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Climatic and Environmental Challenges: Learning from the Horn of Africa

 | 
David Ambrosetti
, 
Jean-Renaud Boisserie
, 
Deresse Ayenachew
, 
et al.

Knowledge Management on Climate Change Adaptation

Analysis of Information Exchange Processes and Collaboration Networks in Rural Ethiopia

Maxi Domke et Jürgen Pretzsch

Note de l’auteur

This paper is based on a presentation at the conference “Road to Paris. Coping with Climate and Environment Change in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa” in Addis Ababa.

Maxi Domke gratefully acknowledges the invitation and funding for attending the conference by the French Centre for Ethiopian Studies (CFEE) and the French Embassy to Ethiopia.

Maxi Domke would like to thank the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) which are financially supporting her PhD studies in Ethiopia within the “Welcome to Africa” program.

Texte intégral

1Over recent centuries, people in regions of the Global South have found their own ways to adapt to changing climate conditions (Parotta & Agnoletti, 2012), partly complemented by scientific approaches and modern technologies. But the increasing complexity and dynamics of climate change demand more comprehensive and long-term solutions (Agrawal, 2010; Adger et al., 2009). Particularly in the Global South a changing climate has an accelerated impact on the livelihood situation and natural resources. According to the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) “Africa is one of the most vulnerable continents to climate change and climate variability […] aggravated by [...] low adaptive capacity. […] African farmers have developed […] options […] but such adaptations may not be sufficient for future changes of climate” (2007: 435). In regard to adaptation the IPCC further underlines the “adjustment in […] human systems in response to actual or expected climate stimuli” (ibid, 869).

2In this regard, the key role of human systems is the capacity for self-organization and learning (IPCC, 2007; Plummer/Armitage, 2007) deriving from social factors like trust, social networks and experiences (Folke et al., 2005). Communication is the process of exchanging information through a variety of devices to achieve mutual understanding (Leeuwis & van den Ban, 2004; Rogers & Kincaid, 1981). Analyzing networks can identify problematic relations and ensure that key groups are not marginalized (Reed et al., 2009). Understanding social barriers to adaptation, based on individual and cultural values, institutions and governance, is thus essential, but is still given little attention (Adger et al., 2009). One essential pre-condition to activate and strengthen social aspects of adaptation is the existence of a basic physical and social infrastructure. Rural areas are defined by a remote location, poorly developed basic infrastructure and limited integration in urban spheres. This determines the quality of lives in rural societies (Darr et al., 2014).

3This paper is part of an ongoing research project that investigates knowledge management within the process of climate change adaptation by looking into social, socio-economic and governance aspects. In the following, selected preliminary results from a survey in the Central Rift Valley in Ethiopia are presented. The local community’s situation is determined through perceived climate and environmental changes and the community’s applied coping mechanisms. Relevant actors and networks are identified to analyze information distribution and communication processes from district to household level. Challenges and opportunities for successful knowledge transfer are revealed through the individual perceptions of community members and institutional representatives. Finally idle potentials are determined that could facilitate knowledge transfer to enhance the adaptive capacity of local communities.

Ethiopia’s background on climate change and agricultural extension

4Ethiopia is on its way to becoming a regional player and partner for other parts in the world. It is a politically stable country in the Horn of Africa that attracts investors and has a high GDP growth rate of around 7% (CIA 2014). 83% of the country’s population lives in rural areas (CIA 2014) and depends on agriculture and natural resources, which are sensitive to climatic and environmental change. Forecasts indicate that Ethiopia will face a warming and a rainfall variability over the coming decades (Conway & Shipper, 2011; Funk et al., 2012). Countrywide a high number of ongoing activities and governmental campaigns on natural resource management are supported by international organizations. But a coordinated program on climate change is lacking due to unclear ownership and absence of coordination (Conway & Schipper, 2011). With the Climate Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) strategy (FDRE, 2011), the Ethiopian government aims to enhance the country’s adaptive capacity through various mitigation and adaptation measures. To implement the CRGE strategy Ethiopia’s government has to facilitate a social environment suitable for collective action across sectors and administrational levels. But the conditions at the grassroots level pose challenges due to a high pressure on land, traditions, and limited infrastructure and capacities.

