Research Implications And Policy Dialogues

1. London Workshop, 2001
The main findings of the four studies were presented and reviewed at an international workshop in London in 2001, in the series 'Transformations in African agriculture'. After the presentation of the results, the policy lessons and implications were reviewed by four working groups which considered the following questions:
(1) Is a view of rural livelihood transformation as driven by capacities as well as by constraints a practicable basis for policy formation?
(2) What areas are critically important in constructing an enabling policy framework for livelihood development in the drylands?
(3) Recognising that politicians are influenced by interest groups, how can a participatory debate on enabling policy formation be initiated and sustained at the national level?

Working Paper 40: Livelihood transformations in semi-arid Africa 1960-2000. Policy lessons from farmers' investment strategies in Kenya, Senegal, Niger and northern Nigeria. A Workshop held at the London School of Economics, 17 January, 2001.

To view abstract, select Abstract and to view the full text, select Working Paper 40

2. Endorsement exercise, and promotion of in-country policy debate
The Department for International Development subsequently provided a small grant to enable the country team leaders to take back the main conclusions of their respective Synthesis papers and the deliberations in London to their teams, the sampled villages, the District administrations, and relevant national ministries or organisations. The aim was for the results if endorsed, to enter into national debates. The villages chose representatives to go to district level, where they joined the discussion vigorously as all participants spoke in the local language.

The results were useful everywhere but dramatic in Senegal, where the initial report on agricultural development had, without comment, two separate tables that showed all famers grew groundnuts, but not all sold them. We requested DFID for a small grant so that two Senegalese researchers could return to verify this surprising finding. All four villages told them that groundnuts were valued first as family food and animal fodder and only thirdly for possible cash. For the central and regional governments, and the rest of the research team, they were solely a cash crop providing a good part of Senegalís foreign earnings. The verification at Regional level provoked a vigorous national policy debate and considerable media coverage.

The results were reported in:

Working Paper 41: Promoting research-policy dialogues: lessons from four country studies of dryland development in Sub-Saharan Africa. A report to the UK Department for International Development, March, 2003

To view abstract, select Abstract and to view the full text, select Working Paper 41

To read Key findings, select: Four Country Study Key Findings

See: Michael Mortimore and Mary Tiffen, 'Introducing research into policy: lessons from district studies of dryland development in Sub-Saharan Africa', Development Policy Review 22/3, 2004:259-286. To read this article, select Published Articles

Other publications. A continuing series of published articles reflect on particular aspects of the research. To read other publications, select Published Articles

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