Currently Onging

Project # One

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

Duration: 2017-2021


The CAFOD, 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.


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.


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.

Project # Two

Title:   Governing Climate Mobility (GCM)

Duration:   2019-2022

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 program 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 program at: as well

Project # Three

The State and Transformation of Female Wage Labor in Ethiopia: The Case of Textile/Garment, Floriculture, and Cafe & restaurant service Industries

DurationNovember 1st2020 – October 30th2022


Although the majority of Ethiopian women are still engaged in the informal sector, a large number of women are joining the formal labor market in recent years. The textile/garment, floriculture and the cafe & restaurant service sectors are the ones where women wage laborers are more visible. This trend is likely to continue with the expansion of the economy.

The increased participation of women in the labor market has several advantages not only for the women, but also for the country at large. It leads to women empowerment, child welfare at the household level, and faster national economic growth. However, there are challenges, which women low-skill laborers face including gender discrimination, unequal payment and low wage and unsafe working environment. In addition, as they continue to shoulder their traditional domestic responsibilities, their engagement in wage labor has increased their burden.

For the above reasons, research on the current state of FWL and the direction of its development on the fast growing industries of textile/garment, floriculture and cafe & restaurant service that permit the investigation of the urban and rural, the skill/semi-skilled and unskilled, the permanent and the casual, as well as the low-paid and the extremely low paid types is essential.

Furthermore, it is equally important to further discuss and elaborate the overall situation and direction of FWL, including the various aspects of the health (with special emphasis on covid-19), well-being and security of women engaged in wage labor by drawing on the findings of the research, in a series of round table events in which trade union leaders and activists, industrialists, relevant civil society and community leaders as well as women rights activists and policy makers participate; with the proviso that the outputs of the discussion events are disseminated through newspapers and broadcast media.

Goal and Specific Objectives

The first goal is to examine through a primary field-based research the current state and emerging trends of female wage labor, including the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, in the three industries of textile/garment, floriculture, cafe & restaurant service as well as the challenged faced by the workers both at the workplace and in their households and communities in order identify viable policy options;

The second is to further discuss and elaborate the overall situation and direction of FWL, including the various aspects of the health, well-being and security of women engaged in wage labor by drawing on the findings of the research and with additional inputs from relevant stakeholders.

In order to achieve the above stated broad goal, the project shall address nine specific objectives in each of the three industries of textile/garment, floriculture, and cafe & restaurant service.


FSS will undertake ten discreet activities in order to realize the objectives and goals stated above

Project # Four

Title: The Ethiopia Scenarios Project

Duration: February 1st 2021 – 28th February 2022.

The Ethiopia Scenarios Project is a joint civic initiative undertaken by FSS and the Society for International Development (SID). It aims at provoking wide-ranging conversations on the issues and challenges that Ethiopia and its citizens must face in the coming decades.

Cognizant of the impact of the dynamic global, economic, geostrategic, ecological, and sociocultural forces that are shaping the country and the region more generally, the partner organizations are convinced that the leadership and the citizens need to have a deep and knowledgeable appreciation of the forces at play and how they might be able to manage them best, and to understand the possible trajectories that such forces might take and their implications for the country.

The major activities of the project as well as the modalities of their implementations are as follows:

  • The two parties convene and host all activities that are aimed at advancing the Ethiopia Scenarios Project in accordance with the project implementation plan drafted by SID. For the purpose of implementing the project, FSS has selected and formed a high-level team of experts drawn from the fields of history/socio-culture, political science, and economics (namely, Prof Bahru Zewde, Pro.f Kassahun Berhanu and Dr. Berhanu Denu) that will be supported by the Executive Director of the organization as well as all relevant staff.
  • The two parties are responsible for the choice of venues, logistics and invitation of key speakers and other participants to these events. In view of the ongoing corona virus pandemic, it is anticipated that all events shall be organized in virtual spaces or in exceptional cases, in in-person events at which all prescribed social distancing guidelines shall be applied and enforced.
  • FSS organizes, at the appropriate juncture of the project, media engagement and exposé of the project outcomes both through traditional and new media with a view to extending awareness of the outcomes of the Ethiopia Scenarios Project amongst the broader public and to helping build a broader constituency for the engagement around the issues raised.
  • Under guidance of SID, the parties make efforts to ensure the documentation of all and any events organized with a view to ensuring that the outcomes of the various activities and events are captured for posterity.
  • The two parties jointly own all existing and future intellectual property rights in materials produced under this Agreement. Furthermore, both parties agree to undertake all acts that may be necessary to give effect to this assignment.
  • FSS is responsible for the management of all financial transactions within the Ethiopian territory defraying payments to third parties involved.

Project # Five

Title: The Politics of Youth-Government interactions in Africa – Ethiopia

Duration:   2020-2021

Partners: Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) and Forum for Social Studies (FSS). The project is also implemented in Mozambique, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. It is coordinated by the CMI. 

Objectives: The main objective of the research project that is funded by the Research Council of Norway is to examine nature of interactions between youth and government in the post-1991 period in Ethiopia. The project is motivated by the need to find better ways to economically and politically empower the youth in Ethiopia and the other study countries which are characterized by political and economic fragility. By exploring regime-youth interactions and major policies addressing the young, the project aims at getting better insights into whether such policies actually empower the youth, or whether they bind them in patronage relationships and thereby reinforce marginalization. The specific objectives of the research project include – the political economy of youth employment schemes, youth representation and mobilization, and youth agency and protest.

Methods: Both primary and secondary data collection instruments will be employed for this project. Primary data will be collected in Addis Ababa and selected field sights in the regions.  In addition, documentary evidence including government policy and strategy documents, annual plans, reports, legislations, regulations, and other related documents will be used for the study.

Expected outputs: The research project will lead to the production of a working paper on youth-government interactions in Ethiopia since 1991 and also two reports (peer-reviewed articles) – one on the political economy of youth employment schemes and the second on youth representation and mobilizations. Moreover, there will be two policy briefs.