5From a historical point of view, Dessalegn Rahmato (2009) states that in Ethiopia the farmers’ situation has not changed significantly during the three regimes over the last fifty years. During that time the state became almost the only active force in rural life; thus the gap between the public and private sphere, as well as the scope of action for independent initiatives has narrowed. The management of development is mostly one-way directed and the limited infrastructural networks are not sufficient for the scattered rural population, according to Dessalegn. People are closely interlinked with bureaucracy through all administrative levels. Hence, the governmental Development Agent (DA) as the key consultant for the farmers attracted attention. Different studies analyzed the DAs’ performance in disseminating technology (Gebru et al., 2012), agricultural education and technical competence (Melak & Negatu, 2012) and concluded with a lack of infrastructure, training, skills and capacity (Lemma & Hoffmann, 2007).

6The role and involvement of women have been analyzed in single studies (i.e. Pankhurst, 1992; Kassa, 1991) that present limitations of women’s rights and their disadvantages in decision making due to the clear division of work and social roles. Dessalegn (1991) emphasized the importance and effectiveness of informal women’s support groups for securing their livelihood.

Methodology

Research concept and study design

7Stakeholders’ intentions and actions are influenced by their knowledge system which is comprised of epistemology (worldview, culture), institutional arrangements and social capital (social networks, power structures), and individual human capital and behavior (expertise/practices, motivation). The interlinkage between various knowledge systems generates knowledge and communication between relevant stakeholders (Fig. 1). These component systems are not isolated but rather overlap and interact with each other. Besides socio-cultural and individual components, external factors (environmental impacts, infrastructure, policy) can also influence the processes within the systems.

Fig. 1: Conceptual framework of knowledge systematics within climate change adaptation

Fig. 1:  Conceptual framework of knowledge systematics within climate change adaptation

Own compilation based on Röling & Jiggins, 2000, Rogers, 2003, Leeuwis & van den Ban 2004, Berkes 2012.

8As part of this overall research, the present study explores and investigates parameters that characterize and affect knowledge processes. It focuses on information exchange and communication facilitation between social entities tackling issues relevant for climate change adaptation. The qualitative and exploratory character of this research required a case study approach involving analysis of real-life events where boundaries are not clearly evident (Yin, 2009).

  • 1 The rural Kebele represents the lowest administrational unit in Ethiopia that encompasses different (...)

9An analysis of the situation, stakeholder system and social networks was conducted at local level with the district (Woreda) and village groups (Kebele1) as main units of analysis. The selection was done by judgmental sampling on the basis of consultation with scientists, staff of governmental institutions and non-governmental organizations. Selection criteria were: (1) vulnerability to climate change (sensitivity to hazards, i.e. droughts, rain-dependent areas), (2) differences in the activities related to climate change adaptation (high and low), (3) presence of a diverse stakeholder pool (governmental, research, civil-society organizations, NGOs), (4) optimal accessibility and feasibility given the available study time.

Study site

10The selected Woreda Adami Tulu Jido Kombolcha Woreda (ATJK) is located in the East Shewa Zone, Oromia Regional State in the Central Rift Valley (CRV) (Fig. 2). Ranging in attitude between 1500 and 2300 m, the Woreda lies in the Weyna Dega agro-ecological zone and has an average annual rainfall of 600-800mm (Oromiyaa.com; Interview with the Natural Resource Department, Woreda Office of Agriculture, Adami Tulu Jido Kombolcha, 27.11.2014). Farming is the main economic activity and food source but only started in the 1950s, after the people turned from a purely pastoral lifestyle to agro-pastoralism (Regassa et al., 2010). The Woreda is densely populated with 100 persons/sq m (FDRE, 2007; Oromiyaa.com). Despite a mixture of rain-fed and irrigated farming (Shiferaw, 2008) most areas are dependent on the two rainy seasons (short: February to April; long: June to September). This leads to the identification of ATJK Woreda as a nutrition hotspot that is highly affected by food insecurity (UNOCHA, 2015). 22 Kebeles out of 43 in ATJK are supported by the Safety Net program (Interview with the Woreda Office of Education, Adami Tulu Jido Kombolcha, 27.11.2014). Previous studies have stated that the CRV and ATJK area is highly affected by climatic change in the form of erratic rainfall and extended droughts (Regassa et al., 2010).

