Current Projects

Project # One

Project title: Land and food security in Ethiopia’s transition to a democratic society: an informed dialogue and dissemination project to inform policy makers and the public

Duration: November 1st 2019 – October 31st 2020

Project description:

Ethiopia has undergone considerable changes in the course of the last three decades. Its population has more than doubled, pushing demands for consumer goods and food very high. On the other hand, the nation has witnessed significant economic and infrastructural expansion as well as the growth of urban centers and immense improvements in the provision of health and educational services, to mention just a few. However, all the progress in these respects have had their downside in terms of lack of inclusivity, respects of property and human rights, and fair distribution of benefits; and above all, in the form of great pressure on smallholder agricultural land that was marked by significant land acquisitions on various development related pretexts. Obviously, the two pronged pressure emanating from rapid population growth, on the one hand, and socioeconomic change, on the other, have made the intertwined issues of land, agriculture and food insecurity, important aspects of the country’s economic democratization that deserve to be publicly discussed with the objective of informing policy reform.

We have sufficient reason to believe that it is these activities of FSS in combination with the efforts of other likeminded actors, as well as internal and external pressure on the government, that finally led to the latter’s acceptance of the important landmark in the gradual development of tenure security, namely, land certification that began in the early 2000s and is still going on in an improved manner.

  1. Goal and specific objectives

The goal/general objective of the project is to support the current reform that is unfolding in the country by conducting public dialogue forums the outputs of which are made available to leaders/policy makers, the public at large, and stakeholders such as donors through appropriate dissemination mechanisms.

The specific objectives of the project are to:

  • Contribute towards national policy reform on land, agriculture and food security through a series of national public dialogues forums, as well as Chatham-house style discussion between influential personalities and researchers;
  • Contribute towards regional policy reform on land, agriculture and food security in the three Regional States of Oromia, Amhara, and Tigray by stimulating discussion between their leaders and the citizenry through regional dialogue forums the outputs of which are well disseminated;
  • Bring the discussion on land, agriculture, and food security to all stakeholders through public discussion forum, radio transmission, website repository, social media, and print media including 4-pager policy briefs in multiple languages.
  1. Activities:

The major activities of the project are discrete public dialogue engagements and the dissemination of their outputs through broadcast and print media that are listed below:

  • Conduct six monthly national public dialogue events at which secondary material based papers on the following topics of concern will be presented and discussed to engage policy makers and the wider public through the media
    • Land Tenure: General assessment
    • Globalization, large-scale agricultural investments and their impacts on rural livelihoods
    • Women’s land rights and utilization
    • Land, landlessness, and rural youth
    • Pastoralist land rights and utilization
    • Land and food security
  • Conduct three regional public dialogues events, one each, in the national regional states of Oromia, Tigrai and Amhara on the topic “Major land, agriculture and food insecurity issues/concerns of the regional state and their solutions”, with the objective of influencing regional policy makers directly and stimulating the public to engage the latter similarly
  • Conduct two Chatham-house style round-table discussion meetings with some six to eight participants, including policy makers and reform advocates
  1. Disseminate the contents/outputs of the national and regional public dialogues, listed above under 1 and 2, through the following modes of communication
    • Nine national radio programs in Amharic (aired twice within two weeks) through which the nine national dialogue events will be reported
    • Three regional radio programs in Oromiffa, Amharic and Tigrigna (aired twice within two weeks) through which the results of the three regional dialogues will be disseminated
    • Nine proceedings that will be posted on the FSS website (that is to be upgraded as part of this project)
    • Nine 4-page policy briefs in English giving summaries of the proceedings, both in print (addressed to all partner/donor organizations) and posted on the website
    • Publication of the papers presented at the nine dialogue events in a single volume
    • In addition to the above, social media dissemination platforms are used whenever appropriate.

Project # Two

Project Title:   Governing Climate Mobility (GCM)

Time Frame:   2019-2022

Project partners: GCM is coordinated by the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) and implemented in collaboration among DIIS (Denmark), FSS (Ethiopia) and the Centre for Migration Studies (CMS), University of Ghana.

Funding: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of  Denmark through the Consultative Research Committee for Development

Research Theme: A Novel approach linking research on governance, climate change and mobility. It  examines how governance contexts influence mobility options and decisions in areas affected by climate change.

Research Focus: Governing Climate Mobility is a 4-years research program that investigates the role of governance contexts and interventions in shaping climate-related mobility. This may include various forms of migration, forced mobility, resettlement and forced immobility.

We do so through theoretically informed field-based research in two sites (in South Wollo Zone, Ahmahar and in West Arsi Zone, Oromia) affected by Climate change in Ethiopia.

