The presentation – using words and images – will focus on the relationships between hard to reach people and the state in today’s Ethiopia.
In its discourse and policy formulation the EPRDF regime appears intent on ‘leaving no-one behind’. The government-led service expansion of the past two decades aims to reach out to the population as a whole; it is seen as important that growth should be broad-based but also even; and in principle at least, everyone is to be mobilised to contribute to achieving Ethiopia’s development goals.
In practice, there is evidence that policies and programmes do not succeed in reaching out to, or benefitting, all social groups. This is said to be work-in-progress; the EPRDF-led government has, for instance, recently approved a comprehensive social protection policy which has the potential to address some of the current gaps.
The presentation draws on data from a 20-village longitudinal study and first-hand experience from the implementation of a multi-donor-financed civil society programme targeting the “hard to reach”. The paper suggests that while policies are well-intentioned and continuously enriched, what may be required is equal attention to how policies are implemented: that is, attention to the nature and quality of the relationships between hard to reach groups and individuals, and those individuals in government and civil society who are supposed to serve them.
Bev Jones is the lead consultant for the DFID Civil Society Strengthening Project in Ethiopia
The Anglo-Ethiopian Society is affiliated to the University of London’s Centre of African Studies (CAS) and all of our events at SOAS are co-hosted with CAS.