Drylands restoration is one key way of improving the productivity of agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa. A poster released by scientists at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), illustrates just some of the future research funded by the European Commission and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
Many approaches to the restoration of degraded drylands have been successful in Ethiopia. However, despite these and other success stories, scaling-up land restoration approaches (or ‘options’) often proves challenging. Options which have been successful in one area may fail in others. There is little information on areas where a successful option could succeed, versus where the same option may fail. Consequently, it is often challenging to scale out even the most successful land restoration approaches.
A data revolution is quietly unfolding in sub-Saharan Africa and empowering sustainable development and resilience for a new generation of policymakers.
Variability in crop and pasture, whether caused by weather, natural disaster, pests and diseases, or political conflict, is arguably the greatest threat to resilience and food security in the Horn of Africa. At the same time, the building blocks of national statistical systems are weak and data challenges are a crushing reality in Africa.
To address this problem, a growing number of analysts are tackling so-called informational wastelands through open-access global and household datasets, pseudo-panels, spatial data analytics and communities of practice.
Catherine Mungai, an ILRI–Climate Impact Research Capacity and Leadership Enhancement (CIRCLE) fellow, has won the best paper award at a symposium on Climate Change Adaptation in Africa in Ethiopia.
Building economic resilience in semi-arid regions: what role for the sustainable development goals? As the world adopts the sustainable development goals (SDGs) to help drive the implementation of sustainable development, it is imperative that these must do more to consider how economic resilience can be built in semi-arid regions.
We need to step back from the discussion about the multiple meanings of resilience, how it can be focused and measured, and put resilience building projects into a framework for making sense out of systems. If we do not know, or cannot agree on what kind of system is being managed by resilience building projects, it will be impossible to decide on an appropriate project design. Activities, objectives and indicators will be a muddle of intervention parts that belong to different systems.
Understanding the development process and how it unfurls against those headwinds is crucial to understanding the nature of development outcomes. The relative steadiness of the development process can be highly informative of progress towards long term development goals. We can examine whether smooth, steady growth on a particular trajectory is preferable to a more volatile progress.