Koisha Smallholder Wealth Creation Program
SOS Sahel Ethiopia began its first operation in Ethiopia in the Koisha district of the Southern Nations and Nationalities People's Region (SNNPR) in 1989. As part of the Koisha Smallholder Wealth Creation Program, training on the Farmer Led Integrated Watershed Management (FLIWN) approach was provided for regional and local government departments.
The program created gender and HIV/AIDS sensitive seasonal employment, then known as Employment Based Safety Net (EBSN,) for vulnerable households.
The program also enabled small farm households to increase agricultural production of high-value crops, to generate alternative sources of income, and to improve their access to water.
Furthermore, the Koisha Smallholder Wealth Creation Program piloted and supported the institutionalization of social protection mechanisms through various associations. As a result, the majority of smallholder farmers have diversified their farm income.
In keeping with SOS Sahel Ethiopia's core values, lessons on farmers' soil fertility management in Koisha, and the effectiveness of poverty reduction schemes have been documented, published and disseminated within the country.
Food Security Capacity Enhancement Programme
The Food Security Capacity Enhancement Programme built the capacity of decentralized government structures in order to respond effectively to local needs and to strengthen the ability of local communities to manage their own development initiatives.
Key impacts of the program were:
- the strenghtening of local partners' capacity to implement Productive Safety Net Programmes
- the improvment of agricultural productivity, the diversification and the increase of incomes from on-farm and off-farm activities
- the development of local social protection mechanisms and best-practices in food security programming
Community Initiative Promotion, Kafa Development Programme
Through the Community Initiative Promotion (CIP) Programe, SOS Sahel Ethiopia piloted and developed alternative development models on how best to work in parntership with multiple actors namely NGOs, community institutions, the private sector, and the government.
The CIP has enhanced the social and economic status of women, and addressed the social exclusion of marginalized groups by enabling discriminated groups to fully engage in local development.
Borana Collaborative Forest Management Project
The Borana Collaborative Forest Management Project (BCFMP) was one of the first Collaborative Forest Management activities which succeeded in putting the community at the centre of natural resource management. The BCFMP worked in partnership with regional and local government departments, as well as the traditional Borana Gadda institutions.
The BCFMP helped transform conventional, government-led natural forest management into a Participatory Forest Management (PFM) approach, enabling local people to secure their resource rights. For the local communtities, involvement in the PFM process was their first real experience of ownership of a development process.
PFM has become a strong incentive for the local people to protect the forest on which their livelihoods depend.
A PFM manual developed by the programme was adopted by Ethiopia's regional and federal governments. In addition, SOS Sahel Ethiopia and FARM-Africa, in collaboration with other stakeholders, organized an International Conference on Participatory Forest Management, Biodiversity and Rural Livelihoods in Africa in March 2007 which brought together prominent figures from academic, development and policy circles in Africa.
The BCFMP has made a significant contribution to changing the view that pastoralism is damaging to the Ethiopian environment.
Pastoral Livelihood Initiative Drought Cycle Management
The Pastoral Livelihood Initiative Drought Cycle Management project was implemented in pastoral areas of both Oromia and Somali regional states in 2005.
The project built the capacities of a consortium of NGOs through training, field-based support and participatory pastoral resource mapping, problem identification and analysis.
NGOs which received support in these aspects included Save the Children US, Save the Children UK, Lay Volunteers International Association, Pastoralist Concern Association Ethiopia, Ogaden Welfare and Development Association and GAYO Pastoralist Development Initiative.
Gender and Pastoral Development Action Research Programme
The Gender and Pastoral Development Action Research Programme worked towards a better understanding of gender and manners in which to work with NGOs, government and partners to help communities make better decisions about their future, and encourage them to demand more from development service providers.
Implemented in four pastoral communities, some of the program's activities included:
- conducting youth forums
- women's enterprise training
- exchange and learning visits within the country
Smallholder Apiculture Development: Bee Products Trade Promotion Programme
The Smallholder Apiculture Development: Bee Products Trade Promotion Programme was born out of more than a decade of experience in Meket Woreda, Amhara Regional State, in developing technologies and participatory approaches to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.
The programme promoted the production of high quality bee and wax products, as well as the linkages of small producers to domestic and international markets.
The project organized and legally registered six beekeeper cooperatives, and one union was created and linked to credit facilities. Top-Bar hive technology were adapted for these coooperatives, which in turn dramatically improved honey production by reducing harvesting time and by increasing the quantity of honey traditionally produced (5-8 kg per hive) to 30-40 kg per hive.
High quality processing, packaging and transportation techniques have added value the the honey products, and the marketing cooperatives are proud owners of the Amar organic honey brand. Market surveys have shown there is a promising opportunity for Amar honey to become a valuable international export.