‘I Have Risen from the Place I Always Used to Be’: An Annotated Bibliography of the Ethiopian Iddir

69 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2020 Last revised: 24 Aug 2020

See all articles by Desalegn Amsalu

Desalegn Amsalu

Addis Ababa University

Laura Bisaillon

University of Toronto Scarborough

Yordanos Tiruneh

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: June 1, 2020


There has been much attention paid to the Ethiopian iddir over the last 60 years. We intend for this document to be useful to academics and their students, government/state organizations, non-governmental organisations (NGO), and people working in direct service with communities across Ethiopia. It is precisely because so much ink has been spilled documenting iddir that we hope this resource proves as useful to others as it has to us; enabling one and all to ‘see the forest for the trees’ in a dense, large and of course multilingual corpus of existing material. This is a synthetic overview of available scholarly, state and popular knowledge on the Ethiopian iddir. We arranged materials into three thematic groups. The first group showcases how iddir was referenced in historical and contemporary literatures. The first entry is from 1958. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first print reference to iddir. The second group documents how Ethiopians used iddir to insure social and health care expenses. The third group relates to how people used iddir for community development. There are case studies from across Ethiopia. Lengthiest annotations are those we deemed to connect centrally to iddir in health care financing, since this was our focus when we carried out fieldwork from which this bibliography emerges. We hand sorted and reviewed online material in Amharic and English. We read undergraduate work, graduate theses, state documents, NGO reports (domestic, African, and supranational), professional journals, and lay sources (newspaper). Scholars in health sciences (economics, interventions) and social sciences (anthropology, sociology) will find this compilation valuable. Bureaucrats in state/government and NGOs, who create, implement and uphold social and health policy, will benefit. Ethiopians wanting to contextualize their past and examine their ongoing collective efforts across time, space and place will find this document useful. Despite a long-standing and intensely documented record of scholarly, state and popular scrutiny of the iddir, there remain fertile avenues for future study. We conclude by suggesting six specific and do-able lines of investigation.

Keywords: Ethiopia, Health Care Financing, Iddir, Indigenous Knowledge, Social Development

Suggested Citation

Amsalu, Desalegn and Bisaillon, Laura and Tiruneh, Yordanos, ‘I Have Risen from the Place I Always Used to Be’: An Annotated Bibliography of the Ethiopian Iddir (June 1, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3662537 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3662537

Desalegn Amsalu

Addis Ababa University ( email )

Addis Ababa
0911867951 (Phone)
1176 (Fax)

Laura Bisaillon (Contact Author)

University of Toronto Scarborough ( email )

Department of Health and Society
1265 Military Trail
Toronto, Ontario M1C 1A4

HOME PAGE: http://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/healthsociety/laura-bisaillon

Yordanos Tiruneh

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics