Regional Learning and Advocacy Programme (REGLAP)
Pastoral communities in the Horn and East Africa have adapted over the ages to thrive in some of the harshest conditions – hot and dry regions with low and erratic rainfall. Today pastoralism makes a significant contribution to the GDP of many Horn and East African countries, and contributes to the livelihoods of millions of people.
However, pastoralism continues to be neglected, undervalued and overlooked by governments and policy makers. Recent recurrent droughts, land fragmentation and other drivers of change are now stretching pastoralists’ coping strategies to breaking point. Many of the less fortunate have fallen into destitution and increasing poverty.
Governments and international agencies have yet to find effective solutions to the complex natural and political vulnerabilities of pastoral communities. Responses have not always respected the complexity of pastoral livelihoods. A focus on short-term interventions has failed to address the underlying causes of problems and in some cases has compounded them.
The Regional Learning and Advocacy Programme (REGLAP) is an ECHO-funded project aiming to avert this crisis and reduce the vulnerability of pastoral communities through policy and practice change in the Horn and East Africa. The aim of the project is to raise awareness among planners and policy makers about the full potential of pastoral systems to make a significant contribution to the economies of the region.
Oxfam GB leads REGLAP and a group of consortium members including Save the Children UK, Veterinaries Sans Frontiers-Belgium, Cordaid, CARE, RECONCILE and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI). REGLAP is a member of the Horn of Africa Pastoral Network.
REGLAP has produced six papers that reflect on pastoralist livelihoods – including climate change, demographic trends, cross-border issues, and social protection.
1. Get To Know Pastoralism - It Works!: A handbook for journalists (PDF 1.05MB)
Pastoralism is not well understood and this often results in a negative portrayal in the media; a majority of articles related to pastoralism are written in the context of conflict and hunger. This booklet has been produced to help journalists appreciate the success of pastoralism and understand how it works.
2. Pastoralists Get a Bad Press: Why? (PDF 290KB)
This two page media summary of pastoralism has been produced to highlight the negative bias of coverage. Despite being the backbone of a multi-million dollar regional livestock trade, and significant contributors to national economies, pastoralists are often painted as war-like, hungry, backward, aid-dependents.
3. REGLAP II Booklet: Reducing the vulnerability of pastoral communities through policy and practice change in the Horn of East Africa (PDF 935KB)
This booklet outline phase II of The Regional Livelihoods Advocacy Project.
4. Mobile Pastoral Systems and International Zoosanitary Standards: Devising a compatible approach (PDF 59KB)
Based on the evidence presented in this report, herding livestock over rangelands will remain part of a vital and dynamic production system for many and has potential to make a significant contribution to countries within the Region.
5. Social Protection in Pastoral Areas (PDF 63KB)
For pastoralists who have lost their livestock and abandoned the traditional pastoralist way of life, various forms of social protection will be essential for their survival. Many of these so-called ‘destitute’ pastoralists have moved to urban settlements in search of alternative livelihoods. Social protection can contribute towards economic growth involving ‘alternative’ livelihoods, but it is important that governments in East Africa should implement both unconditional Safety Net programmes in pastoral areas, as well as providing basic social services and infrastructure.
6. Getting it Right: Understanding livelihoods to reduce the vulnerability of pastoral communities (PDF 62KB)
Whilst social protection, service provision and support for alternative livelihoods can enhance the resilience of households and communities to the effects of recurrent disasters such as drought, livestock disease and conflict, there is also the need to address the underlying causes of vulnerability to these shocks. Current emergency responses are designed primarily to save lives and often have the perverse effect of encouraging people to remain in places that cannot sustain them.This paper highlights the need for a detailed understanding of pastoral livelihoods as part of existing early warning systems.
7. Pastoralism and Climate Change: Enabling adaptive capacity (PDF 73KB)
Responding to climate change will require a long-term approach that will provide the investments necessary for appropriate and sustainable development, allowing pastoralists either to adapt to their changing environment, or to transition out of pastoralism into alternative livelihoods. This paper argues that these changes must be effected through a rights-based approach, to increase the integration of pastoralists into political, social and economic systems at national and regional levels, thus addressing the fundamental problems of marginalization and weak governance that lie at the root of the chronic poverty and vulnerability of pastoral areas.
8. Pastoralism, Policies and Practice in the Horn and East Africa: A review of current trends (PDF 71KB)
The evidence presented by this paper encompasses the current placement of policies, broad views that relate to the future viability of pastoralism, providing guidance in identifying appropriate practical and policy interventions in the arid and semi-arid lands of the Horn of Africa.
9. Demographic Trends, Settlement Patterns and Service Provision in Pastoralism: Transformation and opportunity (PDF 64KB)
This paper illustrates the need for greater inclusion of livestock and pastoral communities into National and Regional planning. The absence of information on demographic trends and the exclusion of key areas in National census over the years means that planning is seriously constrained by a lack of information. The report shows that myths and misconceptions are at risk of influencing inappropriate policy and practice.