Document Type


Journal/Book Title

Global Livestock Collaborative Research Support Program


University of California at Davis

Publication Date



The Borana pastoral system has come under increasing pressure as human populations grow and per capita availability of resources declines. Livestock exhibit large, periodic die-offs that threaten wealth accumulation and food security. Several types of interventions may improve risk management here. For example, there may be opportunity for some pastoralists to diversify their livelihoods. Here we report on a community-based process involving pilot projects begun since 2000. We have embraced Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) and Action Research (AR) as tools for investigation and empowerment of local people. Full PRAs were conducted for semi-settled communities, located near towns, to identify priority needs and self-help capabilities. Communities selected interventions for implementation in partnership with local development agents as part of Community Action Plans (CAPs). Preliminary observations suggest that these people see income diversification as a major issue. To this end they have a high interest in non-formal education, micro-savings and credit associations, and micro-enterprise development. Newly formed women’s groups have taken the lead in adopting innovations. Our experience confirms that risk-management interventions are in demand here, and that the people are dedicated and capable of novel achievements. Pastoralists also exhibit much enthusiasm when allowed to lead their own development initiatives.