The Emerging NGO Movement in Ethiopia: Beyond Relief towards Long-term Development

Jill Butler


Consistent with the democratic policies initiated by the government of Ethiopia over the past four years, the number of indigenous non- governmental organisations (NGOs) being established is growing at a significant rate. A small number of these had been operational during the time of the Derg (1974-91), the Marxist dictatorship of Mengistu Haile Mariam but had to take a low profile which excluded them from the attention of international donors and funding agencies. This stunted the development of NGOs, whose capacity is much lower than in other African countries as they have had to struggle to survive during the 17 years of dictatorship wherein civil society organisations were not tolerated.

During the 1984-85 famine which devastated areas of Ethiopia and Eritrea, NGOs were operational in distributing relief aid both in government-controlled areas and those held by the rebel Tigrayan People's Liberation Front (TPLF) and the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF). However, during this period there was little opportunity for organisational growth and development amongst indigenous NGOs.

Since 1991 the environment for NGOs has become much more free and open, though certain restrictions still apply. At present national level NGOs are still in their infancy and counterpart NGOs are almost non-existent at regional level. With the new government came an opening up on the political front which allowed the establishment of alternative parties and encouraged the return of previously exiled individuals and groups, some of whom have recently formed NGOs.

The Ethiopian economy has been affected by the combined forces of political turmoil, cycles of drought, high population growth and a general decline in productivity in most sectors, all resulting in poverty for the majority of the population. Since the 1970s, economic growth has lagged behind population growth. Between 1965 and 1980 GNP grew at an average rate of 2.7% and in the period to 1990 it grew at only 1.9% p.a. In comparison the average annual rate of population growth was between 2.5% and 2.9%. This decline in GNP per capita was compounded by the policies of the Derg which, in addition to wasting vast amounts of national income on a disastrous war, allowed mismanagement and inefficiency to breed in the nationalised agricultural and industrial sectors, thus further distorting public expenditures away from the poor.

Ethiopian society continues to be affected by the deepening levels of poverty manifested in widespread hunger and malnutrition in children, rural-urban migration and worsening unemployment which affects the male population and has also marginalised female employment in the formal economy. This, combined with low productivity in the agricultural sector and a structural food deficit, ensures the continuing need for relief assistance.

The dilemma of whether to encourage "less developed" or nascent NGOs to participate in relief work is a difficult one. Indigenous groups and NGOs are the natural choice to reach the communities and individuals in greatest need. However, in Ethiopia a large number of these organisations still lack the capacity, expertise and commitment to take on the relief activities, which are now monopolised by international NGOs.

Profile of Ethiopia

With an estimated population of 53 million growing at 3% p.a., Ethiopia is the third most populous country in Africa. In this land of extreme contrasts, there are 11 major ethnic groups with over 80 languages and 200 dialects. Lifestyles range from desert- dwelling nomadic and pastoralist groups to agriculturalists, Ethiopian Orthodox to animistic societies. Cultural practices display considerable heterogeneity involving as they do polygamy, infant, child and teenage marriages, various marriage rites, female mutilation, social taboos and tribal customs.

Consistent with the low annual per capita income (US$120) and the resulting general poverty, social indicators in Ethiopia are amongst the worst in the world (see Table 1: Quality of life indicators). In their access to basic health, education, and sanitation, the Ethiopian people fare worse than the African average.

The distribution of the social services is, on the whole, limited to the urban areas which account for less than 15% of the total population. However, Prendergast and Duffield note that urbanisation is growing significantly as rural-urban demographic shirts accelerate. Moreover, urban based opposition is the biggest threat to stability in Ethiopia. As in most of the rest of the world, wars are started by competing urban groups, not by the peasant masses although the latter often bear the brunt of the casualties.

As stated above poverty is manifest in urban unemployment and rural underemployment. Drought and war have left the country with hundreds of thousands of destitute people, disabled persons, demobilized soldiers, orphans and female- headed households; all of whom have little or no source of income. Therefore, the threat of social unrest is ever present. The government does not have the resources or staff to deal with all of these problems, and it is here that the impact of NGOs can be at its greatest.

Government policy and NGOs

Prendergast and Duffield have pointed out that the political agendas of those currently in power, solidified by years of material support from key western donors to the factions during their years as liberation movements, shed light on their intransigence regarding independent political and civic organisations now that the liberation movements are the de facto one-party government in Ethiopia. In fact the somewhat rigid qualities displayed by the present political leadership have their origins in decades of cell-by-cell political organising in the face of genocidal counterinsurgency campaigns by Mengistu's regime. This organising naturally put minimal stock in negotiation and compromise.

