Project Factsheet
Tools for » Enabling pastoral communities to adapt to climate change and restoring rangeland environments
Project ID:00067150Description:MDGF-1679-E-ETH Enabling Commu
MDG Achievement Fund
Start Date *: 2 Oct 2007
MDGF Environ Climate Chg
End Date*: 31 Mar 2013
Country: Ethiopia Project Status: Financially Closed
  Participating Organization:   Multiple


The core objective of the Joint Programme (JP) was to enhance the policy environment to plan and execute pastoralist related climate-change adaptation and mitigation measures at federal, regional and district levels, as well as to develop pilot initiatives  to enable the pastoral communities develop capacity  to manage climate change (CC) risks and shocks in the six target districts. The JP targeted 32,160 pastoral community members as direct beneficiaries from the 17 most vulnerable pastoral Kebeles (villages).

The JP also focused on empowering women in the decision making process of the community. It was reported that as a result the lives of pastoral women in JP areas were changing for the better. Women had formed their own cooperatives, and were engaging in a range of income-generating activities, which helped to reduce inequality and increase their own independence.

Under Outcome 1, the JP identified and analyzed climate change and related risks/vulnerabilities to help pastoral communities understand the extent of immediate and long-term impact of climate change. It helped to identify alternative resilience measures, and policy gaps in the existing development framework. It supported the government to develop cross sectoral national, regional and Wereda (district) action plansand prepared a toolkit with different adaptation technologies. The JP also supported the installation of a Climate Action Registry Information System, and helped to increase public awareness through tool kits and guidelines for CC adaptation and mitigation options.

Under Outcome 2 the JP worked with parliamentarians, civil servants and selected community leaders to assess and fill existing capacity gaps to plan and manage CC adaptation and resource-based conflicts. Local pastoralist CC response coordination mechanisms were established, information packages on CC mitigation and adaptation were produced, and six district user friendly materials on adaptation, early warning and response mechanisms were produced and presented in six districts.

Planned results associated with Outcome 3 focused on generation of baseline data for the communities regarding water resources and mechanisms for improving feed resources and livestock productivity, and improved access to functional water schemes. Integrated rangeland management practices were promoted for better livelihoods and coping mechanisms.

In addition, the JP constructed 23 cisterns, enclosed 327 hectares of degraded land for restoration and cleared 1,499 hectares of bush encroachment. Six nurseries were established and equipped, with quality seedlings produced and distributed. 192 veterinary staff and 190 Community Animal Health Workers (CAHWS) were trained and 35 Livestock Marketing Cooperatives were established.

The JP also helped establish a community climate fund and alternative income generating activities were identified or designed to be implemented by both men and women of the pastoralist communities.


Outcome 1:

Climate change mitigation and adaptation options for pastoralists mainstreamed into national, sub-national and district development frameworks.


Outcome Achievements:

  • Identification and analysis of climate change related risks/vulnerabilities of the pastoral communities and of alternative scenarios of resilience measures.
  • Identification and analysis of policy and strategy gaps in federal and regional development framework. CC related Federal and 4 regional states policy and strategy gap analysis reports produced and policy proposal prepared.
  • Federal and 4 regional states and 6 districts Adaptation/Mitigation strategy, communication strategy and action plan prepared.
  • IT materials distributed to the four regions to strengthen information exchange.
  • A toolkit of 14 different appropriate, proven and checked adaptation technologies was prepared and published in Amharic.


Outcome 2:

Enhanced capacity of government agencies and respective pastoralist community institutions to effectively respond to the climate change risks and challenges at all levels.


Outcome Achievements:

  • Federal/Regional/district and pastoral communities’ institutions capacities strengthened to plan and manage CC adaptation and resource-based conflicts.
  • Parliamentarians, civil servants and selected community leaders sensitized to adaptation needs.
  • Existing capacity of community institutions and relevant government institutions assessed and gaps identified, immediate needs addressed.
  • Local pastoralist CC response coordination mechanisms were established.
  • Information on CC mitigation and adaptation package designed and produced.
  • Six district user friendly adaptation early warning and response mechanism produced and presented.


Outcome 3:

Pastoral community coping mechanisms/sustainable livelihood enhanced.


Outcome Achievements:

  • Baseline data was generated on: potential, accessibility, management, availability and alternatives in water, livestock, rangelands and market in the selected villages.
  • Integrated Rangeland Management practices promoted in the targeted districts for better livelihoods and better coping of adverse climatic effects including;  seventeen pastoral associations (Pas)/villages from six districts accessed water supply and secured feed resources;  Veterinary health posts, capacity of CAHWS and market facilities constructed and made functional in the six districts.
  • Access to functional water schemes was improved throughout the JP: preliminary assessment to ensure feasibility and cost-effectiveness of different water schemes through an assessment on water resources and consultation with Community members; eight dams were completed; 94 WATSAN (water and sanitation) committees were established; the required basic materials for maintenance of water schemes were procured and delivered for each established water committee within the targeted Weredas.
  • Conducted a workshop on Sanitation and Hygiene for community water managing committees for 504 members of the management committees and users.
  • Constructed 23 cisterns (birkas).
  • 327 hectares of degraded land were enclosed to restore their productivity. Inside the enclosed rangelands, different types of physical soil and water conservation structures were constructed on 193 hectare.
  • 75 hectares were re-seeded with improved forage and browsing species.
  • A total land area of 1,499 hectares of rangelands cleared of bush encroachment with the participation of beneficiaries from all targeted areas of the programme.
  • Promoted experience sharing visits for 144 community members to enhance community awareness in relation to climate change and its copping and adapting mechanisms. These visits were focused on integrated watershed management, area closure, nursery management, FTC and income-generating activities.
  • Awareness creation workshops on better utilization of rangeland resources were conducted for 1151 community members in all areas.
  • Six nurseries were established and equipped with the required facilities to be functional.
  • The seedlings produced by the JP were distributed to local communities and planted on communal rangelands and homestead. To this end, 333,700 different native and improved fodder trees seedlings were planted in all targeted areas of the programme.
  • 192 vet staff and 190 Community Animal Health Workers (CAHWS) were trained. After completing the identification of requirements, procurement of drug was completed and distributed to project areas.
  • Established 35 Livestock Marketing Cooperatives (LMC) equipped with an information service with training on cooperative principles, book keeping, business planning, etc. provided for 285 Cooperative board members. Office furniture and stationery was provided and three cooperative offices were constructed by the programme for LMC established in Teltele wereda.
  • The programme planned to deliver an initial capital fund/revolving fund for the purpose of the selected IGAs. In sum, more than 4.7 million Birr was delivered for the 35 IGA cooperatives as revolving seed money.
  • Alternative IGAs were identified or designed to be implemented by both men and women of the pastoralist communities.


Best practices:

  • The JP provided a unique opportunity to pilot a three-pronged innovative approach (policy, capacity and alternative livelihood) that can be replicated among various pastoral communities. The programme addressed (1) Policy Framework believed to mainstream CC adaptation & mitigation options and validate adaptation technologies; (2)  Capacity building activities across all Federal, Regional and Wereda levels, and (3) Livelihood enhancement alternatives;
  • In Ethiopia, the pastoralists live and work in strong traditional communities, and most activities are managed along gender lines. The JP targeted 17 pastoral villages in some of the most vulnerable parts of Ethiopia and sought to mainstream gender in all the activities by including and putting women forward; 
  • The JP promoted experience sharing visits so that the newly established pastoral cooperatives could benefit from other’s to re-orient and share best practices of cooperative activities as income-generating activities; 
  • The programme documented its best practices for its scaling-up under the Climate Resilient Green Economy strategy (CRGE) in the Ministry of Agriculture. Additionally, the programme mainstreamed the best practices identified to be scaled-up by the respective national and local institutions into national, regional and Wereda development plans. The government expressed they are committed to take the leadership in ensuring its scaling-up. 
  • Dissemination of best practices workshops were organized at Federal level, as well as in each Region where the programme was developed. Knowledge products about the JP were developed and shared (video, booklet, success stories). More information available here:


Lessons learned:

  • The three UN agencies involved in this JP have different management procedures, but this experience of working together enabled them to experience that a level of cooperation and thus synergies can be achieved at country level.
  • The Mid-Term Evaluation was particularly influential in catalyzing re-programming and efforts to ensure smooth implementation.
  • The design of the programme – with 3 Outcomes, each led by different UN agencies, was designed to focus on each agency’s area of comparative advantage, but arguably was not the most conducive to working together and information sharing.
  • Agencies have different areas of expertise these were not always used to best effect.
  • It is vital that greater attention is given to gender dimensions, as without this policies aimed at mitigation and adaptation are likely to exacerbate the hardships of already disadvantaged women in pastoral communities of Ethiopia, who depend on natural resources for survival.
  • In future, programmes should be more nuanced in their approaches – taking into account different traditions (more support is clearly needed in some areas for cooperatives) and particularly geographical factors such as distance from markets, transport links etc.
  • For effective monitoring and evaluation, all programmes and projects require a well-designed baseline study to be completed at programme/ project start-up.
  • The design of monitoring systems should focus on areas where the programme has a direct effect (progress on activities) and also wider planned impacts (e.g. towards the MDGs), ideally using routinely collected disaggregated government statistics and other surveys. It should involve the programme beneficiaries in the impacts of on the ground activities such as changing range management practices [as is being pioneered by FAO’s LADA (Local Approaches to Degradation Assessment)] and the environmental impacts of wells / birkas etc.


More details can be found in the documents below.

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If you have questions about this programme you may wish to contact the RC office in Ethiopia or the lead agency for the programme. The MPTF Office Portfolio Manager (or Country Director with Delegation of Authority) for this programme:

The person with GATEWAY access rights to upload and maintain documents for the programme:

  • Ines Mazarrasa, Special Assistant to Resident Coord; Telephone: 00251.(0).911511437; Email:
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