IGAD Regional Dryland Resilience Research Network Workshop
Seventy percent of the IGAD region comprises arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) that receive less than 600mm in annual rainfall. These ASALs are home to about 30 percent of the total population. The impact of recurrent droughts has been compounded by rapid population growth, climate change, conflict and insecurity, and the vagaries of ecological degradation. Many of the ASALs have also suffered from decades of marginalisation, with limited government interventions and low levels of government or private investment. The consequent conditions of diminished productivity, persistent food insecurity, extreme poverty and chronic vulnerability have severely affected the resilience of pastoralist and agro-pastoralist communities that inhabit the region, to drought and other environmental shocks.
In order to contribute to the solutions of the above-mentioned persistent challenges, ‘an IGAD led’ Drought Resilience Research Collaboration Network was formed, with the intention to strengthen collaboration of existing Member States resilience research institutions within the IGAD region. The Network brought together key senior researchers of public national universities and national agricultural/livestock research institutions from IGAD member states with significant engagement and experience in the arid lands of the Horn of Africa region. The network serves as a platform that shares innovative technologies and facilitates new ideas through common regional research and human capital development agenda. It supports evidence-based decision making on resilience programming and policy making. More importantly, it will strengthen the existing networks of collaborating regional resilience research institutions, in the context of changing nature of work (CNW) that enables sustainable contribution to market-driven innovation and scaling-up of research outputs for improved cross-border agricultural trade and resilience building.
Strategically, the envisaged Drought Resilience Research Collaboration Network and pathways will support IDDRSI align itself with the existing research and knowledge institutions to contribute to the development priorities of the IGAD Member States.
The meeting was held to develop and validate an appropriate institutional governance structure for the Drought Resilience Research Collaboration Network.