Fig. 2: Selected study site in Ethiopia

Fig. 2: Selected study site in Ethiopia

Data collection and analysis

11According to the case study requirements of a research approach with multiple sources of validity (Yin, 2009), participatory tools were used namely semi-structured questionnaires and group discussions with community members at the village site (micro level) and key-person interviews with representatives from governmental and non-governmental institutions at the Woreda (meso level). Open questions made it possible to gather contextual information about in situ aspects. Personal observations served to support or question the results of the survey. The data were collected in 2014 in three selected Kebeles: Kermo Gerbi, Korme Bujure, and Suro Kudusa. Eleven key informant interviews with representatives from governmental and non-governmental organizations were conducted at the Woreda and Kebele level. 77 semi-structured questionnaires were conducted with community members from different households, 35 with women and 42 with men of various ages. A balanced sample of gender and age made it possible to reach more marginalized groups. Not all 77 respondents answered all questions and some gave multiple answers. Therefore in the assessment the range of the data basis changed slightly.

Tab. 1: Overview of Population and Selected Respondent for the Survey

Kebele

Population

HH

Respondents

% HH

Kermo Gerbi

2665
(m: 1345, f: 1320)

410

28
(m: 15, f: 13)

6.8%

Korme Bujure

4515
(m: 2248, f: 2267)

686

24
(m: 14, f: 10)

4.4%

group discussion: 6 women

Suro Kudusa

4693
(m: 2508, f: 2185)

620

25
(m: 13, f: 12)

4.0%

Source: Kebele Administrations 2014.

12To capture the complexity of the local context, data were analyzed both through qualitative content analysis and through a quantitative data assessment using SPSS and Excel. The answers to non-standardized questions were summarized in categories. This combination served to define the local situation, and to detect and explain coherences and dependencies.

Limitations of the study

13Obstacles to this kind of study can be misunderstandings in questions and responses due to cultural differences and language problems. A local translator was assigned who is not part of institutions working particularly in this area. Assigning a local person as translator on one hand facilitates access to the local population but on the other hand can also lead to a loss of data if the translation in both directions is not complete (due to unspoken mutual understanding on the part of the speaker and translator). Approaching community members of all ages and both genders also means including people that are more marginalized and are not able to respond to all questions because of not knowing or not understanding particular aspects. Interviews on interpersonal and social matters can lead to answers that may reflect social desirability rather than the actual situation because the respondents may potentially expect benefits or fear disadvantages from their answers. Even though the anonymity and confidentially of the respondents and their answers were emphasized, the environment where the study was conducted might influence the scope of disclosure, as most activities within the Kebele are inevitably observed and recognized by other villagers.

Results of the case study analysis in Adami Tulu Jido Kombolcha Woreda

Knowledge and activities of climate change adaptation at the community level

14The three main weather irregularities mentioned by the communities are: shortage of rain (33.8%), variation of rain (25.6%) and the lack of rain or droughts (32.8%). The major environmental changes are considered to be forest and vegetation loss (66.7%) and soil degradation (24.1%). Consequently, three-quarters of the respondents see deforestation as main driver for these changes, which is related to tree cutting without further specification, expansion of agriculture and mainly through the use of wood for construction material, making and selling charcoal and firewood, as shown below (Fig. 3).

Fig. 3: Causes for Weather and Environmental Changes Mentioned by Community Members in the Kebeles Kermo Gerbi, Korme Bujure, and Suro Kudusa

Fig. 3: Causes for Weather and Environmental Changes Mentioned by Community Members in the Kebeles Kermo Gerbi, Korme Bujure, and Suro Kudusa

Survey 2014.

15Communities are aware of the basic causes of environmental degradation. One noteworthy answer by the farmers is to explain the shortage of rain by the loss of forest. This interlinkage is not scientifically proven. A local researcher who worked as consultant in this Woreda explained that this explanation is promulgated by the government with the aim of preventing tree cutting by linking this target with what the people don’t want to lose – the rain (Interview 24.11.14).

16Government entities are the main provider of information related to climate change (Fig. 4). Almost 40% of the community members got their knowledge primarily from Woreda staff members, called Woreda Experts by the people, and to a small degree from DAs and the Peasant Association (PA). Some farmers mentioned directly the trainings on soil and water conservation activities that are led mainly by Woreda Experts once a year (Tab. 2). One-third gained their knowledge through the own experiences and observations. Non-governmental organizations (NGO) and schools are the knowledge source for one-quarter of the respondents. The community (family, elders, group leader) plays only a minor role for this type of information.

