News and events

March 16th 2019

The Ethiopian think tank the Forum for Social Studies (FSS) has partnered with the WIDE team to disseminate the WIDE research on Ethiopian radio, television and in the press.  In total, 13 radio programmes, four television programmes and six full-page newspaper articles, all in Amharic, are being produced, and the first programmes have already aired.  There are more details on the FSS website.

The English version of the book containing the WIDE Series III Discussion Briefs has just been sent to the printer and the Amharic version will follow soon. Rural Ethiopia in Transitions: selected discussiong briefs 2018 is edited by Alula Pankhurst and Catherine Dom and contains a Preface by H.E. Dr Fitsum Assefa, Minister in Charge of the Planning and Development Commission, a chapter describing the research, and an overview chapter written by the editors.

February 3rd 2019

The WIDE Bridge Policy Review and three of the Bridge Community Reports are now available to download here.

January 2019

WIDE Bridge extension to mid-2019

With a view to further reaching out with the WIDE Bridge findings, DFID-E and Irish Aid have agreed to fund a number of additional activities.  In the first quarter of 2019 we will produce two short books, in English and in Amharic respectively, which will compile the WIDE Series III (Bridge) Discussion Briefs and tease out a few overall messages. We are very pleased that H.E. Dr Fitsum, Minister of Development and Planning Commission, has agreed to write the preface of these WIDE Bridge books.

Throughout the first half of 2019 we will organise a range of interactive events to promote further policy engagement and broaden public awareness around the WIDE findings. Regional launches of the WIDE Bridge books, aimed at senior regional government officials and other key regional stakeholders, will be organised with our university partners (Ambo, Bahir Dar, Hawassa and Mekelle Universities). We will hold a series of topic-specific seminars with groups of federal agencies. And with a new policymaking context shaping up in Ethiopia, we look forward to making the research accessible to a wider audience. We will work with the Forum for Social Studies (FSS), drawing on their extensive experience in wider dissemination activities, to convene a public lecture and organise a number of media communications through radio and TV programmes, and articles in newspapers.

This extended work programme will end with a concluding workshop giving the WIDE team, the Universities and FSS a chance to reflect on what we learned throughout our collaboration during the Bridge phase, especially with regard to policy engagement and research methodology.

December 2018

Further publications

Plans are in hand for the publication of the Series III WIDE Discussion Briefs in English and in Amharic. English versions can be downloaded here.

International Conference of Ethiopian Studies ICES20 Mekelle 1-5 October 2018

At this Conference the WIDE Bridge team organised a panel called Globalisation and Rural Ethiopia with 14 papers, 12 written by members of the team. The powerpoints are now available on the Publications Page and the papers are being revised for journal submission.

Publications

An Amharic translation of the Series II WIDE Discussion Briefs has been published in Ethiopia and is available online

WIDE Bridge… towards WIDE4 update December 2018

Following the launch of the WIDE3 book in February 2017, and with encouragement from a number of Ethiopian and other ‘WIDE friends’, the team began to think about the future of WIDE. The result was a short WIDE Bridge phase, funded by DFID-E, Irish Aid and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), which started in January 2018 with two aims. First, to conduct new fieldwork in four communities, one  each in Amhara, Oromia, SNNP and Tigray Regions, to continue building understanding of changes in rural Ethiopia in a period of ongoing rapid transformation; second, with a view to ensuring that findings from this longitudinal, qualitative, cross-sectoral, community-focused research continue to be available in the longer term, to engage in a process of institutionalising WIDE within interested Ethiopian research- and policy-oriented institutions.

Between January and March 2018 we completed the fieldwork in Aze Debo (Kembata, SNNP), Harresaw (Eastern Tigray), Sirba (East Shewa, Oromia) and Yetmen (East Gojjam, Amhara), and by December had completed a number of community- and topic-focused papers using the new data and the data made in earlier fieldwork rounds. Among these, a number of papers were presented at the 20th International Conference for Ethiopian Studies in Mekelle (1-5 October 2018). In November a set of policy-oriented discussion briefs were discussed with an Ethiopian policy-making audience and a number of development partners.

Along the way we have developed solid links with several  Ethiopian universities and a highly reputable Ethiopian research/policy-oriented partner at federal level, all of which have expressed strong interest at senior leadership level in being involved as full partners in WIDE4, with a view to taking the research forward longer term. On this basis we are now developing a concept note for WIDE4. Funding still needs to be secured but we hope the project will start in 2019, in an exciting new form in which all partners will jointly design the research approach and questions, university teams will take responsibility for the fieldwork and completion of the WIDE4 qualitative database under the guidance of the WIDE team, and we will jointly develop the products to disseminate the WIDE4 findings for policy-making  and academic audiences in Ethiopia and beyond.