Forum for Social Studies (FSS)        A New Initiative in Ethiopia  

HomePublicationsNewsAbout UsResearchLibraryDebateOutreach

Fourth Congress of the Association of African Historians

Improving Understanding the dynamics of Resettlement in Ethiopia

Research Outline 


Half a million people have been resettled in Ethiopia in the past two years. However, despite rapid monitoring visits, little is known about key questions regarding site conditions and resettlement administration, how settlers are adapting, relations with local populations and prospects for food security and sustainability.

We have very limited information on site selection, infrastructure, food and non food provisions, health, nutrition, water and sanitation, agriculture, livestock and extension, education and administrative structures of sites. We still do not know what makes for a successful settler, how different groups and individuals among host communities are reacting, and what kinds of settlers are becoming food secure, and the effects on the environment. We also do not have a consistent comparative assessment across regions and sites and over time since the settlers were resettled in particular in 2003 and 2004.

This research undertaken by Forum for Social Studies with collaboration of staff at Addis Ababa University staff with prior expertise in this area working with 10 trained MA students in social sciences will involve comparative parallel research in several regions. The research will take a differential approach that seeks to understand what kinds of resettlement works for whom, where and why, and to assess the relative successes and failures at a local level.

It is hoped that the research can inform current debates and provide answers that can influence resettlement policy, and help improve current practice, monitoring, as well as future design and options for implementation.



To obtain comparative data from sites in several regions of Ethiopia on the socio-economic aspects of settler adaptations in order to propose improvements to resettlement policy, monitoring, planning and implementation.


 ·          To obtain data on site conditions and resettlement administration including selection, infrastructure, housing, provisions, health, nutrition, water and sanitation, agriculture and livestock, education etc. 

·          To establish settler and host community profiles and assess the socio-economic and environmental impacts as well as the extent of integration and conflict and departures from settlement sites. 

·          To ascertain the profiles and characteristics of settler communities and households and individuals that have been successful in terms of background, age, sex, education and skills, wealth etc and compare these with profiles of cases that have not succeeded. 

·          To gain insights on the differential effects of the resettlement on local populations and find out what kinds of hosts have benefited most and what sort of hosts have been adversely affected by the settlers’ presence. 

·          To consider the differential adaptations of various waves and kinds of settler their adaptations to local conditions and prospects for become food secure and established in the new contexts. 

·          To understand differential relations between various groups of settlers, the local populations, previous settlers, the administration and investors. 

Research Design 

This study was initially designed by Dr Alula Pankhurst with inputs and improvement from other senior colleagues at Addis Ababa University who have expertise on resettlement. The research will be carried out by 10 students carrying out masters in social sciences including social anthropology, regional and local development studies, geography and demography. A common research agenda and methods have been worked out and each student researcher will focus on a particular site within regions where resettlement is being carried out.  

A workshop to improve the research design will be held and bring together other researchers and stakeholders to comment and improve the research design. The student researchers will be given training and advice and simultaneously carry out the same research design in their respective sites between January and February 2005. The senior researchers will carry out supervision of the researchers and follow up in areas where they have done research. They may also wish to pursue specific research themes with students they are supervising. 

The student researchers will prepare reports on their case studies and the senior researchers will also work on comparative issues or elaborations of their own research and the results will be presented at a workshop. The proceedings of the workshop will lead to the publication of a book. 


The research will focus on site, community and household issues and will rely primarily on in-depth case studies at the household level, and will include different socio-economic categories of settlers by background age, gender, education, wealth, etc. The research will also focus on different categories of host communities and individuals in terms of background, age, gender, education, livelihood etc.  

The research questions will be elaborated with sub-questions, and a common checklist will be followed to ensure that all the researchers cover the same ground. 

The draft research instruments are provisionally divided into the following three modules which are elaborated with specific protocols, each of which has a checklist of questions. 

Module 1:   

Site Conditions and Resettlement Administration  


1          Site selection criteria and procedures

2.         Infrastructure, housing and collective facilities

3.                  Food rations

4.                  Non food provisions

5.                  Health and Nutrition

6.                  Water and Sanitation

7.                  Agriculture, livestock and extension

8.         Education and orphans

9.         Administrative structure of resettlement sites 

Module  2:  

Community profiles, social and environmental impacts, integration and departures 


1.      Settler community profiles

2.      ‘Host’ community profiles

3.      Socio-cultural impacts on local populations

4.      Basic environmental impacts

5.      Settler-local integration/ conflict

6.         Departures from settlements


Module 3:  

Differential household profiles and relations with locals administration and investors


1.         Definitions of success and failure

2.         Profile of successful settler household and individuals

3.      Profile of failed settler household and individuals

4.      Spontaneous settlers

5.      1980s settlers

6.      2003 settlers

7.      2004 settlers

8.      Relations with local people

9.      Relations with the local administration and investors


In addition to a checklist of questions, specific instructions, types of respondents and expected outputs have been proposed for each of the modules and protocols, the detail of which will be discussed and improved at the workshop.


  Home   About Us     News      Publications  Research   Contact Us     Library   Link    Online Debate  Public outreach       

Address Address: Forum for Social Studies, P. O. Box 25864 code 1000 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
email E-mail:  email E-mail:| Telephone Telephone: (251-11)1572990/91 | Fax Fax: (251-11)1572979
Home Home page:  |

  Designed by
Copyright © 2004 -2006 Forum For Social Studies. All rights reserved.
Last modified: 01/12/07 20:56 -0800.