Drylands Research

The four country study of change, 1960-2000

The recent four-country study explores linkages between long-term environmental change, population growth and technological change, and identifies the policies and institutions which are conducive to sustainable development and the enhancement of livelihoods. The method used is that of analysing long-term changes in the economic, social and environmental background in a series of profiles, using techniques appropriate to the subject matter. The evolution of the decision-making by small farmers and livestock producers is then examined in a country synthesis paper, which sets these in the context of population growth, climatic and environmental change, and government policies and projects. Drylands Research collaborated with teams of experienced national scientists in the countries concerned, who carried out the profiles, and who brought a range of inter-disciplinary expertise to a workshop at which the challenge of identifying those policies which support productive investments and sustainable use of natural and other resources was addressed. This led into the production of a country synthesis paper.

The four linked studies were carried out in:

Kenya Makueni District
Senegal Diourbel Region
Niger Maradi Department
Nigeria Kano Zone

The project was made up of two parallel studies and a subsequent international workshop and in-country endorsement exercise:

1. Policy requirements for farmer investment in semi-arid Africa
The study investigated long-term change in Kenya (Makueni District) and Senegal (Diourbel Region) with particular reference to the linkages between investment and agriculture, natural resource management and rural livelihoods. The study was funded by the Natural Resources Policy Research Programme of the Department for International Development, United Kingdom.

Country Team leaders were Francis Gichuki (Kenya), Abdou Fall and Adama Faye (Senegal). For mini-biographies, select About Us

For fuller details on these two studies, select Senegal or Kenya

2. Kano-Maradi study of long-term change
This study carried forward the same methodologies in two more regions which are closely linked in economic development: Niger (Maradi Department) and Nigeria (Kano Region). The study was funded by the ESCOR programme of the Department for International Development, United Kingdom, with the Leventis Foundation.

Country Team leaders were Boubacar Yamba (Niger) and J Ayodele Ariyo (Nigeria). For mini-biographies, select About Us

For fuller details on these two studies select, Niger or Nigeria

3. The London workshop and the in-country endorsement exercise
The main findings of the studies, and the policy recommendations arising from them, were presented at an international workshop in London in January 2001, at which presentations were made by Michael Mortimore, Mary Tiffen and the four country team leaders.

Subsequently, DFID made available some additional funding for in-country endorsement exercises, so that the results could be tested by being presented and debated at the level of the sampled villages, the study District, and the nation. This was felt to be a necessary step to gain confidence in the results so that team members and others could discuss their relevance to policy needs in particular countries, and promote their entry into debates about policy changes required to bring about an enabling environment for investment, conservation and development of rural human and natural resources.

To read research implications and policy dialogues, select: Research Implications and Policy Dialogues
To read Key findings, select: Four Country Study Key Findings
To access recently published papers, select: Published Articles

Drylands Research, Somerset, United Kingdom