WELLBEING AND DEVELOPMENT IN ETHIOPIAUpdate 23 January 2010: New project
This longitudinal empirical research programme has picked up traces of the development trajectories of different types of Ethiopian community at different points in time since 1994. Linked data made at community, household and individual levels has been designed to answer both descriptive and causal questions. What are the key structural and cultural dimensions of the community at this point of time? How have they changed since 1994 if at all? What has happened over the years? When and where? And who was and was not involved? How and why did it happen as it did? What were the consequences and for whom? What might happen next?
The regular iteration between ideas and the field during the research programme has been used, on the one hand, to draw empirical, historically-aware conclusions about aspects of some of the most common types of Ethiopian community to inform policy, and on the other to develop theories, conceptual frameworks, and methods of wider relevance. The linkages between these research tools are underpinned by philosophical, scientific and social ontologies derived from complexity social science.
This research programme began in 1995 with the production of a set of fifteen community-level studies (WIDE1) of the sites selected for the Ethiopian Rural Household panel Survey (ERHS) in 1994. This involved collaboration between the University of Addis Ababa and the Centre for the Study of African Economies at Oxford University. Since 1994 a further six rounds of the ERHS have been conducted by the University of Addis Ababa supported by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), CSAE and USAID. Two of those rounds included an additional three rural sites. WIDE2 took place in 2003 in the WIDE1 sites plus the three new ERHS communities and two pastoralist communities, as part of the ESRC Wellbeing in Developing Countries (WeD) Research Programme based at the University of Bath between 2002 and 2007. Four of the WIDE sites were selected for in-depth study over a period of sixteen months in 2004/5 using a household/individual survey and a set of protocols focused at community, household and person levels. Parallel research was conducted in two new urban sites; the six-site research became known as DEEP.
Since the end of 2006 WeD Ethiopia has not received financial support through an academic institution but has sought funding for analysis of existing data and new fieldwork on a consultancy basis. Research papers using the data have been written for the World Bank (3) Irish Aid and the Inter-Africa Group, and we are currently conducting fieldwork for Stage 1 of WIDE3 funded by a donor group in Ethiopia.
The Ethiopia Longitudinal Community Database
The ELCD can be used alongside the ERHS. It contains longitudinal community-level data on eighteen rural communities (1995–15 sites, 2003–20 and 2010–6) and data made during in-depth fieldwork in four of the rural communities and two urban sites in 2004/5. The Resources and Needs Survey covered a random sample of households from each site and the protocol research includes community, household and individual diaries over a year, and questions about community organisations, collective action, elites, destitute people, views of different kinds of people on quality of life, life histories, norms relating to child-rearing and relations with the elderly, experiences of children, youth and elders of different wealth statuses, conflicts and conflict resolution, migration, household wealth dynamics and shocks, and inter-generational relations.
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