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Good practice principles and lessons learnt from cross-border DRR programming in the drylands of the Horn of Africa

Addressing cross border issues for drought management in drylands of the Horn of Africa is critical, since the major livelihood, pastoralism, spans national borders, which often cut across landscapes, watersheds and ethnic groups. Mobility is a crucial drought coping strategy for pastoralist communities as well as being essential for economic and environmental development.

Land use planning, livestock health, natural resource management, peacebuilding and marketing interventions all have obvious cross border dimensions in dryland areas. Despite the theory, cross border programming can be challenging both programmatically and administratively. Working across two administrative frameworks with different currencies, support services, legal/regulatory systems and languages is complex and often involves additional costs to already expensive programming in these remote, under-served and often insecure areas. Reluctance from national governments to promote cross-border movement due to concerns over security and contraband also leads to additional obstacles.

This brief highlights the lessons learnt from ECHO DRR partners in working across the borders of Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Somalia, which may be useful for others in the future. It also highlights a particular success of getting local cross border activities recognised at national level with the involvement of the United Nations (UN) and Intergovernmental Authority of Development (IGAD) and suggests a process by which this could be done in other types of intervention.

Download the brief here.