Since 2005, Global Communities (formerly PCI) has built a strong reputation in Ethiopia for community-based, integrated programming to build resilience in the face of climate and conflict-related shocks. 

Ethiopia has been facing a greater frequency and intensity of disasters due to long-term environmental degradation and shifting global weather patterns, which are further exacerbated by climate change. The 2017 drought produced the worst food crisis in the country in 30 years. With no crops or rangeland to feed either themselves or their livestock, as many as 18 million people were at risk of hunger and disease. For the country’s pastoralists, who migrate their animal herds in search of fresh pasture and water, climate change has upended normal pasture growth patterns and led to substantially increased costs of scouting for pasture and supplemental feed when no pasture can be found. Hundreds of thousands of livestock have died from lack of food and water, leaving communities food insecure, malnourished and vulnerable.  

With experience working in six of the country’s nine regions and two administrative cities, a significant presence in vulnerable lowland regions, and strong programmatic expertise in resilience, sustainable development, health, gender equity and social inclusion, Global Communities is uniquely positioned to help communities address these ongoing and emerging crises.

Our innovative program platforms such as the AfriScout app, which combines satellite data and mobile technology to help pastoralists find pasture and water, and the Women Empowered social and economic empowerment model, are also leveraged across programs to meet these challenges. These innovative approaches are carefully integrated with customary institutions and proven grassroots approaches, leveraging indigenous knowledge and traditions. Throughout Ethiopia, we are dedicated to partnering with local governments and communities to manage uncertainties while addressing root causes of their hazards. 

Building Community Resilience in Pastoral Lowlands

With funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Ethiopia, Global Communities (formerly PCI) has embarked on a five-year initiative to improve resilience to withstand and recover from climate and conflict-related shocks in some of Ethiopia’s most vulnerable pastoral regions. Through the Resilience In Pastoral Areas (RIPA) project, Global Communities, in collaboration with implementing partners GOAL and iDE, is addressing many of the root causes of vulnerability for pastoral families, such as poor livestock and crop productivity, limited access to markets, poor nutrition and limited options for livelihood diversification. Through RIPA, Global Communities is building community-managed disaster risk management capacity, improving pastoralists’ ability to locate green pastures to sustain their herds through the AfriScout app, increasing access to livelihood opportunities for individuals transitioning out of pastoralism (particularly women and young people), empowering young women and mothers through Women Empowered social and economic empowerment groups, engaging the private sector to improve crop and livestock production and marketing, and improving health and nutrition outcomes for women and children through proven behavior change strategies. 

AfriScout: The Shepherd’s Eye in the Sky

AfriScout is revolutionizing the way pastoralists in Africa find pasture and water for their animals using the power of satellite and mobile technology. Developed by Global Communities (formerly PCI), the AfriScout app provides pastoralists with current information on water and vegetation conditions using localized community grazing maps. This data helps them make more accurate and cost-effective migration decisions, improve pasture management and reduce the risk of herd loss. AfriScout has mapped over 500,000 square kilometers of communal grazing lands in Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania and has more than 10,000 registered app users. 

10,000

registered AfriScout app users across Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania

4,500,000

hectares of rangeland digitized for use in the AfriScout app across 9 rangelands

$30,000+

U.S. dollars saved by 281 women in Women Empowered groups

62 kebele

Level Disaster Risk Management committees trained and taking steps towards more robust self-reliance (each kebele is around 20 smaller villages)

Recent Programs

Building Resilience to Climate-Related Shocks

From 2014 to 2018, Global Communities’ USAID-funded project in Bale Zone, Oromia, mobilized communities to build their long-term resilience to climate change and related shocks. Among other notable achievements, Project “REVIVE” regenerated over 18,000 hectares of land to protect natural resources and reduced by 60 percent the amount of time women and girls spend fetching water through the rehabilitation and construction of 84 water systems, which are benefiting over 83,000 new users. (closed in 2018)

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