Pastoral mobility cuts across political boundaries, jurisdictions and authorities. While transhumance pastoralism can reinforce relations and boost rural economic activity, political, social, and economic circumstances have created tensions, conflicts, and criminality, with livelihood pressures compounded by ecological changes. These conflicts are often linked to regional security implications, including arms flows and the presence of trans-national armed groups. Pastoralists, farming communities, authorities, and security forces are adapting their strategies and livelihoods, but often at cross-purposes, exacerbating violent conflict. 

The XCEPT Research Fund supported the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), working with local partners Karamoja Development Forum (KDF) and Friends of Lake Turkana (FoLT), to conduct participatory research on approaches for improved governance and civilian-military relations along the Kenya-Uganda border. Working closely with local pastoralist communities, the Karamojong and Turkana, the research promotes an understanding of, and relationships between, pastoralists crossing the Kenya-Uganda border and the state institutions that affect/provide their security. The project invites pastoralists to lead the research, supporting them with a systematic methodology. 

The participatory methods have had a profound impact at community level and have helped inform conversations at the national and international level. The IDS team are now using this participatory approach to explore similar issues along the Kenya-Somalia border. 

Explore some of the research and evidence from the Kenya-Uganda research: 

For more information regarding this research, contact [email protected]