Not Necessarily in the Same Boat: Heterogeneous Risk Assessment Among East African Pastoralists

Journal of Development Studies

Posted: 31 Jan 2001

See all articles by Christopher B. Barrett

Christopher B. Barrett

Cornell University - Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics & Management

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Abstract

The superficial homogeneity of pastoral populations in the east African rangelands has long prompted policies and projects based on stylized understandings of the threats facing these peoples. This paper uses the results of a participatory risk mapping exercise conducted among herders in the arid and semi-arid lands of southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya to show that quite predictable patterns of risk assessment exist within the broader group. Different groups - Men and women, rich and poor, those distant from or proximate to towns - articulate quite different concerns due to differences in objective exposure, subjective perception, ex ante mitigation capacity, and ex post coping capacity. Even relatively modest structural differences in economic activity patterns, agroclimatic conditions, proximity to towns, wealth, and gender roles lead to significant differences in risk assessment, with considerable implication for policies intended to relieve the daunting pressures these vulnerable populations face.

Note: This is a description of the paper and is not the actual abstract.

Suggested Citation

Barrett, Christopher B., Not Necessarily in the Same Boat: Heterogeneous Risk Assessment Among East African Pastoralists. Journal of Development Studies, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=257444

Christopher B. Barrett (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics & Management ( email )

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