Research Reports

EDRI Research Report 31

Building Resilience in Vulnerable Areas of Rural Ethiopia: Status, Gaps, Opportunities and Strategic Options

Despite the successive remarkable economic growth achieved in Ethiopia since 2005/6, the vulnerability of Ethiopia’s rural population to drought induced crisis situations still prevails, affecting around 12 million resource poor food insecure small holder farmers, agro-pastoralists and pastoralists. Towards overcoming this development problem, different concerned stakeholders including the government of Ethiopia (GoE) and its development partners have been implementing various interventions. However, poverty, malnutrition and vulnerability to crises still remain high in the country. The implication is that dealing with the root causes of vulnerabilities, rather than with their consequences, and working towards achieving long term food security at household level in Ethiopia are still a huge and complex task. 

Supporting resilience building is a long-term undertaking that requires strategies and programs designed to jointly address a set of multi-sectorial causes in order to generate multiple benefits. In this regard, development partners like EU has launched a resilience building program called EU-RESET in Ethiopia. The program is designed based on four cornerstones for building resilience including improving the provision of basic services, support to livelihoods, safety nets, and disaster risk reduction. Besides, it adopts a geographically-focused approach that covers most vulnerable cluster areas in five regional states of Ethiopia. With the aim of identifying feasible interventions to build resilience in vulnerable rural areas of the country, a detail situation analyses is made in a sample of these cluster areas. The study mainly uses detail field level qualitative data, supplemented by secondary quantitative data. We also made detail review of country’s policy and literature related to vulnerability and resilience. This report contains an executive summary of the analyses and, based on the findings of the situation analyses, proposed intervention options to build the resilience of vulnerable communities. Since the geographical areas covered in the study can represent almost all vulnerable rural areas of the country, the findings and intervention options suggested by the study can also be an input for policy makers and development partners to design interventions to build resilience in similar areas, with some adoptions to the specific features of their intervention areas. The study can also contribute to the limited empirical evidence on resilience building in vulnerable part of developing countries, particularly in Sub Saharan African countries

Alebel Bayrau (PhD),  Getnet Alemu, Tibebu Sado and Habtemariam Kasa


EDRI Research Report 30

Agricultural Water Management and Smallholder Rice Production in Ethiopia

The increasing rice production in Ethiopia has economic advantages to smallholder farmers, but the rainfall variability and shortage, which constrains yields, on the one hand, and the increasing import demand because of the incompetent lower quality local rice, on the other, are the existing challenges. Production under rainfall shortage and variability demands a corresponding advance in water-use to improve output and yield. These issues invite a closer look into an essential aspect of rice production called AWM. With the main objectives of exploring the categories of AWM in smallholder rice-producing areas and estimating the share of irrigated and rain-fed rice, and several other interesting objectives, this study used qualitative and quantitative primary data collected in 2014 from two regions for analysis. 

Mekonnen Bekele (PhD)


EDRI Research Report 29

Study on Industrial Park Development: Issues, Practices and Lessons for Ethiopia 

Despite remarkable economic growth over the last decade, Ethiopia has achieved little in terms of economic structural transformation.  The key constraints that hinder economic transformation are lack of capital, foreign exchange, knowledge, infrastructure and institutional constraints in delivering efficient services.  An economic growth model that focuses on high productivity sectors, especially the manufacturing and modern agriculture and services is imperative to maintain the growth performance of the economy and speedup structural transformation.

Alebel Bayrau, Mulu Gebreeyesus, Girum Abebe and Berihu Assefa


EDRI Research Report 28

Do Water Users Associations (WUAs) in Ethiopia have the capacity to sustain the use of irrigation schemes? Evidences from Central and Southern Ethiopia

Mekonnen Bekele Wakeyo 

The Ethiopian Economy is dominated by agriculture. Agriculture contributes about 42% of the GDP in 2012/13 (MoFED, 2013). It hosts about 85% of the rural population for employment, and it is also nearly 90% of the source of foreign currency. The main actors in this important sector are the smallholder farmers whose production and land share is more than 95%. Because agriculture is dependent on natural land and rainfall endowments, the natural calamities and risk associated with it (drought and moisture stress risks) and the traditional backward production technologies, among others, confront the Ethiopian smallholder Agriculture. On the top of this, the rural population is increasing and exerts pressure on land. The population pressure ends in expanding area into marginal lands and environmentally susceptible areas, which calls for intensification of agriculture. The climate risks and backward technologies for long time restricted Ethiopian agriculture to low yields, and the recent yield achievements has to be sustained to feed the growing population.

