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Experts will include:. You will also learn first-hand about how to deal with high water levels, manage dikes, increase flood safety and address environmental concerns.


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This includes all training-related costs, as well as drinks, lunches, training materials and travel during the training programme. Travel to and from The Hague and accommodation is not included. Group discounts are available if you participate with three or more colleagues in this course.

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Email us for more information. The course language is English. Incomplete forms will be neither accepted nor considered in the selection process. Participants in our courses are predominantly funded by their own employer municipalities, Ministries, NGOs, and training or research institutes or by a donor or development agency.

If you are looking for additional funding opportunities, there are a few organisations you could approach.

About the Water Policy Group

Learn more. After submitting your completed application, you will receive a confirmation of your course registration and an invoice. Payments can be made by bank transfer or by PayPal. We offer the option of paying in one or two installments. However, your participation in the course is guaranteed only after receipt of full payment prior to the 4-week deadline. If no payment is received before that deadline, then your registration will automatically be cancelled. Some countries require a visa to enter the Netherlands. Please check with The Netherlands or the embassy for the visa requirements related to your country.

Because of the length of time needed for the visa procedure, we advise you start this process as soon as possible. The Hague Academy we will send you an acceptance letter which will assist you in arranging your visa, but only after we confirm your payment. Payments received before the deadline will be reimbursed. In the event that you cannot attend the course, it is possible to nominate a suitably qualified candidate to replace you without extra charge.

The Hague Academy for Local Governance reserves the right to cancel a course if the number of participants is insufficient or due to any other unforeseen circumstances.


  1. 1. Introduction;
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  5. Other costs such as transportation or hotel cannot be reimbursed. Learn more! The Hague Academy. Intended Audiences This course is intended for policymakers and technical staff of organisations responsible for water management at different levels. In the high rainfall areas, the target calls for 2. Unless there is a dramatic way to increase the number of technical experts in the next few years, the current skilled work force available will be spread too thinly to properly introduce, guide and monitor the activities in close contact with farming communities.

    Whether they will be able to undertake the training of other paraprofessionals or farmers to meet this target is not clear. In the rain deficit areas, the target set for soil and water conservation SWC and the estimated cost to the community and the Government are presented in Annex 1. A careful analysis of these targets and the cost involved Tables 4 to 9 reveal the following issues that have implication for capacity - building and disseminating innovation the farming population.

    A key issue here is that how the target set at the national level Table 5 is translated and implemented at the regional and community levels. Identical targets are set for the Tigraye, Amhare and Oromia regions for SWC activities ha for each region ; for ridge and furrow 62 ha for each region ; for contour ploughing ha ; for flood diversion 3 ha each region ; and for micro-basin 3 ha for each region see Tables Given that the three regions have vast differences in population size, land area, landscape and farming system, it is perplexing what criteria could possibly have been used to come up with such identical targets.

    This translates in per capita basis that allocation for Tigraye is about 4 to 6 times more than the other regions. Again, there was no indication in the document of any justification or criteria used in allocating public resources to the respective regions. As stated earlier, such community organization is lacking at present, perhaps with the exception of Tigraye, where positive development has been reported of community action on soil and water conservation self-help activities.

    It rightly sees rainwater harvesting as an integral part of agronomic practices and farming systems of the community. However, it does not state this fact. A major constraint to this plan and target is that most of the extension agents have agricultural background and need further training if they are to be effective in disseminating water-related messages and interventions. Even at the Federal level, there are serious shortage of water specialists to assist the increasing number of NGOs, which are requesting MoA technical assistance and advice in the field.

    There had been no adequate guidelines on the design and management of rainwater harvesting system previously. Thus, urgent consideration should be given to training new staff in rainwater harvesting for domestic and agricultural use as well as updating through short-term courses the capacity of existing extension agents. The various soil and water conservation activities included under the MoA Five-Year Plan implicitly suggests that soil conservation is seen as complimentary and an integral part of measures to enhance soil fertility, good agronomic practices, and water retention and harvesting.

