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Journal/Book Title

Global Livestock Collaborative Research Support Program

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We used results from 120 group interviews collected in 1998 to quantify how inhabitants across northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia perceive and rank various risks to their livelihoods. We also mapped risk patterns using Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates. Respondents recognized 15 sources of risk overall, with the most common being reliable access to food and water. Other risks were not mentioned by a majority of respondents and reflected diversity in local situations. Country of residence, wealth class, gender, and predominant means of food production (pastoralism, agro-pastoralism, and farming) influenced risk ranking. For example, wealthy males were most concerned about resource access and livestock prices. Women and the poor were more concerned about access to health services and education and reducing conflict. Risk maps are shown to be useful tools to display patterns of conflict, drought, and related phenomena. Because local problems vary, local solutions to improve risk management will be similarly variable. Participatory approaches clarify local development priorities. Recognition that factors such as wealth and gender will strongly affect risk management priorities should lead to more appropriate and fine-tuned development initiatives