September 2016 in Pastoralism, Policy & Power