The Derg regime, which was in power until 1991, based its government on a centralisation of power. When the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) took office they adopted a policy of regional autonomy which resulted in the formation of 10 regional governments each of which has wide legislative, executive and judicial powers. Following general elections in May 1995 and the formal establishment of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, a new constitution was adopted giving greater power to the regions.

This devolution of authority means that programmes undertaken by NGOs can also be decentralised. Theoretically, both indigenous and international NGOs now have the choice of working at national, regional, district, sub-district and even community level depending on the policy of each regional government and the needs of the people. While it was expected that this process would reduce centralised bureaucratic procedures, many national NGOs complain that the policy is slowing down the implementation of programmes. Instead of their signing a programme agreement at national level, this procedure has to be undertaken at both national and regional levels, and sometimes again with district and sub-district authorities.

Regionalisation has placed significant demands on manpower. Administrative offices at all levels are operating with inexperienced personnel and insufficient resources, which hamper the operations of NGOs, reduce the support available to them and limits the scope for local government-NGO cooperation.

There is a degree of ambiguity about the attitude of the authorities towards the emerging indigenous NGO sector. On the one hand, the EPRDF movement had as its original raison d'etre the overthrow of the oppressors represented by the Mengistu dictatorship. On forming the transitional government in 1991, they saw themselves as being committed to democracy, freedom and the rule of law. On the other hand, their culture is one of struggle and they have been slow to leave behind the discipline and robustness that enabled them to defeat the much stronger dictatorship. They are as a consequence not yet comfortable with dissent. While all the formal structures of democracy are now in place, it will be some time before a modus vivendi is worked out between government and the opposition. It is therefore not surprising that most indigenous NGOs are concentrating on relatively uncontentious areas of work such as the provision of health or other basic social services.

The NGO sector in Ethiopia

Approximately 240 international and indigenous NGOs are registered with the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC) - the government body responsible for co-ordination of NGOs. Of these there are about 110 indigenous NGOs, though this number is growing as additional NGOs apply for registration. In a survey carried out in 1994 by the Public Administration and Human Resources Development Division of the government, an analysis of the activities of NGOs showed that about 72% focused on welfare programmes and 22% on development, while the balance concentrate on rehabilitation or relief. How these distinct categories were determined is not clear as many NGOs would state that their activities would encompass two or more of the categories. At programme design stage, many indigenous NGOs focus on social welfare activities but they do not yet have the experience of long term planning to move their work into a development stage or the capacity to develop partnerships with donors willing to support them in the transition.

The number of indigenous NGOs is relatively large considering the short timeframe over which they have been allowed to become established. However, international NGOs including Oxfam/UK and Redda Barnen (Sweden) have pointed out that the capacity of indigenous NGOs is much lower than in many other African countries as, due to their political history and the 17 year civil war, they have had little exposure to capacity building resources. Instead their energy and finances has been expended on merely surviving the Derg. Within this reality the quality of NGO work varies enormously. While many NGOs based in Addis Ababa are still in their infancy, at regional level, the situation is worse as their numbers are far fewer, their resources significantly more limited and the bureaucratic process for becoming established extremely vague and confused.

In September 1995, a survey of the activities of all NGOs was completed. This resulted in 47 organisations, of whom 44 were indigenous, being removed from the register and informed they could no longer operate. The reasons cited include lack of implementation of programmes within the timeframe allowed by the RRC; registration as an NGO being used as a cover for businesses collecting funds from abroad; and corruption within the organisation.

On the basis of the limited information available, it seems probable that in most cases the authorities had good reasons to act in the way they did. The rapid growth in the number of NGOs registering since 1991/2, coupled with the limited capacity of the RRC to check their bona fide nature meant that some registered groups were merely paper entities and were not actually implementing programmes. This points to the need for support for relevant Ethiopian institutions, both governmental and non-governmental in the field of monitoring and evaluation of services. As yet, the government has not come to terms with the need to work with indigenous NGOs to ensure a cohesive and coordinated attack on the causes of poverty and famine. As government structures are only still in formation it will be a while before they are able to offer support to the emerging NGO sector.