EDRI Research Report 27

A Study on Human Resource Management, Staff Turnover and Incentives in the National Agricultural Research System (NARS):

Afework GebreEyesus


EDRI Research Report 26

Adaptation Strategy Options for a Climate Resilient Production of Agricultural Export Commodities in Ethiopia:

Alebel B. Weldesilassie and Berihu Assefa

Adaptation assessments that include both top-down assessments of biophysical climate changes and bottom-up assessments of what makes people and natural systems vulnerable to those changes will help to deliver local solutions to globally derived risks. In addition, assessments that are linked more directly to particular decisions and that provide information tailored to facilitate the decision making process appear  to have most  consistently led to effective adaptation measures. 

EDRI Research Report 25

Value Chain Analyses for a Climate Resilient Production of Cotton and Sugarcane Commodities in Ethiopia:

Berihu Assefa, Mezgebe Mihretu and Alebel B. weldesilassie

Climate change poses threat to all economic actors though the degree of impact may vary from actor to actor or from activity to activity. Understanding the structure (i.e., roles, economic linkages and governance system) of the various economic players who are vertically integrated in input supply, production, distribution or consumption of a certain agricultural value chain is essential in the formulation of  an adaptation  strategy for building climate resilience in the agricultural sector. Good understanding of the roles, linkages and governance system among the different economic agents in the value chain of agricultural commodities helps not only to come up with an adaptation strategy but it is also essential to minimize the anticipated impacts of climate change on all the stakeholders and the most vulnerable societies. In this regard, the approach that has proved useful and consistent in understanding the roles, linkages and interactions among interdependent economic agents in a certain value chain is the value chain analysis (VCA).

EDRI Research Report 24

Vulnerability analyses of Climate Change Impact on Cotton and Sugarcane Commodities in Ethiopia:

Firew Bekele and Alebel B. Weldesilassie

We have studied the vulnerability of expected poverty empirically in sugarcane and cotton producing areas in the northern part of Ethiopia and in the rift valley. We have found out that a significant portion of households that are non-poor can actually fall back into poverty as households face variability in consumption. We also found that literacy rate has been important in reducing poverty by a much larger magnitude so much so that the average household where every eligible person is literate is not vulnerable.

EDRI Research Report 23

Productivity and Welfare Impact of Climate Change in Sugarcane and Cotton Producing Regions of Ethiopia:

Alebel B. Weldesilassie, Berihu Assefa and Adiam Hagos

Global temperatures are likely to increase by at least 2oC compared with pre-industrial levels by the end of this century. Besides, the intensity and frequency of extreme climatic conditions are expected to increase and the predictability of normal rainy seasons to decrease. As a result, poor countries with large rural economies that depend on agricultural exports may be negatively affected since agricultural export earnings may be jeopardised unless alternatives are sought for building the resilience of the sector to the anticipated climate change impacts. Not only that their export earning is under risk but also that climate change poses risk to actors along the value chain of the agricultural commodities though the impact on these actors varies with the extent of exposure as well as their sensitivity to the impact.

EDRI Research Report 22

The Ethiopian Insurance Industry and the Reinsurance Business’ Legal Environment:

Mezgebe Mihretu

The finance sector investment including insurance in general is characterized by high public interest. Companies are owned by a number of shareholders regardless of the size of the share by each holder. Citizens decide to relay their businesses with confidence that government can protect their interest. Having in place the legal and regulatory frameworks is crucial for the stability of the insurance industry and reinsurance market. The Ethiopian industry has existed long without it. Quantitative and qualitative data research and analysis reveal that awareness gap regarding reinsurance business circumstances persist on all management levels.

EDRI Research Report 21

Climate Modeling of the Impact of Climate Change on Sugarcane and Cotton for Project on ‘a Climate Resilient Production of Cotton and Sugar in Ethiopia:

AGeremew Sahilu Gebrie (PhD)s, Agizew Nigussie Engida (PhD)

The research carried out to determine the effect of climate change on the sugarcane and cotton growing areas namely Central Rift Valley region of Ethiopia (Wonji, Metehara…) and Northwestern Lowlands (Metema, Humera and Quara…) gives result on the expected changes and/or variability of key climatic parameters – rainfall and temperature. The following are the salient methodologies, findings and recommendations.

