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Enhancing resilience in the Horn of Africa : An exploration into alternative investment options

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  • Headey, Derek
  • Taffesse, Alemayehu Seyoum
  • You, Liangzhi

Abstract

The most recent (2010-211) drought in the arid and semiarid lowlands (ASAL) of the Horn of Africa has rendered over 13 million people in need of food, and caused a devastating famine in southern Somalia. The drought has also raised concerns that pastoralist livelihoods in this region are no longer viable or sustainable, thereby justifying strategies that aim to sedentarize and diversify these livelihoods. Countering this view are advocates of wholesale protection of pastoralist livelihoods. Yet despite these very contrasting views on economic development in the region, very little research directly addresses this big picture question of where public resources should be invested. In this paper we argue that both economic theory and the existing evidence base warrant a more balanced development strategy involving movement out of pastoralism (intersectoral transformation), modernization of pastoralism (intrasectoral transformation), and cross-cutting transformations of the demographic, social, and political structure of ASAL populations. We then explore the empirical basis for balancing investments across these kinds of transformations. While the available evidence base is weak in some respects, we find that most nonpastoralist livelihoods in ASAL yield lower incomes than pastoralism, with the exception of urban livelihoods and irrigated farming.

Suggested Citation

  • Headey, Derek & Taffesse, Alemayehu Seyoum & You, Liangzhi, 2012. "Enhancing resilience in the Horn of Africa : An exploration into alternative investment options," IFPRI discussion papers 1176, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:1176
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Travis J. Lybbert & Christopher B. Barrett & Solomon Desta & D. Layne Coppock, 2004. "Stochastic wealth dynamics and risk management among a poor population," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(498), pages 750-777, October.
    2. Derek Headey & Dirk Bezemer & Peter B. Hazell, 2010. "Agricultural Employment Trends in Asia and Africa: Too Fast or Too Slow?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 25(1), pages 57-89, February.
    3. Jonathan Davies & Richard Bennett, 2007. "Livelihood adaptation to risk: Constraints and opportunities for pastoral development in Ethiopia's Afar region," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(3), pages 490-511.
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    Cited by:

    1. von Grebmer, Klaus & Headey, Derek & Bene, Christophe & Haddad, Lawrence & Olofinbiyi, Tolulope & Wiesmann, Doris & Fritschel, Heidi & Yin, Sandra & Yohannes, Yisehac & Foley, Connell & von Oppeln, Co, 2013. "Indice globale della fame: La sfida della fame 2013: Sviluppare la resilienza delle comunita per la sicurezza alimentare e nutrizionale," IFPRI books, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), number 978-0-89629-954-2 edited by von Oppeln, Constanze & Labahn, Marius & Towey, Olive & von Grebmer, Klaus, September.
    2. International Food Policy Research Institute, 2013. "Global Hunger Index 2013 - The Challenge of Hunger: Building Resilience to Achieve Food and Nutrition Security," Working Papers id:5533, eSocialSciences.
    3. Jean-Francois Maystadt & Olivier Ecker & Athur Mabiso, 2013. "Extreme Weather and Civil War in Somalia: Does Drought Fuel Conflict through Livestock Price Shocks?," LICOS Discussion Papers 32613, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    4. von Grebmer, Klaus & Headey, Derek & Bene, Christophe & Haddad, Lawrence & Olofinbiyi, Tolulope & Wiesmann, Doris & Fritschel, Heidi & Yin, Sandra & Yohannes, Yisehac & Foley, Connell & von Oppeln, Co, 2013. "2013 Welthunger-Index: Herausforderung Hunger: Widerstandsfahigkeit starken Ernahrung sichern," IFPRI books, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), number 978-0-89629-835-4 edited by von Oppeln, Constanze & Labahn, Marius & Towey, Olive & von Grebmer, Klaus, September.

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    Keywords

    Development strategies; Pastoralism; Resilience;

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