Fig. 4 and Tab. 2: Knowledge source for weather and environmental change related issue of community members in the Kebeles Kermo Gerbi, Korme Bujure, Suro Kudusa

Fig. 4 and Tab. 2: Knowledge source for weather and environmental change related issue of community members in the Kebeles Kermo Gerbi, Korme Bujure, Suro Kudusa

Government entities

%

Woreda experts

25%

Development agent

7%

Peasant association

6%

Total

38%

17To cope with the negative effects of a changing climate and environment, to secure their livelihood almost one-third of the respondents sell their cattle, followed by the decision to leave their home by almost one out of four (Fig. 5). Community members migrate seasonally to town for a job or to another Kebele to live with relatives and receive foodcrops. Two active counter-measures that are applied are the use of improved seeds and fertilizer to enhance agricultural production, and the planting of trees provided by the government to decrease soil erosion. These measures are chosen by only one out of five. Explanations given for this by the farmers are the high price of improved seeds and fertilizer as well as the low survival rate of trees due to shortage of water. The trees are mainly planted at the homesteads in order to better protect them from goats and to make it easier access in order to water them.

Fig. 5: Coping mechanisms adopted to secure the livelihood of community members in the Kebeles Kermo Gerbi, Korme Bujure, Suro Kudusa

Fig. 5: Coping mechanisms adopted to secure the livelihood of community members in the Kebeles Kermo Gerbi, Korme Bujure, Suro Kudusa

Survey 2014.

18A small number of respondents mentioned steps to be taken in a broader and communal sense through education, rules and soil and water conservation activities.

Information networks and socio-economic aspects

19The daily information network for issues related to livelihood differs from the above-mentioned source for knowledge on climate change-related topics. It is dominated by community actors (more than 55%). Primarily the group leader or, if there is one, the cooperative leader is the main source of information, followed by neighbors and family members. Government entities cover one-third, almost equally distributed between Woreda Experts, DAs and PA. Meetings are conducted mainly at the the Kebele office and the Farmers’ Training Centers, seldom at the Woreda town.

Fig. 6: Dominant information sources on daily livelihood related issues for community members in the Kebeles Kermo Gerbi, Korme Bujure, Suro Kudusa

Fig. 6: Dominant information sources on daily livelihood related issues for community members in the Kebeles Kermo Gerbi, Korme Bujure, Suro Kudusa

Survey 2014.

20When we consider the gender variable, these results show an unbalanced access to information from institutional entities. Only 20% of the women receive information on livelihood issues from formal entities compared to 66% of the men.

Fig. 7: Dominant information sources according to gender in the Kebeles Kermo Gerbi, Korme Bujure, Suro Kudusa

Fig. 7: Dominant information sources according to gender in the Kebeles Kermo Gerbi, Korme Bujure, Suro Kudusa

21Reasons given for the domination of community information networks among women, as indicated by the survey and by observations, are their role in the society and their duties which keep them at home and prevent them from attending meetings at the Peasant Association. Young women in particular mention being afraid to speak up in meetings, and particularly to men. Market days and trips for fetching water are another context involving primarily meetings among community members.

22Besides personal contacts, cellphones are the main means of communication for half of the respondents (49.4%). But dividing the group according to gender, the imbalance it shown as among the group of men more than three-quarters of them use cellphones and among the group of women it is less than 20% (Fig. 8a). The women’s own explanations for this pattern reveal three main reasons, that are additionally confirmed by a women group leader in Korme Bujure: (1) no money to buy a cellphone – a financial constraint that also applies to men; (2) the husband does not allow his wife to use a cellphone for fear of her talking to other men – a cultural constraint; (3) no knowledge of how to use the cellphone – illiteracy.

Fig. 8a and 8b: Cellphone Access and Education Level of Women and Men in the Kebeles

Fig. 8a and 8b: Cellphone Access and Education Level of Women and Men in the Kebeles

Image 100000000000018A00000134807A938E.png

Survey 2014.

23The large majority of the women are illiterate. Particularly young men have a higher level of education. Primary school enrollment in the three selected Kebeles is altogether 929, which is quite low considering that 51% of the population in ATJK is under 10 years old (FDRE 2007), i.e. 6055 children in the three Kebeles. Nevertheless the gender distribution of the schoolchildren is equally balanced (Interview with the Woreda Office of Education, Adami Tulu Jido Kombolcha, 27.11.2014).