EDRI Research Report 20

Characteristics of Climate Change Risk, Vulnerability and Adaptation in Cotton and Sugarcane Producing Regions of Ethiopia:

Discussions from a household survey

Alebel Bayrau, Frew Bekele, Berihu Assefa, and Adiam Hagos

Climate change is a global concern mainly due to its effect on two parameters that affect the ecological setup particularly agriculture – increase in the average temperature and rainfall variability. Even though the agriculture sector as a whole is vulnerable to climate hazards including flood and drought, climate change poses a particular threat to certain agricultural commodities and social groups, due to difference in agro-ecology and heterogeneity in non – climate change drivers of vulnerability. This context specific nature of the impact of climate change calls for the need to identify adaptation options to build a climate resilient production of particular agricultural commodities and vulnerable groups.

EDRI Research Report 19



Alebel Bayrau Weldesilassie

Climate change poses risk to residents of cities by increasing the likelihood of their exposure to adverse effects such as flood and seasonal change in water availability. However, little is known about the impact of these adverse effects and their possible measures to adapt to the anticipated effects. The paper aims to fill the existing knowledge gap by identifying policy and institutional options to minimize the anticipated water mediated climate change impacts in non-coastal cities of Africa.


EDRI Research Report 18



Berihu Assefa, Abebaw Zerfu and Biruk Tekle 

It is well established that MSE development can create huge employment opportunities and hence reduce poverty. Ethiopia has launched various bold initiatives and development policies and plans to spur economic growth. Three major development plans have been executed so far, the last one being the ongoing Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP). The common and overarching objective of these development plans has been to ensure broad based economic growth.

EDRI Research Report 17 

An Institutional Assessment of the Cotton and Sugarcane Commodities in Ethiopia:

The Climate Change Perspective

Alebel Bayrau, Firew Bekele Berihu Assefa, and Mezgebe Mihiretu


Ethiopia’s vision is to become a middle income economy by 2025 by achieving an average annual economic growth of 10% through building a modern and productive agricultural sector, strengthening the industrial base and growing exports. However, evidences show that the country is most vulnerable to CC impacts. As a result, it envisaged to achieve its vision through economic growth that is resilient to CC and in line with the global shift towards low carbon society that results in no increase in emissions. Towards this, it has launched the green economy strategy in 2011 (EPA, 211).

EDRI Research Report 16 

Harnessing Climate Finance for Climate Protection and Sustainable Development in Africa

Aseffa Seyoum, Zenebe Gebreegziabher, Alemu Mekonnen, and Adane Tufa

So far Africa has benefited little from climate finance as compared to other continents with emerging economies. Climate projects are distributed unevenly across regions as well as among developing countries.

EDRI Research Report 15 

Climate Conventions and Africa/Ethiopia


Adane Tuffa, Alemu Mekonnen, Zenebe Gebreegziabher and Aseffa Seyoum

The African region is highly vulnerable to climate change due to its low level of development, structural rigidity, rain-fed agriculture, rampant natural resources degradation and depletion, land mismanagement, among others.

EDRI Research Report 14 

Carbon Markets and Mitigation Strategies for Africa/Ethiopia: Literature Review and the Way Forward

Zenebe Gebreegziabher Alemu Mekonnen Adane Tufa and Aseffa Seyoum

Climate change is a serious threat to Africa, in general, and sub-Saharan Africa, in particular, as it is expected to have significant economic, social, and environmental impacts. Although the region has the lowest average per capita greenhouse gases emission, it is particularly vulnerable to climate change because of its over dependence on rain-fed agriculture, compounded by factors such as widespread poverty and weak capacity to adapt.

EDRI Research Report 13  

Consumption, Saving, and Investment Behaviors of Successful Farmers in Ethiopia

Alebel Bayrau, Guush Berhane, Gebrehiwot Ageba, Tassew Woldehanna, Paul Dorosh, Fanaye Tadesse, Bethlehem Koru and Kibrom Tafere

Ethiopia’s economy has experienced rapid growth within the last seven years. Smallholder farmers have primarily contributed to this rapid economic growth. To motivate farmers and speed up the transformation of subsistence agriculture to more market-oriented production and hence reduce poverty, the Ethiopian government has been awarding farmers recognized as most successful in significantly improving their livelihoods since 2006



You may also be interested in our:

EDRI Research Report 12

EDRI Research Report 11

EDRI Research Report 10

EDRI Research Report 09

EDRI Research Report 08

EDRI Research Report 07

EDRI Research Report 06

EDRI Research Report 05

EDRI Research Report 04

EDRI Research Report 03

EDRI Research Report 02

EDRI Research Report 01



Cities and Agricultural Transformation in Ethiop…

Ethiopian Development Research Institute, Addis Ababa

Does purchase price matter on the use of energy …

Ethiopian Development Research Institute, Addis Ababa

Putting children first: Identifying solutions an…

Millennium Hall, Addis Ababa