Mechanisms for governing the Water-Land-Food Nexus in the Lower Awash River Basin, Ethiopia: ensuring policy coherence in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda

Mechanisms for governing the Water-Land-Food Nexus in the Lower Awash River Basin, Ethiopia: ensuring policy coherence in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda

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Srigiri, Srinivasa Reddy / Anita Breuer / Waltina Scheumann
Discussion Paper 26/2021

Bonn: German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)

ISBN: 978-3-96021-169-3
DOI: 10.23661/dp26.2021
Price: 6 €

Interdependencies among the goals and targets make the 2030 Agenda indivisible and their integrated implementation requires coherent policies. Coordination across different sectors and levels is deemed as crucial for avoiding trade-offs and achieving synergies among multiple, interlinked policy goals, which depend on natural resources. However, there is insufficient evidence regarding the conditions under which coordination for integrated achievement of different water- and land-based Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) functions effectively. The paper investigates the land and water governance in the Ethiopian lower Awash River basin and identifies key interdependencies among related SDGs. It assesses in how far the interactions and coordination among various decision-making centres are effective in managing the interdependencies among different goals. Systems for using and managing water and land exhibit features of polycentric governance as this process involves decision-making centres across different sectors and at various levels. Key action situations for land and water governance in operational, collective and constitutional choice levels are interlinked/networked. Each action situation constitutes actions that deliver one of the functions of polycentric governance, such as production, provision, monitoring etc. as an outcome, which affects the choices of actors in an adjacent action situation. The study shows that the existing institutions and governance mechanisms for water and land in Ethiopia are not effective in managing the interdependencies. Non-recognition of traditional communal rights of pastoralists over land and water and ineffective policy instruments for ensuring environmental and social safeguards are leading to major trade-offs among goals of local food security and economic growth. The autocratic regime of Ethiopia has coordination mechanisms in place, which fulfil the role of dissemination of policies and raising awareness. However, they are not designed to build consensus and political will for designing and implementing national plans, by including the interests and aspirations of the local communities and local governments. The study recommends efforts to achieve SDGs in the Ethiopian Awash River basin to focus on strengthening the capacities of relevant actors, especially the district and river basin authorities in delivering the key governance functions such as water infrastructure maintenance, efficient use of water, and effective implementation of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). Further, urgent efforts for scaling up of recognition, certification and protection of communal land rights of pastoralists and clear definition of rules for awarding compensation upon expropriation, are required.

About the authors

Breuer, Anita

Political Scientist

Breuer

Scheumann, Waltina

Political Scientist

Scheumann

Srigiri, Srinivasa Reddy

Agricultural Economist

Srigiri

Further experts

Bauer, Steffen

Political scientist 

Baumann, Max-Otto

Political Science 

Brandi, Clara

Economy and Political Science 

Dick, Eva

Sociologist and Spatial Planner 

Dombrowsky, Ines

Economist 

Droste, Leonie Marie

Political Science 

El-Haddad, Amirah

Economy 

Gronen, Maria Elisabeth

Social Science 

Götze, Jacqueline

Political Scientist 

Hackenesch, Christine

Political Science 

Hadank-Rauch, Rebecca

Environmental and Development Sciences 

Haldenwang, Christian von

Political Scientist 

Hilbrich, Sören

Economy 

Hornidge, Anna-Katharina

Development and Knowledge Sociologist 

Houdret, Annabelle

Political Scientist 

Hägele, Ramona

Political Scientist 

Iacobuta, Gabriela

Environmental Researcher 

Janus, Heiner

Political Science 

Keijzer, Niels

Social Science 

Kloke-Lesch, Adolf

Urban and regional planning 

Koch, Svea

Social Science 

Laudage, Sabine

Economy 

Leininger, Julia

Political Scientist 

Mathis, Okka Lou

Political Scientist 

Mehl, Regine

Political Science 

Morare, Ditebogo Modiegi

Political Science 

Nowack, Daniel

Political Scientist 

Roll, Michael

Sociology 

Schoderer, Mirja

Environmental Researcher 

Scholz, Imme

Sociologist 

Schulz, Sabrina

Political Science 

Schwachula, Anna

Sociology 

Vogel, Johanna

International Cultural Economy 

Wehrmann, Dorothea

Sociology 

Weinlich, Silke

Political Science