Pastoralist adaptation practices under non-governmental development interventions in Southern Ethiopia

Chuan Liao, Ding Fei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have been playing important roles in facilitating pastoralist adaptation; however, focussed studies have yet to examine whether and how NGO interventions generate viable opportunities for adaptation and development in pastoral communities. This paper analyses how Boran pastoralists cope with various socio-environmental risks under NGO interventions in southern Ethiopia. We find that pastoralist adaptation practices under NGO development interventions enhanced diversification, communal pooling, storage, and market access, but compromised mobility. Changes in pastoralists' pursuit of livelihoods facilitated alternative adaptation, but such changes risked exacerbating rangeland degradation, reinforcing dependence on external aid, and weakening indigenous institutions. We thus conclude by arguing for more conscious interventions that can mitigate risks without negatively influencing the wellbeing of human subjects and ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-200
Number of pages12
JournalRangeland Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Adaptation
  • Ethiopia
  • Intervention
  • NGO
  • Pastoralists

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology


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