    However, previous extension and research programmes have often pursued these activities separately and this should be clearly stated in the extension manual and training. There is growing recognition among experts and policy-makers in finding an economically viable option of using fertilizer in combination with other organic sources.

    As stated earlier, soil fertility enhancement will require a broader perspective than the increased use of fertilizer. This includes improved and vegetative soil and water conservation measures, use of local organic sources in combination with fertilizer, good agronomic practices and finding alternative sources of rural energy in order to bring manure back to the soil, and site-specific research involving farmers in the development of soil conservation and nutrient enhancement practices suitable to various agro-ecological zones and socioeconomic conditions.

    Lack of proper incentives and clearly defined property rights to land, forest and trees have often led to inefficient utilization of natural resources and degradation. The current Government is adamant in its belief that all land will remain in the public Government hand as in the previous regime. There is intense and ongoing debate on issue of land tenure and whether the public or freehold systems will be the best options to unleash the potential of smallholders and bring rural transformation.

    The challenge to the Government land policy comes not so much from outside, but within the country opposition parties, intellectuals, civil society organizations, etc. These issues will not be discussed here, as they are a subject of a detailed examination under a separate working paper on Land Tenure.

    Nevertheless, the issue of land tenure security is at the core of any discussions on incentive and property rights that are directly or indirectly linked to natural resources management. In the recent Rural Development Workshop that was jointly sponsored by the MRD and the World Bank and attended by very high Government officials, including the Prime Minister, there was a consensus that land tenure insecurity exists in smallholder agriculture.

    This is most likely to have an adverse impact on agricultural productivity and investment in land and natural resources management. Furthermore, there was a general recognition by the Government of this problem in various regions.

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    The Prime Minister also acknowledges such insecurity of tenure could exist, but sees no relationship with the current land policy, which in his view is not open for discussion. Regional administration seems to be actively taking it into their own hands to address the land tenure insecurity issues. The direction and action taken to address this problem differ in each region. However, effort at the Federal level to harmonize this would seem appropriate.


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    In this regard, bringing AEZs could be helpful in assisting the identification of the type of tenure system that would be suitable to the comparative advantage of areas in terms of its natural resources endowment and development potential. For example, AEZs that are suited for intensification of cereals, high value and cash crops requiring high inputs and commercial production of perishable and nonperishable crops could respond better to an incentive structure that has a well-defined property right and tenure system.

    On the other hand, the current tenure regime may be more appropriate in the sparsely populated lowland and pastoral areas where there is communal ownership or some of the mountain and per-humid areas, which are suited for forest, wildlife and perennial products. Appropriate policies and incentive mechanisms that would dramatically increase wood supply at farm and community level is central to addressing the fuelwood crisis.

    Agroforestery can help the need for fuelwood while at the same time serve as livestock feed, source of cash, and enhancing soil organic matter. There should also be greater emphasis on on-farm tree planting and targeting rural women to be increasingly involved in tree planting and receiving fair benefits in extension messages. Clear guidelines for tree ownership by individuals and community-based organizations could help in the development of the wasteland and degraded areas in the community. Private sector involvement has been discouraged in forest development and the role of commercial forestry has been insignificant due to state owned monopolies on markets for wood and wood products.

    Through appropriate incentive mechanism such as the provision of land tenure and tree ownership, private sector could contribute to substantial increase of wood supply in urban and near urban areas. There are also no clear guidelines and effective enforcing mechanisms in the management of forest and 25 woodlands. The previous Government relied on the Peasant Association and the MoA Extension agents to strictly implement at times through coercion any unauthorized cutting of trees and woodlands.

    Extension agents no longer interfere in such matters. This impact is particularly severe in the vast rift valley area of the Southern Oromia and Southern Nationality regions that are rich in biodiversity. Traders, intermediaries and charcoal producers are exploiting the few remaining natural forest resources along the major road and urban centre extending about km from Awassa to Addis Ababa beyond its regeneration capacity. Urgent action and coordination of effort between Federal, Regional, and local levels is needed to reverse this trend.

