• 8 March 2019

Irish Aid recently provided additional funding to support the dissemination of Mokoro’s WIDE research findings in Ethiopia.  Ethiopia WIDE is a longitudinal study of 20 rural communities, exploring issues such as rural economies, inequalities, women’s economic participation, youth, migration, land, urbanisation, and many cross-cutting issues.  Ethiopian think tank the Forum for Social Studies (FSS) have partnered with the WIDE team to make the research available on Ethiopian radio, television and in the press.  In total, 13 radio programmes, four television programmes and six full-page newspaper articles, all in Amharic, will be produced, and the first programmes have already aired.  Please see full details on the FSS website.

  • 3 March 2019

Following a very successful period of sustained growth, Mokoro is recruiting a new Chief Executive to take over from our current Managing Director who is moving on after seven years.

This is a fantastic opportunity for someone who shares Mokoro’s values and has:

 proven senior management and leadership experience;

 solid understanding of the role of niche/ specialist organisations in contributing to international development; and

 a commitment to working collaboratively with a highly talented, committed and motivated team.

The job description describes the Chief Executive’s role and the key skills and experience it requires. It also provides guidance on how to apply. The deadline for applications is midday on Monday 18 March.

  • 1 March 2019

Mokoro Principal Consultant Stephen Turner visited Kigali on 1st March to present findings from the Impact Evaluation of the Land Tenure Regularisation Programme. The programme is a central pillar of Rwanda’s land reform policy and was designed to improve tenure security which would foster sustainable agricultural growth, economic growth and poverty reduction. Members of the Rwandan government were present at this workshop event hosted by DFID, which marked the the official closure of Land Tenure Regularisation Programme after nine years of implementation. The evaluation, which Mokoro has carried out in partnership with Oxford Policy Management, is coming to a close this month.

Stephen led the assignment and was joined on the core team by Mokoro colleagues Chris Tanner and Jim Grabham. Jim will be in attendance at the World Bank’s 20th Annual Conference on Land and Poverty in March to present the findings from this impact evaluation on the panel; ‘Evaluating impacts of land tenure interventions’. The panel will take place in session 01-05 on Tuesday 26th March.

  • 28 February 2019

The latest report from the WOLTS project team is the product of rigorous field research in a third Mongolian community, in collaboration with the Mongolian NGO, People Centered Conservation (PCC). The report addresses critical issues at the intersection of gender, land, mining and pastoralism in Tsenkher soum, in Arkhangai aimag in central-western Mongolia. The team carried out repeat rounds of both quantitative and qualitative participatory fieldwork between October 2017 and December 2018 to validate and triangulate results.

People’s coping strategies in the face of social and environmental change are revealed, in the context of a complex structure of investment and operations in gold mining. A big surprise is that female-headed households are in some ways less vulnerable in this new research community, while many men are in fact the vulnerable members of the community.

To download the full report please visit the main WOLTS web page. A summary can be downloaded on the WOLTS Mongolia web page.

  • 27 February 2019

Mokoro are looking forward to attending the World Bank’s 20th Annual Conference on Land and Poverty. Mokoro Principal Consultant, Elizabeth Daley, will be attending with Yansanjav Narangerel, from our WOLTS partner organisation, People Centered Conservation (PCC). A paper by Elizabeth, Narangerel and Zoe Driscoll, sharing findings from the WOLTS project’s latest research on gender, land, mining and pastoralism in Mongolia, will be presented at the Conference. Jim Grabham, Mokoro’s Research Officer, will also be presenting results from an impact evaluation of the Land Tenure Regularisation Programme in Rwanda, which a Mokoro team, led by Stephen Turner, have recently been conducting in partnership with Oxford Policy Management.

The Impacts of land tenure regularisation programme in Rwanda‘ presented by Jim Grabham will be in the session ‘Evaluating impacts of land tenure interventions II’ on Tuesday 26 March at 8.30 am.

New research about gender, land and mining in Mongolia: deepening understanding of coping strategies in pastoral communities’ will be presented in the session ‘Gender impacts of large-scale investment’ on Tuesday 26 March at 3.45 pm.

