Supporting Evidence-based Policy in Karamoja – the Pastoralism Policy and Practice workshop
on Thursday, 11 May 2017.
The need to develop better national and sub-national policies to support pastoralism and pastoralist areas is a major challenge in East Africa. The training course Pastoralism and Policy Options in East Africa has been developed and adapted in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Sudan, and the KRSU is now working with partners in Uganda to adapt the course for Karamoja. An initial validation workshop took place in April 2017, attended by 29 senior representatives of national and local government, Members of Parliament from Karamoja, traditional Karamojong leaders, universities and research institutes, UN agencies and civil society.
Over four days, participants sampled different training “taster” sessions from the course, and discussed their relevance to the Ugandan context. These sessions gave participants an opportunity to review their own knowledge and the scientific evidence about pastoralism in Uganda, particularly Karamoja, and with facilitation by the International Institute for Environment and Development. Even during this short workshop, there were significant shifts in participant’s views on issues such as the value of bush burning, adaptability of local livestock breeds, causes of conflict, and the productivity of pastoralism over commercial ranching, as well as greater optimism for a future for pastoralism.
Next steps are to establish a multi-stakeholder and multi-disciplinary reference group to guide the process of adaptation of the course, to start engaging with key universities to identify a suitable institutional home for the adaptation process, and establish an “Adaptation Team” to work with the KSRU.