    The role food-for-work grain and edible oils has played and will continue to play in soil conservation, land rehabilitation and afforestation cannot be underestimated among most vulnerable households who live in highly degraded areas. However, in the past there have been many instances when food aid has been a disincentive in undertaking individual and community action in natural resource management. Caution has to be taken so that food aid will not be a disincentive from taking away other voluntary and selfhelp activities in the community. Here again the role of local and community organizations will be essential in creating awareness of the targeted role of food-for-work and distributing benefits from such programmes.

    This has contributed to inefficient utilization of natural resources and degradation. Thus, formulating a proper land-use policy and establishing its appropriate institutional set-up at the Federal level and coordinating it closely with regional level administration as recommended at the last November Rural Development Workshop, should be given serious consideration.

    The majority of this population will make their livelihood in lands that are currently classified as moderately to severely degraded areas mainly in the Ethiopian Highlands. By , most of the moderately degraded land could be severely degraded unless there is significant migration to other areas, less dependency on the agriculture sector and massive conservation activities, which so far has not happened.

    Thus, the Government will continue to confront this colossal task in its effort to achieve food security. The movements of people in millions from the densely populated northern regions to the south and southwestern regions took place quietly under the Imperial Government as major roads and infrastructure were expanded in these well endowed areas i.

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    Government-directed resettlement as a policy began after the famine and then on a much larger scale after the famine which affected about 8 million people. Objective criteria was also established for resettlement by the MoA Land-use Policy Department that was based on environmental consideration, which included: very rugged topography, farm slope exceeding 35 percent, severe deforestation and soil erosion; poor soils, frequency of drought in the community; population and livestock density and land size. Settlers were very dependent on food aid since production was quite low.

    The few exceptions where resettlement seems to have resulted in relative self-sufficiency is where farmers were given land to cultivate in a peasant association in the highland areas of Keffa and Ilubabor now the Oromia region , which has relatively similar climatic conditions to area where settlers came from. As indicated in SDPRP, the current Government also attaches significance to the role of resettlement in reducing the enormous pressure exerted on land in drought-prone areas, which has severely limited its productive capacity.

    A major assumption made by the current Government for resettlement is similar to that of the previous one - allocating land to the surplus rural labour force in the land abundant areas could dramatically increase food production at minimal cost. The issue voluntarism becomes secondary the Derge directive also professed that its resettlement programme was based on voluntarism when the Government intervenes in such a heavy-handed way mobilizing all its resources and bureaucracy to plan and executes a resettlement programme, without presenting other options to the most vulnerable segment of the population.

    The Government resettlement programme will involve heads of households totalling 2. The Amhare region will have the largest group of settlers with , households, followed by Oromiya and SPNN with households each respectively and Tigraye with 40 households MRD, The total cost of resettling the above population that includes food ration before next harvest, cost of plough set and hand tools, cost of utensils, cost of improved seed, community infrastructure, transportation, etc.

    The claim by Government officials that cost is the major constraint facing resettlement does not seem to be a convincing one although the Government faces severe financial constraints to undertake such a scheme on its own. The focus should be, however, whether the assumptions made for resettlement by the Government are valid and whether it is a viable and sustainable option to attain the stated objective, worthy of such a massive involvement by the Government.

    There is no systematic analysis of land use potential for smallholder farming in the last decade as the Land Use and Planning section under MoA at Federal level and previously well staffed is now barely functioning with only a few experienced staff. In the absence of such a reliable data, there is some question about the validity of the land being abundant in Ethiopia, particularly given the accelerating rural population growth in the past decades [9]. Oromia seems to be one of the few regions that have undertaken some systematic feasibility study on the potential resettlement sites and such a study is urgently needed in other regions.

    Preliminary discussions with informed people suggest that the only large tract of barren land in the Amhare and Tigraye regions exist close to the Sudan border in lowland areas previously known as Humera, where resettlement is currently being undertaken. The dominant habitat in this area, however, is naturally grown incense and gum tree. There is growing concern among experienced staff in MoA at both Federal and local level if finding pockets of suitable land for subsistence farmers in this frontier area is the best option when the area is suited for large-scale commercial farming.