24Infrastructural conditions determine the access to information in large, part as respondents and observations reveal. Scattered homes and far distances make it difficult to regularly visit towns, schools and Farmers’ Training Centers. The situation is aggravated by non-existent or damaged roads and the expansion of gullies. This situation and the lack of money limit the use of media like cellphones and radio. A trip into town is necessary to buy the devices, to buy phone credit as well as to charge and buy the batteries because of lack of electricity at the village level.

25People also complain that the lack of sanitation, health facilities, and clean water enhances the risks of disease that hinder children from going to school and adults from attending meetings.

Agricultural extension and collaboration structures

26The agricultural extension system (agricultural consultancy) reflects the above mentioned information networks. Explanations by the community members and stakeholders from the governmental and non-governmental organizations reveal that this is organized as a multi-level governance system (Fig. 9). It is dominated by governmental entities that are directly linked to the Kebele level.

Fig. 9: Structure of agricultural extension and interaction in Ethiopia

Fig. 9: Structure of agricultural extension and interaction in Ethiopia

Own compilation, fieldwork 2013, 2014.

27The dissemination of information down to the community level proceeds from the Woreda offices through the DA to the PA. The usage of the term PA and Kebele in the studied Woreda shows that the two are closely interlinked and even interwoven. The majority of the household heads are members of the PA. There are regular meetings at the Farmers’ Training Center or PA office every one or two months, but in fact, information is passed to the households continuously. The Kebeles are subdivided into zones and household units. Community members assume the role of zone leaders who pass the information to a number of group leaders who in turn pass the information to a smaller group of farmers. An established mechanism is the system of 1-to-30 and 1-to-5 groups – one person is the linkage to either 30 or 5 people. Some Kebeles have a particular female group leader who is the link between the PA and the women in the community. Through this structure scattered homes can be reached. But the system is unstable as it depends on individual persons and simple face-to-face communication. As the survey reveals, information arrives late or does not reach the household at all because no one is at home when the group leader visits the house and because of the lack of phone credit and mobile network when attempting to pass the information by phone.

28The DAs, employed by the Woreda and working in the Kebeles, are the advisors to the farmers and are in charge of trainings at the Farmers’ Training Centers. In the ATJK Woreda 104 DAs are employed for 43 Kebeles – two to three per Kebele, covering the areas of Plant Sciences, Natural Resources and Animal Sciences (Interview with the Natural Resource Department, Woreda Office of Agriculture, Adami Tulu Jido Kombolcha, 27.11.2014). The majority of the DAs (87.5%) are male. During interviews with key person in the selected Kebeles the DAs requested more logistics (i.e. transport facilities to access distant Kebeles), financial compensation (i.e. phone credit) and trainings (i.e. on climate change-related topics). Observations reveal that the Farmers’ Training Centers are not sufficiently equipped: no telephones, no teaching materials or shelves with relevant literature, and, if at all, only hand-drawn maps of the area.

29Interaction between the communities and NGOs is determined by governmental plans and actions. The collaboration and exchange of expertise among different NGOs is limited and is guided by the zonal and district government, according to interviews with representatives of three local NGOs (SEDA - Sustainable Environment and Development Action, Vision, WaSuPA – Water Supply Project for ATJK) working on environmental issues in the Woreda. The local government has the mandate to control the respective implementation areas to prevent overlapping in the work of different NGOs. The cooperation between civic and government entities primarily covers administrative issues like submitting annual and quarterly plans as well as monitoring visits and is based on a formal written agreement. None of the three organizations has a continuous linkage with the nearby research institute; the connection is limited to occasional contacts for trainings and advice. Two of the NGO representatives see a need for more collaboration and sharing of information among themselves. According to one, this should be supported by the government. But they criticize the low capacity of the Woreda to provide sufficient and up-to-date information due to a lack of documentation and computerization. The limited capacities and skills of Woreda staff for agricultural consultancy were observed in Korme Bujure where a women’s training was held (Photo 1). Even though the majority of the women are illiterate, they were handed out written materials and were taught with text on a flip chart.

