Being a pastoralist in Ethiopia’s drylands is increasingly challenging as the population swiftly increases, climate change shocks grow in severity, and traditional rangelands management of pasture areas deteriorates. Economic challenges, nutritional problems and climate instability drive many people to move away from pastoralism, but securing alternative livelihoods requires new technical and life skills.
Pastoralist Areas Resilience Improvement and Market Expansion (PRIME) was a USAID-led Feed the Future program that applied a market development and adaptive management approach to help pastoralists strengthen systems, simultaneously addressing economic needs and climate adaptation to increase resilience capacities. By working within pastoralist markets, PRIME helped people to be prepared for environmental shocks by strengthening systems and individual capacities with the underpinning theory that systems working in synergy must be strengthened in unison.
The report concludes that PRIME succeeded in building an evidence base for the value of a market systems approach to resilience programming. PRIME’s unique approach had the ingrained flexibility to adapt to shifting demands, a long-term commitment to facilitate lasting linkages in communities, and the technical expertise to execute on innovative solutions. By committing to the foundational market systems approach even in the face of shocks during the 2015–2017 droughts, PRIME has proven the importance of using facilitative methods to systems strengthening.