Traditional organisations

Prior to the establishment and registration of local NGOs, indigenous groups have existed since earliest times. Village help committees, associations based on religious/social foundations and kinship can rally the support of communities behind common causes - political, social and economic. Such groups still exist to this day, some major ones being:

Edir A traditional/indigenous social organisation that specialises in assisting families of deceased individuals with funeral arrangements, consoling the bereaved and covering most of the costs.

Equip A local lottery where people contribute a fixed sum of money and lots are drawn periodically. Every member receives an amount equivalent to what he/she has paid for the whole period in one lot.

Mahber A form of social organisation where people, because of their kinship, relationship, ethnic origin, religious connections, gender (women's networks) alumni etc. get together to solve common problems and raise resources for mutual help and discuss issues of common concern.

Peasant Association Originally this was designed by the Derg as a form of official community organisation to represent the government at the lowest level of the community. It has all forms of government functions notably tax collection, security, defence and land allocation. After the collapse of the Derg, the PA lost much of its support and power but continues to function with limitations.

Service Cooperative A loose network of four or five PAs that formed the sales outlet for peasants' produce and allowed the importation of commodities in to the PA. As with the PA the function of the SC has been greatly reduced.

Throughout the period of the Derg, indigenous organisations were suppressed and replaced, at least publicly, by more formal, government controlled structures, such as the Peasants' Associations. Local NGOs were not supported or encouraged; any form of organised gathering was seen as a potential security threat and was brutally suppressed by members of the Red Terror (the Derg militia). This resulted in indigenous NGOs which existed in the 1970s and 1980s, either limiting their activities or going underground; both of which depressed the development of the country and destroyed the decision-making capacity of communities and individuals.

Alongside the indigenous and international NGOs are numerous legally recognised people's organisations registered under the Ethiopian Civil Code (the estimated figure is around 1,000). These groups engage in a variety of activities ranging from providing relief services to supporting self-reliant development, appropriate technology and scientific work. These traditional organisations are not registered with any government ministry.

Within the development process now underway, these people's organisations can play an important role. These groups are fragmented, working as they do all over the country with little recognition or support. Their potential in developing and strengthening such areas as advocacy, relief assistance and the rights of women at the community level needs to be recognised and supported by indigenous and international NGOs and the government. International donors could support this process by working with NGOs whose main objective is strengthening the capacity of peoples' organisations.

People's organisations that have been involved in the provision of relief and rehabihtation are increasingly taking the initiative to adopt participatory and sustainable ways of poverty alleviation by raising awareness in their communities regarding the need for development and highlighting ways in which individuals and groups can participate. For example, the Gurage Road Association has been raising large sums of money to undertake public works programmes. In Tigray, airports, roads, schools and health facilities have been built by community organisations that represent civil society. Throughout Tigray and elsewhere, women's groups, at community level, are contributing by building grain mills and wells but lack the financial resources to supply the machinery needed to complete the projects.

National NGO networks

There are two umbrella organisations which oversee the co- ordination of local and international NGOs: Christian Relief and Development Association (CRDA) and the Council of Ethiopian Voluntary Organisations (CEVO) CRDA, established in 1973, provides advice, services and financial assistance towards project support among its members. It offers training opportunities, especially directed towards indigenous NGOs. While membership is open to all NGO and church groups engaged in social welfare, relief or development work, membership requirements assume applicant groups already have a degree of organisational capacity that is beyond that which some small, newly formed NGOs actually possess. Mandatory requirements include obtaining a signed agreement with the government, submission of a written application accompanied by a profile of the organisation along with sponsorship by two existing members and a membership fee of 7,500 birr (IR£815) for full membership or 3,750 birr (IR£407) for associate membership.

Taking into account the recent upsurge of small indigenous NGOs, acceptance as members can prove difficult due to normal delays in obtaining a signed agreement with the government and the lack of initial funds. CRDA and the longer established organisations are aware of these problems, try to support small nascent NGOs during the registration process and make funds available to assist with salaries of key staff members, all of which is a step towards capacity building among new NGOs.

In 1992 CEVO was formed by a number of indigenous NGOs. Its mandate was twofold: firstly to strengthen and support their members, ensuring that even the weakest, less developed indigenous NGOs would have a forum for voicing their concerns and needs; secondly, to gain a higher profile as indigenous NGOs to enable greater access to donors and strengthen their role in advocacy.