    This area is highly infested by malaria and livestock diseases and requires major health and infrastructure investment to make it suitable for settlements. All indication suggests that outside the previous Humera area now covering areas in both the Tigraye and Amhare regions , it is not feasible to allocate land to new settlers within an existing farming community Kebele given the diminishing size of the cultivated area in both these regions often less than half a hectare of land. Even if redistribution of land is allowed which is against the current land policy , cultivating less than half a hectare, is unlikely to be economical or sustainable, unless it is irrigated.

    By far the most comprehensive feasibility study on potential resettlement sites was undertaken in the Oromia region based on extensive fieldwork. Various stakeholders were asked about the availability of space, adequacy of moisture, the productive capacity and constraints, availability of infrastructure and capacity available for handling resettlement Regional State of Oromia, The findings of the study dispel the claim that Oromia has vast unoccupied land in reliable rainfall areas that can accommodate a large influx of settlers. Out of the 31 potential resettlement sites identified suitable for resettlement only five sites were considered as having potential for immediate resettlement under rain-fed conditions.

    About ten sites were not worthy of consideration since there is limited availability of land and high climatic risks while six sites have potential for possible eventual resettlement if provision is made for wildlife buffer zones, grazing lands, anti-malaria and anti-tsetse measures. All areas in Bale were found to be risky for rain-fed agriculture except five sites with irrigation potential requiring considerable investment.

    Another five sites were identified for frontier expansion in the valleys of Gibe, Dedessa and Birbir rivers, which has considerable empty land with adequate rainfall. However, these areas in the valleys are home to one of the few remaining forests and wildlife resources and have rich flora and funa. The study advised against opening this virgin land and instead using land given to former state farm for resettlement purpose.

    In all, the study identified about 72 ha of suitable land for rainfed cultivation, 5 for irrigated agriculture in the priority resettlement area, which can support about 26 households in Oromia region Regional State of Oromia, Preliminary examination of unoccupied potential arable land in Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Regional State SPNN , suggests that the region does not have vast areas of land to accommodate large numbers of settlers as officially proclaimed by the Government. Using the existing database on soil, land use and vegetation map, it is estimated that only 2. However, as the preliminary study suggested a more systematic field investigation is essential to validate the above indicative figure.

    Thus, opening these areas for resettlement without a more detailed investigation could result in devastating environmental impact that should be avoided. Perhaps a more pertinent policy issue in resettlement is whether it could significantly contribute to relieving the pressure in the densely populated and famine-prone areas as well as making settlers productive in their new environment. In this respect, the current Government target of moving households 47 percent of total households to be resettled from one part of Amhare region to another part of Amhare region and similarly 40 households 9 percent of the total households will be insignificant to the enormous challenge it faces to avert natural resource degradation in these regions that are affected by successive drought and famine.

    In this regard the findings presented in Table 2 provide insights that resettlement within regions will not improve food security or rural income considerably in the long run.

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    Thus, it would be more prudent for policy-makers to consider the resettlement impact on a long-term time horizon and examine other options that could make a significant difference in increasing food production and rural income while reducing the pressure on natural resources in drought-prone areas. One such option could be diversification of farming systems and enhancing alternative livelihood outside the agricultural sector, which is examined below. Absorbing excess labour in the rural sector is a formidable challenge facing Ethiopia.

    Policies that go beyond food production and consist in the broadening of the livelihood base and expanding opportunities through employment generation and income diversification in the non-farm sector will be crucial. Such policies will increase access to food, reduce the need for resettlement and the ominous threat of the expanding rural population on the natural resources base. Such an approach could stimulate and stabilize the demand for food without directly increasing food supply as would production-oriented agricultural intensification policies.

    The population structure consists of over 20 percent of youth age and is estimated to double from 13 million to 26 million by Similarly, the total number of women of childbearing age is also expected to double to 35 million by , of which 75 percent will be rural women. CSA, Recently, international development agencies notably the United Kingdom Department for International Development and several local NGOs are using the sustainable livelihood approach through various activities at local level.