WIDE Story

Woman looking at the photographs in the 1995 Adele Keke Village Study in 2003

2003: Woman looking at a photograph of herself and friends in the 1995 Adele Keke Village Study

WIDE1 1994/6

In 1994/5 fieldwork for WIDE1 was undertaken in 15 rural communities which had been selected by economists as examples of Ethiopia’s main rural livelihood systems. At the time the economists were conducting the first rounds of the longitudinal Ethiopian Rural Household Survey. The livelihood systems included 1 coffee-producing economy, 7 drought-prone grain-producing economies – one also producing chat, 3 economies based on enset and garden production, 3 communities producing grain for export to towns – one of which also exported potatoes, and 1 self-sufficient community involved in livestock breeding in addition to grain production.

The aim of WIDE1 was to produce a set of ‘Village Profiles’  to provide a context for interpretation of the household survey data and to use in comparative community analysis. The profiles described the location, geography, climate, history and important current economic, social, cultural and political aspects of each community.

WIDE1 was funded by the UK Overseas Development Administration.

WIDE1 research was designed, led and managed by Philippa Bevan and Alula Pankhurst.

WIDE2 2003

WIDE2 fieldwork took place in 2003 in 20 sites: the 15 WIDE1 communities plus 2 communities involved in (agro) pastoralism and 3 examples of the growing number of cash-crop producing communities. This round was conducted as part of a four-country study of ‘Wellbeing in Developing Countries’ – WeD and the main aim was an initial exploration of important features of rural communities relevant for the quality of life of different kinds of people. The fieldwork covered a range of topics including: history since 1991, social structures and dynamics, social differences, networks and organisations, experiences of government policies and programmes, crises and local responses, and local perceptions of various definitions of ‘wellbeing’, ‘illbeing’, class, status, power and inequality.

WIDE2 was funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council.

WIDE2 research was designed, led and managed by Philippa Bevan and Alula Pankhurst.

WIDE3 2009-13

WIDE3 fieldwork was carried out in three stages between the beginning of 2010 and the end of 2013. The aim was to use the data in conjunction with the WIDE1 and WIDE2 data to explore the modernisation trajectories of the twenty communities since 1995 and the contribution to those trajectories made by Government policies and programmes since 2003. Lessons learned during Stage 1 led to improvements in the research process in Stage 2, which in turn, contributed to improvements to the process in Stage 3.

In all stages the topics covered included, the community as a holistic system and recent changes, the community in its broader context, structures of inequality, local elites, different kinds of households and people, the livelihood systems, the human re/pro/duction system, social organisations, networks, and institutions, social cohesion, community management, and cultural ideas.

Stage 1 fieldwork was conducted in two Phases over 35 days in January/February 2010 in 3 drought-prone and aid-dependent communities and 3 economically self-sufficient communities.

Between Stage 1 and Stage 2 there was a Stage 1-2 transition project during which Stage 1 data were used for in-depth explorations of three topics which had emerged as important during the Stage 1 data analysis. The topics were, inequalities among communities, households and people, the Government ‘go-betweens’ in the communities, and youth transitions to adulthood.

Stage 2 fieldwork was undertaken in two phases over 40 days in September/October and December 2011 in eight drought-prone and aid-dependent communities.

The communities studied in Stage 3 were all located in areas with good weather for farming The fieldwork phases in Stage 3 were separated by over 6 months, the bulk of the work taking place in Phase 1 over 32 days in March and April 2013. Much of the writing-up was then done. Phase 2 in November involved 12 days of fieldwork for following up interesting issues and filling gaps.

Stages 1-3 were funded through the Joint Governance Assessment Measurement (JGAM) Programme, a World Bank administered Trust Fund jointly funded by the Canadian, Dutch and UK governments.

The Stage1-2 Transition project was funded by DFID, UK.

WIDE3 research was designed, led and managed by Philippa Bevan, Catherine Dom and Alula Pankhurst.

Project management support was provided by Mokoro Ltd and Pankhurst Consult’ .

WIDE 3-4 Transition 2015-16

The WIDE3-4 Transition project had two main aims: to make more use of existing WIDE data, and prepare the methodology and policy review for WIDE4 for which funding will be sought.

The creation of this website and the editing and preparation of the database which it hosts were funded by this project. We also mined the database to produce nine papers on policy-related issues. These are 1) out-migration, 2) education, 3) new economic opportunities for women and girls, 4) the health and wellbeing of infants and their mothers, 5) youth transitions to adulthood, 6) differentials and inequalities, 7) economic modernisation, 8) innovations and learning, and 9) trajectories of some successful individuals – in rural communities.

The WIDE3-4 Transition project team included Catherine Dom, Philippa Bevan, Alula Pankhurst and Sarah Vaughan.

The WIDE3-4 Transition project was mainly funded by DFID-Ethiopia, with contributions from the Irish and Swedish aid programmes in Ethiopia.

WIDE Bridge 2018-19

This project has 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.

Phase 1 January-December 2018 involved fieldwork in WIDE sites in Kembata, East Shewa, East Gojjam, and East Tigray and analysis and writing up in various forms (see Publications). Representatives from Hawassa, Ambo, Bahir Dar and Mekelle universities were involved in the research process and by the end of the year senior leaders at all four universities had expressed strong interest in being involved as full partners in WIDE4 for which we are still seeking funding.

An extension of the project to July 2019 has been agreed involving publication of the WIDE Bridge Discussion Briefs and a range of interactive events to promote further policy engagement and broaden public awareness around the WIDE findings. We will work with our university partners and the Forum for Social Studies.

The project is led by Catherine Dom.

The WIDE Bridge has been funded by DFID-E, Irish Aid, and SIDA.