It was felt that smaller indigenous NGOs were being overshadowed by the well established international NGOs within CRDA, often resulting in the newly established, less powerful organisations being neglected until they developed a track record and sufficient capacity to make them less of a risk. Thus an umbrella organisation focusing solely on and assisting them in building up a coherent policy agenda was required. As the majority of members are also in CRDA links with international organisations have still been maintained but with the indigenous NGOs having a clearer agenda. The capacity of the CEVO consortium is still limited. It needs to build up links with long term partners who will support them with funds and ensure that CEVO gains the expertise and skills required to become a key player with the government and major donors.

Human rights work and NGOs

In the past groups identified with specific activities were ostracised by the government and either refused registration or removed from the register. These include NGOs which focused on human rights, assistance to victims of torture and legal aid for the poor.

Civic education and human rights monitoring are the domain of only a few national organisations. Some of note are the Ethiopian Human Rights Council, the Ethiopian Congress for Democracy and the Ethiopian Human Rights and Peace Centre. In general there remains very little involvement in the area of human rights by local NGOs, as such activities can result in an NGO failing to achieve registration with the RRC or severe restrictions being placed on their activities. Moreover, no clearcut guidelines exist regarding the rights and restrictions imposed upon indigenous NGOs. Political affiliations prior to 1991 are obviously remembered and the new government remains very sensitive regarding human rights issues. Rather than any hard and fast rule being applied to NGOs seeking to work in this area a mixture of past political links and present activities influences government decisions.

Due to the lack of skills in advocacy and negotiation many indigenous NGOs find it extremely difficult to open dialogue with government ministries concerning human rights issues and would prefer to leave this to the international NGOs, diplomatic missions and international organisations.

Despite these constraints there have been significant improvements in political liberalisation and human rights relative to the Mengistu era, and there is a process, albeit less than perfect, in which to participate. Prendergast and Duffield point out that a combination of grassroots mediation along with long term civil education and institution building are essential for real reconciliation and compliance with human rights standards.

Women in the indigenous NGO sector

During the civil war women took up arms and fought alongside men. While a small number of women have remained in positions of power within the new government the majority have had to revert to their traditional subservient roles in society. At the grassroots level, the voices of women are rarely heard; women's groups are gradually being formed with the assistance of international donors usually in the form of credit and saving schemes which focus on women in the community. These programmes not only create additional income, but also give the women a forum for discussing issues which affect them and their sociery.

During the war, women proved that they could take over the decisionmaking in the family and community; it is now the responsibility of national and international agencies to ensure that the capacity of women is recognised and developed in all spheres of the community. To plan for and achieve this, research on the role of NGOs in relation to the position of women in society needs to be undertaken.

Networking and advocacy

This is very much a neglected area amongst indigenous NGOs, in large part due to the lack of experience and knowledge regarding the benefits of such work. Due to the low profile of many of the emerging indigenous NGOs, they have not been identified or contacted as partners by African and international networking groups. Those NGOs who are linked into church structures are obviously not as isolated and are more aware of what is available. CEVO is trying to increase its capacity in this area by making contact with organisations and information networks outside of the country as well as developing links with local NGOs, international organisations and donors. CRDA also assists by acting as a centre for the distribution of information and co-ordinates meetings between NGOs for the purpose of sharing and learning. Already, it can be seen that Ethiopian NGOs are serious in their desire to draw on and share information and experiences with each other and internationally. In this aspect they would have the approval of the government which desires the development of the country, especially in strengthening relationships with the international community.

Indigenous NGOs have a limited involvement in advocacy on behalf of disadvantaged groups. This is partly because of a perception that practical work, e.g., the provision of health services, is the priority; there is undoubtedly also a feeling that it is prudent to avoid activities that might cause conflict with the authorities. While the government views NGOs as efficient sub- contractors in the provision of certain services, it does not yet accept them as partners to engage in policy dialogue and debates on overall macro-issues from relief towards long-term development. A large percentage of the newly established NGOs emerged in the immediate aftermath of the civil war as is evidenced by looking at the mainly welfare focus of their activities in response to the need for reconstruction and rehabilitation. Their capacity to implement emergency relief programmes, when the need arises, is extremely limited. Many recognise such limitations and avoid involvement with relief work because they lack the expertise, manpower and resources to be effective in an emergency. For some, the move from welfare into development poses numerous problems. Some smaller agencies are involved in activities such as running orphanages and appear to be content with their role of providers, without building the capacity or expertise to develop long term policies and plans. However, organisations in this role are beginning to realise that funding for purely welfare programmes is increasingly difficult to secure as donors are demanding a more participatory approach with sustainability as a major consideration.

