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Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019) World Bank Group ; U.K. Department of International DevelopmentThis study responds to a request in March 2018 by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation (MoFEC), to the World Bank and Department for International Development (DfID) to carry out a study of the lowlands with a view to strengthening the resilience of lowland populations to external shocks. This overview synthesizes the nine self-standing chapters of the report that examine different dimensions of poverty, vulnerability, and resilience to shocks in the Ethiopian lowlands. To identify a policy agenda fostering resilience in the lowlands, the report adopts an analytical framework with three main features. First, the livelihood system of the population in the lowlands is examined in detail for the purpose of providing a better understanding of the patterns of behavior observed and the factors that are associated with the prevalence of poverty at a given point in time and changes in poverty over time. Second, a distinction is made between the poverty status of a household at a given point in time and the vulnerability of a household to poverty, which is about the likelihood of a household being poor in the future. Third, emphasis is placed on understanding the different sources of household vulnerability in the lowlands, how these sources of vulnerability have evolved over time, and how the capacity of households to cope with changes has evolved.
Linking Gender, Environment, and Poverty for Sustainable Development : A Synthesis Report on Ethiopia and Ghana(Washington, DC, 2012-01) World BankPoverty, environment, social development, and gender are important cross-cutting themes of the World Bank and government investment programs, especially within the Sustainable Development Network (SDN). For developing sectoral strategies and programs, economic, environment and social assessments are undertaken, however, these are usually done separately, and most often gender issues are not included. This is a missed opportunity, because joint assessments can map the links between gender, environment, and poverty and help identify approaches that can accelerate the positive synergy and better social/gender, environment, and poverty outcomes; otherwise, the existing negative relationships may slow the development process, and can even lead to unintended results. A joint analysis will also reduce cost of project preparation. This study was undertaken to analyze the links between gender, environment, and poverty; identify approaches; and provide practical suggestions for fostering positive synergies for better outcomes. The analytical framework for this study draws on the World Bank's three pillars of sustainable development: social inclusion, economic growth and environmental sustainability, and from political ecology literature, which highlights how decision-making processes, power relationships, and social conditions influence environmental policies and development outcomes. The following four propositions derived from political ecology literature guide the analysis: i) socioeconomic marginalization and natural resource degradation are mutually reinforcing processes; ii) protected area conservation and external control of natural resources can disrupt household and community production and social organization; iii) competing environmental interests shape environmental change; and iv) collective action and resilience can help mitigate negative impacts. The study is based on in-depth analysis of two sub-Saharan African countries Ethiopia and Ghana. The research methodology was qualitative, and included a series of interrelated analyses: a political ecology literature review, country-specific reviews of literature and data sets, good-practice project case studies in both countries, and participatory appraisals of grassroots perceptions of gender-poverty-environment links. Study sites were selected to include the major agro ecological zones and rural livelihood systems in each country. National and sub regional participatory forums were conducted to 'ground truth' the findings and elicit policy and project recommendations. A seven-week online discussion explored the broader applicability of the framework and study findings.