Title of paper

The Role of Small Socioeconomic Institutions in Creating Livelihood Options for Youth while Adapting to Climate Change: Lessons from an Environmental Entrepreneurship Project, Tigray, Ethiopia

Presenter's country

Ethiopia

Start Date

27-5-2016 2:35 PM

End Date

27-5-2016 3:40 PM

Location

Hall II

Submission type

Presentation

Abstract

With agriculture dominant economy, shortage of farming land and low level of urbanization, rural unemployment remained a challenge among youth in the highlands of Ethiopia. Understanding this situation, the Tigray Youth Association (TYA) designed a project called Environmental Entrepreneurship that received funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This five-year project aimed to provide livelihood options to about 20,000 landless youth including women while ensuring environmental sustainability. As an implementation approach, the project pilots certain activities in selected four woredas on rehabilitated hillsides by organizing eligible and interested youth in Self Help Groups (SHGs).

The objective of this paper is to understand the importance and role of socioeconomic institutions, in this case SHGs, in providing livelihood options and adapting to climate change. The paper presents results based on project progress reports, site observations and discussions with relevant stakeholders. The result of the assessment revealed that SHGs are viable vehicles to enable youth benefit from local development initiatives. After the project was able to get land on rehabilitated hillsides allocated for SHGs’, several successful income generation activities, including fattening through cut and carrying system, production of honey, fruits, vegetables and seedlings were practiced. It was noted that some SHGs became productive micro-entrepreneurs and acted as demonstration spots for those around them. In addition to immediate income generation, these activities brought about exposure to new skills and experiences, and built capacity of youth and women to discuss on existing problems and devise strategies for climate change adaptation at local level. Moreover, focusing on SHG participation and local resources availability, important obstacles to local socioeconomic institutions and livelihood opportunities are identified. The pilot project showed the need for strong and relevant extension system to facilitate SHG formation and local resources based livelihood options. Success story of the project serves as an evidence for decision makers to promote similar initiatives.

Keywords

Youth, Self-help groups, Livelihood and Climate change adaptation

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May 27th, 2:35 PM May 27th, 3:40 PM

The Role of Small Socioeconomic Institutions in Creating Livelihood Options for Youth while Adapting to Climate Change: Lessons from an Environmental Entrepreneurship Project, Tigray, Ethiopia

Hall II

With agriculture dominant economy, shortage of farming land and low level of urbanization, rural unemployment remained a challenge among youth in the highlands of Ethiopia. Understanding this situation, the Tigray Youth Association (TYA) designed a project called Environmental Entrepreneurship that received funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This five-year project aimed to provide livelihood options to about 20,000 landless youth including women while ensuring environmental sustainability. As an implementation approach, the project pilots certain activities in selected four woredas on rehabilitated hillsides by organizing eligible and interested youth in Self Help Groups (SHGs).

The objective of this paper is to understand the importance and role of socioeconomic institutions, in this case SHGs, in providing livelihood options and adapting to climate change. The paper presents results based on project progress reports, site observations and discussions with relevant stakeholders. The result of the assessment revealed that SHGs are viable vehicles to enable youth benefit from local development initiatives. After the project was able to get land on rehabilitated hillsides allocated for SHGs’, several successful income generation activities, including fattening through cut and carrying system, production of honey, fruits, vegetables and seedlings were practiced. It was noted that some SHGs became productive micro-entrepreneurs and acted as demonstration spots for those around them. In addition to immediate income generation, these activities brought about exposure to new skills and experiences, and built capacity of youth and women to discuss on existing problems and devise strategies for climate change adaptation at local level. Moreover, focusing on SHG participation and local resources availability, important obstacles to local socioeconomic institutions and livelihood opportunities are identified. The pilot project showed the need for strong and relevant extension system to facilitate SHG formation and local resources based livelihood options. Success story of the project serves as an evidence for decision makers to promote similar initiatives.