A survey carried out for Trócaire in June 1994 involving 21 national NGOs indicated that the number of activities carried out by individual NGOs varies greatly (see Table 2 - Summary of NGO activities). Despite the above comment regarding the limited scope of activities among some of the NGOs, an opposing criticism levied against a number of indigenous NGOs by their colleagues in international agencies is that they try to become involved in too many fields of work, thus dividing their already stretched resources and manpower between activities such as health, education, agriculture, income generation etc. In their analysis programme efficiency and effectiveness would be increased if local NGOs recognised these constraints and concentrated on building up their expertise in a feasible number of areas.

The question of whether to encourage small indigenous organisations to participate in relief and development programmes is a difficult one. Traditional groups along with NGOs are the natural choice by which to reach the communities and individuals in greatest need. That said many indigenous NGOs do not have the capacity or expertise to take over the relief activities monopolised by international agencies. Moreover, is it fair and just to ask or expect indigenous NGOs to develop their relief capabilities when there are so many facets of their development activities which require capacity building? International aid is more forthcoming during emergencies but when they have passed perhaps that is the best time to let the people and their local NGOs focus on long-term development issues.

In 1994, when Ethiopia was affected by a severe food shortage, a number of national-level church organisations and NGOs attempted to respond to the crisis and took on responsibility for specific relief activities. In an evaluation of the response carried out by the RRC, areas of criticism of the NGOs were:

1. Inadequate monitoring of relief operations, and lack of capacity to deal with complaints from beneficiaries. Special reference was given to:
- shortage of trained and experienced staff;

- shortage of funds to effectively run the relief programmes;

- insufficient vehicles for monitoring distribution of relief items;

lack of adequate communication facilities; inaccessibility of appointed distribution sites;

2. Lack of adequate consultation and co-ordination between the RRC, regional authorities and NGOs;

3. Absence of involvement of beneficiaries in the relief process;

4. Inadequacy of warehouses, trucks and spare parts;

5. Inadequate preparedness and capacity to link relief with development - this applies to regional authorities as well as NGOs.

Disaster preparedness remains an unaddressed issue among many indigenous NGOs who are focused on their specific programme areas and not on activities with a more national dimension. Given the macro-level issues involved this could be an area of activity coordinated by national NGO networks and government.

Ethiopian NGO relationships with donors

A number of international NGOs and official aid agencies are supporting a programme of capacity building within the NGO sector. This is seen as a cost effective means of supporting long term development. Ethiopia is a priority country for Irish Aid which has supported a number of emerging indigenous NGOs through a micro-project scheme operated by the embassy. Irish Aid's focus has been on small indigenous NGOs rather than the established ones such as the Relief Society of Tigray (REST). The aim is to introduce newly emerging NGOs to donor funding through a scheme that is administratively relatively undemanding, thus enabling them to develop their capacity to access funds from international sources after they become better established. Irish Aid has also funded CEVO training activities which enable the better established Ethiopian NGOs to assist the weaker ones.

While donors can help facilitate capacity building, NGOs with assistance from national networks must take on the responsibility of identifying and approaching centres of expertise, tapping into established groups and networking both in Ethiopia and internationally.

Capacity building

In the survey carried out last year by Butler the majority of indigenous NGOs recognised the need for specialised training and increased expertise in a number of areas; the main ones identified were: project design and report writing, budget analysis and accounting systems, gender planning, credit and saving schemes, programme monitoring and evaluation, advocacy and fundraising. One factor which affects the development of support programmes for indigenous NGOs is the acknowledged lack of documented information concerning their activities and capacity. Until this information gap is addressed, a systematic and effective policy of support cannot be fully developed.

Ethiopia is a country rich in experienced, highly qualified individuals (Ethiopian and foreigners). NGOs such as REST and the Tigray Development Association (TDA), along with the international NGOs, have a wealth of expertise and knowledge which could be better accessed by indigenous groups. In Kenya there are many experts available in the area of gender and participatory rural appraisal. A DELTA (Development Education for Leadership Training and Action) programme is now operating in Ethiopia. Locally there are many well run development programmes which can be studied through exposure visits and staff exchanges.

