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Information for 10076IIED

Evolving Customary Institutions in the Drylands: An opportunity for devolved natural resource governance in Kenya?

Improved governance of natural resources is crucial for building climate resilient livelihoods and economies in Africa’s drylands. This paper looks at why the authority and capacity of customary natural resource management institutions has been weakened, and how this impacts on resource governance and climate resilience. Our case study looks at a new hybrid form of customary/formal institution that is emerging as a response to the stagnation of development and increasing conflict around resource access. The paper demonstrates that legitimising and supporting customary institutions can be a more successful and sustainable approach to addressing the ‘drylands development deficit’ than projects that focus on technical fixes or work in parallel to customary institutions.

Publication information

  • IIED code: 10076IIED
  • Published: Apr 2014 - IIED
  • Area: Kenya, Africa
  • Theme: Climate change
  • ISBN: 978-1-78431-042-4
  • Language: English

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Daoud Tari and James Pattison, 2014. Evolving Customary Institutions in the Drylands: An opportunity for devolved natural resource governance in Kenya?. IIED Issue Paper. IIED, London.

Project information

The Kenya Adaptation Consortium (ADA) is demonstrating that local climate adaptation planning, supported by county government-managed devolved funds, informed by community priorities and enhanced by climate information services, renders significant benefits for people in poor and marginalised households in the most drought prone areas.

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Responding to climate change in Kenya by strengthening dryland governance and planning

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