Livestock and pastoralism

Livestock are essential for livelihoods in Africa, particularly in the drier, marginal pastoral areas. Yet development investments in the livestock sector have consistently failed. Over several decades, IDS research has challenged the assumptions of much conventional policy thinking. By making the case for a non-equilibrium approach to understanding range lands, for example, the opportunistic strategies of pastoralists can be recognised.

ETHIOPIA Somali Region. Female herder walking in the desert with her goats. The region has suffered overgrazing during the drought, and the soil has become unstable. 
Credit: Dieter Telemans / Panos

Living in the drylands means living with uncertainty, and standardised,blueprint approaches to development can never work. Recognising dynamic ecological systems means rethinking the principles of livestock and range management, as well as approaches to animal health and veterinary disease control. Uncertain environments also require new thinking for planning and policy processes and systems for tenure, marketing and administration.

Photo credit: Dieter Telemans / Panos

Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA)

Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA) is a five-year, DFID-funded, research programme consortium which aims to produce new evidence and policy insights into different pathways to agricultural commercialisation in Africa and their differential outcomes for local people and economies. More details

Dynamic Drivers of Disease in Africa Consortium

A STEPS-led consortium of researchers aiming to advance understanding of the connections between disease and environment in Africa, focusing on animal-to-human disease transmission.. More details

Future Agricultures Consortium

The DFID funded Future Agricultures Consortium is an Africa-based alliance of research organisations seeking to provide timely, high-quality and independent information and advice to improve agricultural policy and practice in Africa. More details

Impact Evaluation of the PSNP and HAPB 2012

Since 2003, the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) has been implementing a new Food Security Programme (FSP). In 2009, this programme was reviewed and reformulated. More details

Livestock, Livelihoods and Health

Livestock, Livelihoods and Health is an interdisciplinary research programme exploring diseases that can be transmitted from wild or domesticated animals to people (known as zoonoses). More details

Myanmar Pig Partnership

The Myanmar Pig Partnership is focusing on the risks of zoonotic disease emergence associated with the rapid growth and intensification of livestock production in Myanmar in recent years. More details

Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability (STEPS) Centre

The STEPS Centre is an interdisciplinary global research and policy engagement hub, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. It aims to develop a new approach to understanding, action and communication on sustainability and development. More details

Veterinary Science, Transboundary Animal Diseases and Markets

Focusing on the case of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in southern Africa – and specifically Botswana, Nambia, South Africa and Zimbabwe – this research is exploring the economic, social and political trade-offs arising from disease control strategies geared towards promoting commercial beef exports and achieving a ‘livestock revolution’. More details

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IDS publications on international development research

Botswana’s foot-and-mouth disease and beef trade policy

Transboundary animal disease and market access Working Paper 3 (2008)

Transboundary animal disease and market access: future options for the beef industry in southern Africa More details

IDS publications on international development research

Foot-and-mouth disease and market access: challenges for the beef industry in southern Africa

Transboundary animal disease and market access: future options for the beef industry in southern Africa Working Paper 1 (2008)

Transboundary animal disease and market access: future options for the beef industry in southern Africa More details

cover of Understanding Policy Processes review

Understanding Policy Processes: A Review of IDS Research on the Environment

For over a decade, researchers in the IDS Environment Group have been engaging with a growing body of work on policy processes which encompasses among other things: the relationship between science, expertise and policy, political interests, public participation and network theory. More details

This is the cover of a Working Paper

Livestock, Disease, Trade and Markets: Policy Choices for the Livestock Sector in Africa

IDS Working Paper 269 (2006)

For many years African livestock production was seen as a poor investment for development. Assumptions about low productivity, 'backward' management systems, lack of market orientation and poor growth potentials consigned the livestock sector to the sidelines. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Changing Animal Health Policies

LEISA Magazine 21.4 (2005)
IDS publications on international development research

Policy Processes in the Livestock Sector: Experiences from the African Union

African Union/Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (2005)
IDS publications on international development research

Policy Processes in Livestock Health and Marketing

Report based on a three-day training event organised by the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Ethiopia, April 2005. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Policy Processes for Veterinary Services in Africa

This is the report of the first of three phases in a training programme being run between September 2004 and February 2005. It is a collaboration between the Institutional and Policy Support Team (ISPT) of AU-IBAR and the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, UK. More details

This is the cover of a Working Paper

The Processes and Dynamics of Pastoralist Representation in Ethiopia

IDS Working Paper 220 (2004)

The functioning of democratic institutions has the potential to bring about substantial policy change in favour of poor and marginalised people. However, there is a limited understanding of how to strengthen the political representation of poor people within democratic structures. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Tools from the New Institutional Economics for Reforming the Delivery of Veterinary Services

Office International des Epizooties: Scientific and Technical Review 23.1 (2004)