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POLICY, POLITICS & PROGRAMMES:Their Implications to Pastoralists in a Changing Context in East Africa


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POLICY, POLITICS & PROGRAMMES:Their Implications to Pastoralists in a Changing Context in East Africa

  1. 1. BY: Peter Ken Otieno Programmes Coordinator RECONCILE
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION  The changing political, policy and programmatic context have created dynamics around the drylands of EA. The resultant, changes in both pastoralism and pastoralists’ livelihood and systems.  This paper examines these issues through the following perspectives;  The new paradigms and what they mean in terms of economic and political trends in the EA drylands.  More progressive policy environment and institutions  Programmes that have focused more towards the revitalizing drylands  The implications of all these to pastoralists and pastoralism
  3. 3. CONTEXT AND TRENDS Pastoralism emerged almost about twelve or so millennia ago and almost concurrently with agriculture. Pastoralism evolved as a response to two factors;  Medium human population densities and the presence of extensive rangelands, usually marginal lands unsuitable for rain-fed crop agriculture.  Pastoralism way of life consisted of herding domesticated or semidomesticated animals. It was necessary to move animals continually in search of pasture and water. It was a wandering, nomadic way of life. Culturally, therefore, pastoralism had more in common with hunter-and-gatherer way of life.  Due to widespread mobility, pastoral communities often came into contact with sedentary agricultural communities, who on their part, due to their increasing populations, increasingly encroached on the marginal pastoral land that could be converted to agricultural production.  This marked the beginning of diminishing resource bases, production range, increased vulnerability and substantial decline in pastoral household economies. Conflicts and warfare emerged and sometime became common. The need for “interventions” aimed at transforming pastoralism then started springing up close to half a century ago.
  4. 4. THE NEW PARADIGMS IN EA: Implications to Pastoralists in a rapidly changing Economic and political field  Economic and increased democratic space created over the past 10-15 years      have presented mixed opportunities for pastoralists and their resources. More pastoralists are represented within the political leadership and other relevant institutions including Parliament, cabinet positions, county and subcounty levels. Pastoralists parliamentary groups at country and regional levels have been created. Economically; the drylands of Eastern Africa have seen competing interest by governments, multilateral corporations and pastoralists for infrastructural development, herding as well as large investments. The implications; diminishing resource bases, production range, increased vulnerability and substantial decline in pastoral household economies. The trend has then provided governments the opportunity of redefining and transforming pastoralism through Policies, Politics and Programmes. This paper seeks to discuss the issues from a reflective perspective including new development initiatives in the region, political positioning by pastoralists and changes that have occurred in the field of policy.
  5. 5. THE PROGRESSIVE POLICY ENVIRONMENT & INSTITUTIONS Public policies defines the environment and determine livelihoods and development prospects for pastoralism and pastoralists-Good policies, positive prospects (and vice-versa)  Emerging policy context increasingly positive towards pastoralism (ASALs Policy in Kenya, New Land policy Uganda, LUPs and Const. TZ)  But are these changing policy contexts, new institutions and more representation translating into tangible benefits? Their implications  Both opportunities and constraints facing pastoralism as a livelihood system for the most part is a function of Policy, Politics and Programmes.  The influence of pastoralists in the national political arena is a key factor in determining how concerns of pastoralists are treated by national policies, programmes and institutions. 
  6. 6. To Policy makers/Governments;  Governments are concerned about pastoralism possible collapse, driving millions of people into destitution at huge cost to national economies.  Collapse would also make pastoral areas more insecure, with ramifications for political and economic stability.  Policies to settle pastoralists and introduce them to modern cropping and livestock production, or to choose different livelihoods, are thus once again on the agenda. (proposed a million hectares of land for irrigation and the Karamoja settlement programe)
  7. 7. REFORMS PATH THAT LED TO ASAL POLICY: Kenyan Case GOVERNANCE  Constitution of Kenya, 2010 with imperatives of:  participation  inclusiveness  equality  equity  human rights  devolution  addressing historical marginalization  Equalization Fund ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PLANNING  PRSP – Pastoral Poverty Reduction Strategy by Pastoral Thematic Group  ERS, 2003-2007  Kenya Vision 2030  Constitution of Kenya, 2010 with imperatives of  social justice  sustainable development  economic and social rights LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT  National Land Policy
  8. 8. 6 POLICY TRENDS & THE ROLE OF POLITICS 1. Changing land tenure: The common property rights/regime promotes communal use, access and management of resources by pastoralists sustainably despite the vastness of their areas of land; is being undermined by laws and policies that promote the individualization of land tenure. 2. Breakdown of traditional governance structures: Traditional pastoral institutions enforce compliance with norms and values that dictate the sustainable use of the drylands. Emphasis on formal governance structures has weakened traditional institutions and reduced their capacity to help manage crises like epidemics and drought. 3. Increasing demand for land: Crop farming is encroaching into the drylands. There is also increasing interest in pastoral areas for biofuel production. The absence of a comprehensive land use policy is encouraging unsustainable production at odds with the pastoralist system. 4. Negative perceptions and stereotypes: Pastoralism is widely perceived as an unsustainable, inefficient way of using land, which does little for the economy and is environmentally destructive. Policy actions, institutions and structures informed by these negative stereotypes facilitate the alienation of pastoral resources and increase pastoral vulnerabilities.
  9. 9. 5. Inadequate investment in the drylands: With limited market access, pastoral areas experience high costs in doing business, lack opportunities for income diversification and face unemployment and stagnant incomes. 6. Failure to recognize the diversity of pastoralist groups: Not all pastoralists are at the same level of vulnerability. Some are well-off with stable livelihoods. Others, once stable in pastoral production, today find themselves in danger of losing their livelihoods. Current policy and practice must accommodate these different categories of pastoralists and their particular needs.
  10. 10. THE ENTRY POINT FOR RECONCILE POLICY MAKERS COMMUNITIES CSOS & DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS Capacity and networking 1. Influences processes 2. Supports legislative processes 3. Builds partnership Capacity Building for effective advocacy Vertical horizontal engagement Institutional development for adequate and meaningful engagement Building local, national, regional and global capacities for policy development, implementation , monitoring and documentation
  11. 11. Expectations of RECONCILE 1. Capacity developed to challenge outside perceptions of pastoralism. 2. Capacity to understand and contribute to policy processes at all levels 3. Capacity to represent & be accountable to members’ interests 1. Institutions that have the financial autonomy able to engage and negotiate with others 2. Accountable and champion for local interests and develop partnership with external institutions RECONCILE Sustainable use and management of the drylands and resources therein Relevant and effective policies and institutions Strong, vibrant, representative pastoral CSO & movements able to define & implement members’ vision of development
  12. 12. CONCLUSION  Long-term programme with the community with focus on strengthening the economic development of the arid and semi-arid areas—recognising mobile pastoralism as a production system with high comparative advantage—in the framework of the programmes for food security, climate change, can only be realized through political will in the region  Effective strategies by different actors to engage national & regional institutions, process & programmes can be demonstrated through policy research analysis.  Investments in dryland should pay due attention to the political dynamics and how rural development and food production secures rights of pastoralists.