Pastoralism, drought early warning and response

By Florian Sommer
ODI-Pastoral Development Network ; Livestock: Coping with Drought


The majority of current Early Warning Systems (EWS) are not capable of detecting drought stress on pastoralists nor capable of providing adequate information for intervention to support pastoralists during a drought.

This paper will identify the reasons for this failure and outline implications to make the early warning and response process more appropriate for the pastoral sector. A theoretical framework on ‘entitlements’ will be used for this purpose.

EWS need to put more emphasis on monitoring ‘determinants of entitlements’, such as markets, assets, rights and opportunities to change livelihoods, instead of monitoring only rainfall, vegetation and crop production. Decentralised early warning and response capacities have many more advantages for this purpose than centralised ones.

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