Achieving Development Impact among Pastoral and Agro-Pastoral People: Lessons Learned in Southern Ethiopia, 2000-2009
David Layne Coppock, Solomon Desta and Getachew Gebru, Utah State University and Seyoum Tezera, PARIMA report
The goal of the Pastoral Risk Management project (PARIMA) was to increase incomes and diversify livelihoods among pastoralists in southern Ethiopia. After a needs assessment, trainers created short courses and established cooperative groups, which included field tours for group members to see other places and people. They also helped create new livestock marketing channels and provided long-term monitoring and methods for resolving conflicts.
The formation of groups and visits with successful peers helped inspire participants to envision a more hopeful future. Livestock marketing and small-business ventures fueled micro-finance, personal confidence, and generated diversified wealth. This in turn has reduced food insecurity and vulnerability to drought.
By 2009, the groups were merged into government cooperatives. The Ethiopian government supported the project as PARIMA was phased out. The project assisted 59 groups with 2,300 members, two-thirds of whom were women. Of the more than 5,360 loans worth $647,600, 96 percent were recovered.
The study contains key lessons, including: start at a small scale and build trust; encourage authentic participation and aim for impact; and build real partnerships with other development actors.