Scope exists for official donors to support this process. Irish Aid's programme uses a core team of local consultants, all experts in their respective fields, who assist in the design, monitoring and review of the programme. This reduces the need for importing expertise and limits the role of expatriate technical assistance. The experience gained through the Irish Aid programme could be shared with other donors, particularly members of the European Union (EU).

The much used phrase, donor fatigue, is very common to NGOs in Ethiopia. In 1995, both USAID and UNICEF have stated that the resources available to them are decreasing. In future these agencies will only be able to support a narrower range of activities. For many of the indigenous NGOs, Hinders such as the UN, EU and USAID are beyond their scope, given their lack of capacity to meet the monitoring and reporting requirements of these high powered donors.


As in the past, the future sees ever increasing competition between NGOs for funds; larger, established indigenous NGOs such as REST, TDA, Oromo Relief Association (ORA) have already become established with international donors due to their involvement in relief activities during the civil war. This leaves the emerging NGOs under great pressure to prove themselves to international donors in a world where official aid flows are declining.

The cyclical famine suffered by Ethiopia has left communities devastated and in abject poverty - they have become part of an assisted society, losing their historical ability to raise funds within their communities.

Indigenous NGOs sometimes display contradictory attitudes towards donors. In general they prefer to deal with international donors, where possible, as it allows a less intense level of monitoring and accounting. Local donors are always on the spot, observing the progress of the programme they have funded and ready to intervene if necessary. However, one advantage of obtaining funds from local sources is that it is by far the cheapest way - searching for international donors is an expensive activity. Local fundraising also enables an NGO to have a greater say in determining its own agenda without being controlled and directed by the funding priorities of international donors and thus torturing their project proposals into this format.

In regard to fundraising, there appears to be an attitude of dependency amongst the NGOs - they expend time and resources in pursuing donors without addressing the possibilities of developing methods of becoming more self-supporting, which in itself would attract the confidence of donors.


It is difficult to cover all the factors which have influenced the emerging NGO movement as these are numerous and long term in nature. In a way the movement is still in a transitional period which makes it an ideal time for funders to focus on local capacity building in such areas as programme identification, management structures, monitoring and evaluation systems, advocacy and networking.

Many factors have influenced the growth of local NGOs such as the absence of a stable environment which would have allowed and supported the steady and progressive development of NGOs. In the height of the 1984/85 famine, many international NGOs became operational but few have addressed the needs of their local counterparts. The larger agencies such as REST, ERO and TDA evolved from groups living outside the country and were able to develop a strong network of support and donors. It is the small NGOs, who have begun to emerge over the past 4/5 years and who are struggling to become established, that are often low down on the list of competitors for funding and lack the resources and expertise to prove themselves in the eyes of international NGOs and official donors. International agencies should prioritise the identification of effective indigenous NGOs, especially at regional level, and those who work with participatory people's organisations, and build upon the skills they have, to develop their capacity and resources. The objective is to build their self-reliance rather than a dependency type relationship.

All this will take time, trust and resources on both sides of the partnership but such a commitment will ensure a sustainable impact on the indigenous NGO sector as well as the communities they work with. The role of Northern NGOs and official donors in allowing such initiatives to develop will be vital in securing a lasting antidote to possible future conflicts in a country whose citizens have known little else.


  • J. Borton, "Ethiopia: NGO Consortium and Coordination Arrangements 1984-91"
  • J. Butler, "The Emerging Ethiopian NGO Movement", internal report for Trócaire, 1994
  • Economist Intelligence Unit, 1995, "Country Profile - Ethiopia. 1994-95"
  • R.A. Fellow, "Country Gender Analysis: Ethiopia" SIDA, 1993
  • John Prendergast and Mark Duffield, "Liberation politics and external engagement in Ethiopia", Washington DC, Center of Concern, April 1995 UNDP, Human Development Report, 1994, New York, Oxford University Press


* Most of the information used in this article comes from the research commissioned by Trócaire for an internal report, "The Emerging Ethiopian NGO Movement" compiled in 1994.

During the research information was gained from:

  • - Interviews and site visits to 21 indigenous NGOs in Ethiopia.
  • - Discussions with the RR.C and government officials;
  • - Meetings with CRDA and CEVO personnel and members.

The following definitions are used by the author in relation to certain terms in the text. Welfare covers the provision of services on a subsidised basis and independent of a long-term strategy. Relief refers to humanitarian assistance in emergency situations. Development covers activities aimed at improving the quality of life and the productive capacity of communities on a self-sustaining basis.

Quality of life indicatorsSummary chart