Cowater Selected to Implement Important Research Project to Support Livelihood Development News

22 January, 2020

January 2020:  Cowater International is pleased to announce that it has been selected to deliver a new action research project focused on supporting livelihoods in the world’s most vulnerable and conflict affected countries. The Supporting Pastoralism and Agriculture in Recurrent and Protracted Crises (SPARC) programme is a six-year (2020-2026) GBP 19.9 million (CAD 34.7 million) initiative, funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). This ambitious programme aims to address knowledge gaps and generate research to inform the next generation of policies, programmes, and technologies to promote resilience for pastoralists and agro-pastoralists in fragile and conflict affected states.

Pastoralism is an important economic driver in Africa and the Middle East with an estimated 296 million people engaged in pastoralist livelihoods. In fragile and conflict affected states, pastoralism is closely intertwined with conflict, transboundary migration, local economic activity, land tenure and environmental change. As conflicts accelerate in many countries, the importance of understanding the role of pastoralism in food and income security, as a driver of conflict, migration, in rangeland management and in rural development, is becoming more acute.

Together with our partners, the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and Mercy Corps, we will support action oriented research to understand how policy and programming can be better designed to support pastoralists, reduce conflicts and help identify other livelihood choices. As part of DFID’s and our commitment to gender equity, the initiative will seek to understand the gender dynamics involved in pastoralism. Engagement of women across the program will be maximized, particularly in terms of the type of research pursued and how it is conducted, to ensure women’s voices are heard.

Through this project, Cowater will continue to operate in some of the world’s most challenging environments, including in many countries in the Sahel.

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