Rebuilding pastoralist livelihoods during and after conflict
This review (PDF) by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) synthesises findings from discussions on approaches to support pastoral livelihoods during and after conflict. The impacts of different approaches to protecting, promoting and rebuilding pastoralists livelihoods during and after conflict is mixed, complicated by the evolving nature of conflict, the range of pastoral groups operating across African contexts and the supra national nature of their activities. Pastoralism plays a significant role across vast swathes of Africa and disruption of their livelihoods may have a significant impact on the societies in which they operate. Policy interventions have been made to support pastoral communities, however, these are often poorly implemented, lack adequate funding, and are implemented by ill-equipped non-pastoral administrators. The lessons from this review suggest that, in order to be successful in unstable environments, development initiatives (including livelihoods support) should be both stabilisation-oriented (providing better access to physical and livelihood security for populations) and conflict-sensitive. State-supported projects that combine development and overcome security measures for the population’s benefit, if designed and implemented in a participatory fashion, can improve pastoralists’ perception of the state as repressive. Overarching the report is an emerging consensus amongst experts that poorly designed pastoral development interventions that do not fully take the drivers of conflict and violence into account can create more instability and exacerbate conflicts. Further to this, not all forms of development of pastoralism will induce stability, and developing pastoralism does not guarantee regional stability i.e. the action of some fringe pastoralists. However, if the objectives of stabilisation and conflict prevention are well integrated into the support of the pastoralist economy, evidence shows that this can contribute to lower levels of insecurity and help foster peace.