|This study, conducted in collaboration with the Pro-Poor Livestock Policy Initiative of the FAO and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), is carrying out a systematic analysis of the nature of drought and livestock disease-related emergencies and how to design innovation capacity strengthening interventions in response to such emergencies.
Despite the regular occurrence of drought and trans-boundary disease episodes in Sub Saharan Africa and despite the heavy investment in a multitude of regional and continental drought and disease ‘surveillance’ and ‘early warning systems’, national, regional and global responses to these emergencies have largely been unsatisfactory. If the livestock sector in the IGAD region is to cope and prosper under these dynamic conditions, the capacity of the sector to innovate in a timely and locally specific manner in response to these emergencies needs to be strengthened. Moreover, the capacity to respond and adapt to these emergencies needs to be enhanced in ways that both allow producers to innovate and at the same time safe guards the livelihoods of poor people linked with the sector. This is not simply a question of ensuring that production and processing technology is made available through adequate livestock research, extension and other support services. Contemporary thinking on innovation as a systemic, interactive process would suggest that response capacity is likely to include the social and institutional arrangements required to mobilise different sorts of knowledge and support services in ways that create locally relevant novelty on a continuous basis.