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Climate Risk, Safety Nets, and Household Welfare

This blog focuses on our Fieldwork in Tigray in 2010, which was the fifth round survey to the same 15 communities in the region. Students in our joint Master Program in Development and Natural Resource Economics with four African universities (Mekelle University and Hawassa University in Ethiopia, University of Malawi, and Makerere University in Uganda), funded by NORAD, carried out the fieldwork and will use the data for their MSc-theses. In addition PhD-students and staff use the data in their reseearch on a range of policy issues related to climate risk, land management, land law reforms, food security and safety nets, and household behavior and welfare.

Productive safety net program in Tigray

Activity update Posted on Sun, May 30, 2010 16:53:39

I met with Dr. Haile Tesfay at Relief Society of Tigray (REST), the largest NGO doing development activity in Tigray to get updated on the productive safety net program (PSNP). In 2005 about 1.4 million of the total population of about 4.2 million were identified as chronically poor (able to produce less than 60% of their food requirement) and entitled to receive support from PSNP in form of access to Food-for-work or Cash-for-work equivalent to 5 days of work per month per person. Much of the work has focused on investments in public goods and public lands (conservation and tree planting). The plan was that this should create a basis for these households to invest and get out of their poverty trap this way. So far less than 1% have, however, “graduated”. Alternative credit packages are now offered to these households from the local credit institution and it is hoped that this will help more of the chronically poor to escape poverty. The loans are for a range of investments like dairy cow, bee keeping, irrigation pump, etc. We hope to find out more how this has impacted the households in our household panel covering 16 communities in Tigray.

First day in the field

Activity update Posted on Sun, May 30, 2010 14:05:47

The students and enumerators had the first day in the field today. Questionnaires are still being developed but several of them are now ready for testing. We have about 30 enumerators and 15 students/staff working on the implementation. The first survey round was carried out in 1998, 12 years ago. The popular topics among the students now are climate change and how it affects behaviour and welfare, productive safety net programs, costs and benefits of land fragmentation, impact of recent land law reforms, impacts of microfinance programs, impacts of alternative shocks, including positive shocks as health interventions and building of new roads, investments in human capital, and whether agricultural development leads to more productive investments outside agriculture.

Field work in Tigray

Activity update Posted on Thu, May 27, 2010 17:46:19

I am currently in Northern Ethiopia organizing a survey in Tigray. The field work also involves masters students in the NOMA programme. We have conducted four rounds of survey on the same households in previous years which, with this round of survey, produce five years panel data over the span of ten years.

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