Policies to address vulnerability of pastoralists

The Pro-Poor Livestock Policy Initiative (PPLPI)’s policy brief on Policies and strategies to address the vulnerability of pastoralists in sub-Saharan Africa is based on a PPLPI Working Paper with the same title (2006), which devotes some attention to the natural disaster preparedness strategies in the Horn of Africa. The study found increased vulnerability of pastoralists because of the growing population of people and livestock, expansion of cropping into grazing areas and changing preferences of pastoralist peoples through greater market integration. The Sustainable Livelihoods Approach was used to assess how risks, shocks and long-term trends affect pastoral livelihoods. Policies to deal with idiosyncratic risks affecting individual households are part of standard poverty-reduction strategies, but policies to address vulnerability to covariant risks affecting larger areas need to be specific for drylands. The most effective policies in East and West Africa have focused on risk reduction through drought management, conflict management and creating non-pastoral employment to diversify income sources. The main lessons from the study were: i) policies for mobile pastoralists cannot follow those applied to settled areas and need to explore new paths; and ii) policies to reduce pastoralist vulnerability need to be embedded in a broader development process which makes pastoralist communities resilient to a combination of environmental, health and economic shocks, instead of addressing only single exogenous shocks.

Posted on 30 September 2012 in Pastoralism & Mobility, Pastoralism, Policy & Power, Pastoralist Livelihoods & Nutrition