By Ricki Watkins, LCC CRSP
- LCC CRSP research team observes livestock trader conditions
- New livestock trader questionnaire field-tested
- Team develops research modules
- CHAINS project supports female master’s students
- New team members get hands-on experience
Ethiopian traders face several challenging conditions including flooding, buyer complaints that traders are too far away and construction near the feedlots, which disturbs the animals. A LCC CRSP research team made these observations during a recent field trip to test a new livestock-trader questionnaire.
Over a two-day span in late July 2012, the team conducted several interviews as a part of the LCC CRSP’s CHAINS project, which is focused on determining and mitigating the effects of climate change on livestock market chains in Ethiopia and Kenya.
The interviews were successful, with the team making new networking connections and determining sections of the questionnaire that need revision. Also, the team’s new members were able to receive hands-on field experience, as Dr. Waktole Tiki and Dr. Dejene Negassa recently joined the CHAINS team and both will be administering field questionnaires in the future.
The team also made progress in other areas of the project during this July trip, including developing research modules, networking and supporting female master’s student research.
By the end of the July, the team, including CHAINS Principle Investigator Peter Little, Emory University, and CHAINS researcher Carla Roncoli, Emory University, designed trader and household survey research modules, which will launch in the fall of 2012.
In addition, a Livestock Information specialist for USAID-supported Ethiopian Livestock Market Information System, Sintayehu Alemayehu, agreed to assist the project in obtaining access to primary markets in southern Ethiopia after meeting with Little and Roncoli. This meeting was one of many Little and Roncoli organized with several different government and collaborating institutions to discuss possible collaboration opportunities during a two-week period in July 2012 while the researchers were in Ethiopia.
Finally, in Ethiopia, being a female master’s student conducting livestock-based research and policy work is uncommon, so any support a female graduate student receives is invaluable. CHAINS is providing that support; two female Abbis Ababa University master’s students will be conducting their master’s thesis research at one of the CHAINS’ project areas. Little and Roncoli, along with CHAINS researcher, Workneh Negatu, met with the students during this trip to answer student questions and explain the assistance CHAINS can provide, such as training in research methods.
Team members traveled to Borana, Ethiopia in August 2012 to continue field-testing of field questionnaires.