Photo 1: Training of women in Korme Bujure

Photo 1: Training of women in Korme Bujure

Fieldwork, 2014.

Discussion

30In the case study area, the residents have awareness and basic knowledge of the causes of weather and environmental changes in their area. But the information pool on climate change processes at the local level is still very basic considering that the topic has been on the national agenda and part of the CRGE in Ethiopia for the last five years. The term climate change is not used much at the local level, and farmers do not clearly distinguish between causes and consequences with regard to weather and environmental changes. Information related to climate and degradation of natural resources is provided only once a year for the communal activity of soil management and water construction – a governmental campaign. But the knowledge the farmers gain is partially not taught by the stakeholders in the right way, as the people think that good forest management induces rain which is not scientifically proven.

31Even though officials and community members emphasize that tree cutting is not allowed, the ongoing expansion of agriculture is still a process that requires empty fields. Agroforestry is not an applied technique. The capacity to adjust to soil degradation and production is very low. By leaving the homestead and selling cattle as most farmers do, the farmers take a drastic step and thereby destabilize their livelihood and partly lose their culture. This extreme situation may well be aggravated by rapid population growth and the lack of a local agricultural tradition compared to other parts of Ethiopia. As findings show, in this situation, the agricultural extension service does not provide sufficient technology and assistance in developing adaptation measures regarding how to deal with climate change on the household level. The distributed tree seedling are not planted in the fields to stabilize the soil for crops. Dependence on improved seeds and fertilizer is insecure due to the volatile availability and high prices. There is the possibility of connecting with other areas in Ethiopia to transfer knowledge and share lessons learned. The situation needs a more flexible communication and knowledge sharing environment as well as better infrastructural capacities.

32The farmers and their families trust and follow the governmental extension service despite some complaints of unacknowledged requests and delay in delivery of materials. A reason might be that governmental entities are the most dominant and visible in the system, as it has always been through history. Self-initiative and self-organization is marginal. Community members and even NGOs see the legal power and duty to initiate actions and programs as lying with the government, the PA or the Woreda. As already shown by previous studies, the DA is not the main information source despite being the direct advisor to the community. NGOs also play only a weak role in the extension system and researchers are not even considered to be part of it. Cooperation and knowledge sharing between local non-governmental organizations without governmental involvement is rare even though the activities and targets are similar. But the local government as the main actor lacks the necessary capacity. More appropriate extension methods and materials are necessary to meet the communities’ needs and create an interactive and creative environment. All these factors limit learning and creation of knowledge. Granovetter’s theory of the “strength of weak ties” (1973) explains the importance of less intense and less frequently used weak ties that occur between qualitatively dissimilar stakeholders. These channels can offer access to a more diverse pool of information and knowledge (Prell et al., 2009) to enhance the creation and exchange of new ideas and inventions and building resources and capacities.

33Information flow within and out of the communities follows exclusively a hierarchical line and seems to be unstable and one-way, as it depends on individual persons and partly non-media-based communication over long distances. Also even though the number and importance of mobile phones is increasing, their use is faces financial, social and infrastructural barriers. Access to a diverse pool of information is limited and is determined by physical remoteness (distance to town), age (higher school attendance for young people) as well as gender and cultural aspects (role of women at the homestead). Women have limited access to information and have only a minor influence in decision making even though they play an important role in securing the livelihood. NGO workers promote women because of their better performance in the cooperatives and particularly in dealing with money and savings. Also women themselves see more responsibilities on them in their current situation, as a group discussion with the women reveals. Even though most respondents do not perceive a lack of communication and information provision for women, the results show them to be in a disadvantageous position. Illiteracy is still widespread among women, the majority are not able to use mobile phones and their duties keep them mostly at the homestead. Due to the male-dominated society women are too shy and insecure to discuss relevant issues within the PA or with DAs. The establishment of women’s groups is one effective mechanism of empowerment, as the female respondents and the NGOs admit.

Conclusion and outlook

34Success in coping with and adapting to climate change depends on the local context. This comprises a complex interlinkage of institutional, socio-economic, governance, social and infrastructural conditions and capacities that facilitates the scope of action. Limitations in accessing social networks and infrastructure determine directly the access to information and knowledge, the level of local participation, and the success of activities. Initial findings show that challenges occur in daily communication processes and that there are also idle potentials for broadening the scope of action and interchange.