The research project specifically examine:

  • Historical mobility patterns and their linkages to governance interventions and environmental change.
  • Current governance contexts and interventions and their influence on climate-related mobility. This includes a focus on both formal and informal across levels of governance, e.g. local, national and international.
  • Governance factors supporting adaptive climate-related mobility and limiting negative forms of climate-related mobility.

Sharing Results: We share results of GCM’s research through academic publication, mass media, policy publications and public seminars. We aim to produce innovative visual communication for broad audiences and when possible to make our outputs publicly available on our website.

Through field-based research, the programme seeks to produce knowledge that:

  • Works with the full diversity of mobility practices
  • Supports adaptive forms of climate mobility
  • Informs policy and practice on climate change and mobility

Read more and follow the programme at: www.diis.dk/GCM as well

Project # Three

Project Title: Land for Life-Initiative (LfL)

Project Duration:  2018-2023

Project Description

The Land for Life (LfL) Initiative is a cooperative project that is concerned with issue of land governance and policy with special focus onOromiaRegional State.  The project was launched on May 8, 2018 by the FSS and Welthungerhilfe(WHH) and is being implemented in the Oromia Regional State through a secretariat that is housed at FSS headquarters as well as  a strong Steering Committee established for the purpose.

Project Objective

This initiative is to contribute to the formulation and implementation of policies on land governance and agricultural investments that are consistent with international standards and in particular the human right to adequate food.

As a Multi Actor Partnership (MAP) project, LfL promotes spaces for dialogue and collaboration between all relevant actors, fostering the effective and meaningful participation of local communities and their representatives in particular.

A workshop held in same month (May 2018) reached out to various stakeholders, including regional policy makers, implementing government offices representatives of civil society organizations, the academia, and the private sector in Oromia Regional State. The purpose of the workshop was to exchange knowledge and experiences and foster multi-actor dialogue and collaboration on land governance. To that end, a series of small coffee meetings were also held at the beginning with key stakeholders to discuss the problems of, and the injustices inflicted on smallholder farmers, as result of lack of good governance in the region. Thus, from that exercise, a group of committed actors who can take the initiative further emerged. The group jointly assessed the land governance context, reached out to other actors and initiatives and set the stage for the co creation of an environment for multi actor dialogue and collaboration, which has come to be called the Core Group (CG). The rationale is to facilitate and increase information sharing and strengthen the synergy between programs and initiatives and thus jointly address the key land governance challenges.

The wider Land for Life-Initiative is a multi-country project implemented in four African countries (Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Liberia and Sierra Leone) being supported by Welthungerhilfe (WHH) and the German Ministry for Economic Collaboration and Development (BMZ).

Project # Four

Project Title: Evidence Based Capacity Development to Enhance the Participation of Women in Formal and Informal Decision Making

Project Duration: 2017-2021

Project Description

TheCAFOD, SCIAF and Trocaire(CST)/FSS project is a knowledge based capacity building project designed to support CST’s Women’s Social and Economic Empowerment Program (WSEEP), a five-year program currently being implemented in partnership with its local partner organizations since March 2017.

Project Objectives

The Women Empowerment programme aims at ensuring that women have a voice in decisions that affect their lives, within their homes, communities, and beyond, and that they are free from violence.

To this end, FSS has partnered with CST to play various roles in supporting partners with evidence based researches and capacity developing trainings. Specifically, the undertakings of FSS include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Conducting participatory researches that can identify and address cultural values and norms that either support or challenge women empowerment engagements,
  • Assessing the capacity of partner organizations and enhance their institutional capacity
  • Disseminating findings and relevant information through medias,
  • Carrying out dialogues and publishing best practices.

Project Activities

With the active collaboration of the local partners, FSS has so far accomplished the following main activities:

  • A baseline assessment to measure the timely track changes of the project
  • Action researches on status of women livelihood, cultural barriers to women empowerment, status of various household settings and realities of rural and urban women
  • 3 Capacity building trainings mostly on transformative gender approaches including transformative household strategies
  • 2 Dialogues on approaches related to social and economic empowerment
  • More than 20 nationwide weekly radio programs on women empowerment issues
  • 6 newspaper articles on core research findings on the Amharic Reporter Newspaper
  • 1 documentary film on the history of women right’s movement
  • A Publication on replicable good practices and learning outcomes of the project

The local partners of CST working hand in hand with FSS are Organization for Women in Self Employment (WISE), TimretLeHiwot (TLH), HUNDEE, Women Empowerment Action (WEA), Daughters of Charity (DoC) and Oromia Pastoralist Association (OPA). Their operation areas are located in Addis Ababa, Oromia, Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region and Tigray.