Building Resilience to Climate Change in Ethiopia


Start date: 1 April, 2019 End date: 31 March, 2024 Project type: Research projects in countries with extended development cooperation (earlier Window 1) Project code: 18-07-KU Countries: Ethiopia Thematic areas: Agricultural production, Climate change, Lead institution: University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark Partner institutions: Ethiopian Development Research Institute (EDRI), Ethiopia Project website: go to website (the site might be inactive) Project coordinator: Finn Tarp Total grant: 11,077,028 DKK

Project summary

This project is a collaborative research project between the Development Economics Research Group and the Ethiopian Development Research Institute. It will compare and evaluate the drivers of resilience to climate change examining actions taken at the household and village/district level. Moreover, the project will analyse the effects of large-scale interventions, including the Productive Safety Net Programme and the Sustainable Land Management Project.

The overall aim is to assist policy-makers in Ethiopia to identify resilience-promoting strategies that work the best. The novelty of the research lies in its ability to compare and assess different approaches to achieving climate change resilience in a consistent, and evidence-based framework. The three long-term objectives are to: 1) increase existing academic knowledge, 2) enhance local human and institutional capacity to analyse resilience, and 3) improve policies that lead to better living conditions for millions of farmers exposed to climate change.

Methodologically, the project approach is data-driven and uses both descriptive analysis and econometric techniques. We rely on existing nationally representative datasets and our own follow up survey specifically designed to identifying the drivers of resilience. The project has five work packages: 1) identifying resilient households, villages, or districts; 2) implementation of focused survey with a resilience-oriented sampling frame; 3) investigating the effects of local innovative actions on resilience, 4) studying the effects of participation in a productive social safety net (PSNP), and 5) analysing the role of sustainable land management projects.

Capacity building will include two PHD students from the economics department at Addis Ababa University (AAU) who will be enrolled and given supervision from both members of EDRI and DERG. They will also be offered extended research stays in Copenhagen.


Midterm report:
The project is progressing according to plan in terms of research outputs, capacity building, and outreach.

Two PhD students are enrolled under the project, and they are advancing in their studies at the University of Addis Abeba. They have contributed with data collection and co-authorships, and will study for a semester at the UCPH in the autumn of 2022.

The first round of a household survey consisting of 2,000 interviews across five regions, along with key informant interviews, was completed in early 2021. The sampling, planning, and implementation was enacted via online meetings and strong local commitment. Subsequently, a survey report with key findings was drafted and published on the project website.

At a public event in Addis Abeba in March 2022, the survey report was launched along with a broader debate on resilience to climate change in Ethiopia. Among the participants were representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, the director of PSI, and the Danish ambassador. The event received attention from several news media outlets including televised reports from the Ethiopian Press Agency and the Ethiopian News Agency.

Several academic papers have been published in international peer-reviewed journals, and a larger number is under preparation.

In the coming months, our Ethiopian colleagues will visit UCPH and participate in more conferences and seminars. Later, a second survey round will be conducted, and more papers and policy advice will be generated.

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