35In the environmental context local institutions play an important role in structuring, shaping and mediating individual and collective action (Agrawal, 2010). They can act as a broker between different stakeholders and as intermediaries to bridge the gaps between knowledge systems. The study reveals the importance of stabilizing the collaboration between different actors within natural resource management to combine multiple dimensions of knowledge to overcome today’s challenges and lead to collective action. Hence, the focus has to be shifted to more conceptual and participatory actions if long-term learning effects are to be achieved. Furthermore a reliable infrastructure as well as skills and capacity have to be built to ensure an enduring knowledge flow and to initiate collective action.

36This exploratory work has interlinked various disciplines like environmental, social and political sciences to integrate research results into an overall context. It offers a foundation for further quantitative research to improve the management and sustainability of knowledge in the context of climate change adaptation.

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Notes

1 The rural Kebele represents the lowest administrational unit in Ethiopia that encompasses different villages. Sometimes it is also referred to as Peasant Association.

Table des illustrations

Titre Fig. 1: Conceptual framework of knowledge systematics within climate change adaptation
Légende Own compilation based on Röling & Jiggins, 2000, Rogers, 2003, Leeuwis & van den Ban 2004, Berkes 2012.
URL http://books.openedition.org/cfee/docannexe/image/427/img-1.png
Fichier image/png, 17k
Titre Fig. 2: Selected study site in Ethiopia
URL http://books.openedition.org/cfee/docannexe/image/427/img-2.png
Fichier image/png, 373k
Titre Fig. 3: Causes for Weather and Environmental Changes Mentioned by Community Members in the Kebeles Kermo Gerbi, Korme Bujure, and Suro Kudusa
Légende Survey 2014.
URL http://books.openedition.org/cfee/docannexe/image/427/img-3.png
Fichier image/png, 10k
Titre Fig. 4 and Tab. 2: Knowledge source for weather and environmental change related issue of community members in the Kebeles Kermo Gerbi, Korme Bujure, Suro Kudusa
URL http://books.openedition.org/cfee/docannexe/image/427/img-4.png
Fichier image/png, 7,9k
Titre Fig. 5: Coping mechanisms adopted to secure the livelihood of community members in the Kebeles Kermo Gerbi, Korme Bujure, Suro Kudusa
Légende Survey 2014.
URL http://books.openedition.org/cfee/docannexe/image/427/img-5.png
Fichier image/png, 12k
Titre Fig. 6: Dominant information sources on daily livelihood related issues for community members in the Kebeles Kermo Gerbi, Korme Bujure, Suro Kudusa
Légende Survey 2014.
URL http://books.openedition.org/cfee/docannexe/image/427/img-6.png
Fichier image/png, 10k
Titre Fig. 7: Dominant information sources according to gender in the Kebeles Kermo Gerbi, Korme Bujure, Suro Kudusa
URL http://books.openedition.org/cfee/docannexe/image/427/img-7.png
Fichier image/png, 7,8k
URL http://books.openedition.org/cfee/docannexe/image/427/img-8.png
Fichier image/png, 2,0k
Légende Survey 2014.
URL http://books.openedition.org/cfee/docannexe/image/427/img-9.png
Fichier image/png, 9,0k
Titre Fig. 8a and 8b: Cellphone Access and Education Level of Women and Men in the Kebeles
URL http://books.openedition.org/cfee/docannexe/image/427/img-10.png
Fichier image/png, 7,0k
URL http://books.openedition.org/cfee/docannexe/image/427/img-11.png
Fichier image/png, 8,2k
Titre Fig. 9: Structure of agricultural extension and interaction in Ethiopia
Légende Own compilation, fieldwork 2013, 2014.
URL http://books.openedition.org/cfee/docannexe/image/427/img-12.png
Fichier image/png, 24k
Titre Photo 1: Training of women in Korme Bujure
Légende Fieldwork, 2014.
URL http://books.openedition.org/cfee/docannexe/image/427/img-13.png
Fichier image/png, 2,5M

Auteurs

Corresponding author. Technische Universität Dresden, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Institute of International Forestry and Forest Products, Pienner Straße 7, 01737 Tharandt, Germany

Technische Universität Dresden, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Institute of International Forestry and Forest Products, Pienner Straße 7, 01737 Tharandt, Germany

© Centre français des études éthiopiennes, 2016

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