Review of FAO’s & IFAD’s engagement in pastoral development
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) mandated a joint evaluation of their projects related to pastoral development. The report FAO’s and IFAD’s engagement in pastoral development: joint evaluation synthesis (2016, 115pp) reviews 194 projects somehow related to pastoralism that were formulated in 2003–13 and to which US$1.2 billion were allocated. Several of them were in Eastern Africa. Areas of intervention included animal health services, capacity building, emergency response, rangeland management and policy dialogue. The report stresses that, in the face of growing challenges posed by economic, political and climate change, pastoralism offers a production system that prospers in landscapes where other livelihood systems are either at their limit or require large investments. It was found that FAO and IFAD have engaged significantly in pastoral development but lack a coherent conceptual framework. There have been positive results in projects seeking to reduce poverty and hunger by introducing innovative solutions in community-based animal health and natural resource management. However, there is still much confusion between pastoral development and livestock development, and no clear understanding of pastoral systems, including the specificity of pastoral poverty. This has led to a focus on sedentary activities, and a considerable degree of hit-and-miss in the results. It is recommended that FAO and IFAD create policies of engagement in pastoral development and build capacity for systemic engagement in pastoral systems through, e.g. developing a better understanding of these systems and their relation to dryland economies. Risk-management and resilience strategies should be prepared that are highly context-specific and distinguish between risk management and risk reduction. The evaluation also highlights the need for the two agencies to strengthen advocacy by pastoralists and on behalf of pastoralists.