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Tropentag, September 17 - 19, 2013 in Stuttgart-Hohenheim

"Agricultural development within the rural-urban continuum"

Potential for Group-Based Approaches to Enhance Security of Assets for Women to Manage Risk under Climate Change: A PRA in Ethiopia

Aiveen Donnelly

Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Centre for International Development and Environmental Research (ZEU), Germany


Climate change is a global problem; nevertheless, those countries contributing least to global climate change suffer most from its adverse consequences, which are often magnified due to their dependence on rain fed agriculture. Ethiopia is such a country, it depends almost entirely on rain fed agriculture which contributes 42 per cent to the gross domestic product. Ethiopian women depend on natural resources, including agriculture, for their livelihoods. As they are particularly vulnerable to climate change. Their vulnerability is exacerbated by a relative insecurity of assets. Thus, with an insecurity of tangible assets, how can group-based organisations enhance the security of these assets, especially for women, in order to better manage risks posed by climate change?

By way of gender segregated focus group discussions in Amhara and the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples' Region, perceptions of climate change were obtained in order to identify the most impacted areas due to climate change and adaptation strategies already appied. Furthermore, perceptions on security of assets were acquired, firstly by determining the most important assets and then by exploring the prevalent gender and asset dynamics. Lastly, existing group-based organisations with a direct or indirect link to women and/or adaptation were looked into to reveal their strengths and weaknesses, and thus to discover potentials for further development.

Most notably three group-based organisations, one gender mixed, one female only, and one generally male, are undertaking activities that strengthen local communities through self-help, knowledge sharing, external advice and awareness creation with direct and indirect spill-over effects toward enhancing control over assets for women to better manage climate change risks. Aspects insufficiently included by the existing group-based organisations, however identified as constraints by the participants are issues related to health and access to credit, particularly for women. These are therefore areas with potential for improving asset security through group-based organisations.

Keywords: Asset enhancement, climate change, Ethiopia, group-based approaches, women

Contact Address: Aiveen Donnelly, Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Centre for International Development and Environmental Research (ZEU), Senckenbergstraße 3, 35390 Giessen, Germany, e-mail: aiveendonnelly@hotmail.com

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