Mapping Poverty and Vulnerability in East Africa

Today, close to 1.7 billion people in the world live in absolute poverty. As the world population grows, the ultimate bearer of the consequences is the environment.

 Therefore, the need to work with marginalized communities to understand the root causes of their poverty and vulnerability with a view to devising strategies to mainstream their voices and innovations into development policy discourse and planning is imperative.

This project sought to map poverty and vulnerability among marginalized communities with a view to providing maps as policy making tools for mainstreaming local voices into decision-making processes.

The overall objective of the project was to facilitate focused bottom-up dialogue and search for integrated strategies for addressing the root causes of poverty and vulnerability among selected marginalized communities with a view to bridging the democratic deficit in development policy formulation processes and improving livelihoods in these communities.

 The specific objectives of the project were:

  • Facilitate reflections and dialogue on and search for integrated solutions for the root causes of poverty and vulnerability among the selected local communities in East Africa.
  • Identify tools and mechanisms for harnessing, amplifying and integrating local voices and innovations in development policy processes.
  • Promote mainstreaming of local voices and innovations in local, national and regional development policies.
  • Provide further information and insights into issues for mapping poverty and vulnerability in East Africa.

The project provided an important launching pad for developing consensus on how to map land ownership and vulnerability in the region, identifying issues and priorities for intervention, and developing tools and mechanisms for supporting policy processes and reforms.

In 2006, a regional workshop (East African) on Mapping Land Tenure and Poverty in East Africa was held at the Great Rift Valley Lodge, Naivasha. Variables and thematic issues that were considered for mapping were developed at this workshop. In February 2007, National workshops on land tenure, vulnerability and poverty in Kenya Uganda and Tanzania were held in the respective countries. Land tenure problems, respective land policies of the three countries and poverty were discussed.