Details about the conference can be found here. The agenda can be found here.

  • 23 February 2019

On Saturday, 23 February, Christine Fenning attended a conference at St Antony’s College in Oxford, organised by The Sudanese Programme, where the South Sudanese diaspora discussed the future of South Sudan. The all-day programme was packed with fascinating presentations and talks covering a wide range of topics by people of different affiliations (from former ministers, politicians, regime critics, activists and analysts to psychotherapists): from a history of the latest conflict, to discussions of what went wrong with the New State, to a presentation about  Peace and Community Cohesion Accountability, talks about the political future of South Sudan from various angles, including the very recent unification of the SPLM (Sudan People’s Liberation Movement) faction and the future of the revitalized peace agreement, to more economically-focussed talks on how to turn destruction to production, as well as talks that focused on cultural norms, the impact of culture, and on youth and women.

Throughout the day discussions were lively. People disagreed on many things but they seemed to agree on this: If the peace process is to be successful, it needs to focus on the people of South Sudan and their needs. There is hope for South Sudan but the South Sudanese have their work cut out for them and need to focus on working together for the good of all people in South Sudan.

  • 14 February 2019

On Friday 11 January, Mokoro was delighted to host a seminar on qualitative evidence gathering methods. Following our previous seminar on collecting evidence for development, this seminar looked further into some of the qualitative approaches available and their use by and usefulness for policymakers and practitioners.

Our panel was chaired by Catherine Dom (Mokoro Principal Consultant) and consisted of James Copestake (University of Bath), Gary Goertz (University of Notre Dame), Bev Jones (Consultant, Port Meadow Consulting) and Lilli Loveday (Plan International UK). The speakers explored the value of qualitative/ alternative evidence and discussed various methods of qualitative/alternative evidence gathering, spoke to the issues around necessary synthesis of diverse data, and how quantitative and qualitative approaches to research can connect more meaningfully, with concrete examples from Plan’s Real Choices, Real Lives study, from HelpAge International Moldova programme, and DFID programmes in North Africa.

It was fascinating to listen to our speakers who approached the subject from different angles and to see how it all connected. The presentations provided lots of food for thought and stimulating discussions with our 50+ participants from a range of policy and practice perspectives.

A video and the presentations from this seminar are available here.


  • 24 October 2018

Ethiopia WIDE is a longitudinal qualitative research programme tracking long-term development trajectories as experienced by rural communities in a fast-evolving wider context.

Following the launch in Ethiopia of the WIDE3 book, ‘Change and Transformation in Twenty Rural Communities, Ethiopia’, in February 2017, an international edition of the book has been published in the US by Tsehai Publishers and will soon be available to purchase online. The title of the book is ‘Changing Rural Ethiopia: Community Transformations’.

The book documents transformation in twenty rural communities in Ethiopia, that have changed almost beyond recognition, in complex ways. The communities have become less rural through urbanisation and more outward-looking, including through labour migration. The local economies have become more diversified, offering opportunities for entrepreneurial individuals and greater participation of women. At the same time inequalities have risen and young people’s aspirations have grown with more educational opportunities. However, youth face increased challenges in improving their livelihoods and transitioning to adulthood. The expansion in health care is important, particularly for young women, mothers and babies, though girls still face a range of risks in growing up, and poverty and remoteness affect the wellbeing of mothers and infants.

This book will appeal to policymakers, practitioners, donors and academics seeking to understand Ethiopia today through the experiences of the majority of its people who still live beyond the major conurbations; and the ways their lives have evolved over the last twenty years.

  • 8 October 2018

From 1st to 5th October 2018, following their participation in the conferences organised in Dire Dawa (2012) and Warsaw (2015), twelve members of the WIDE team participated in the 20th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies that took place in Mekelle.  This was made possible by funding from the Swedish Agency for International Development.

The conference, the 20th to be held since 1959, brought together over 500 scholars from all over Ethiopia and other countries with a tradition of research in Ethiopia. The week offered a wonderful opportunity for scholarly debates across a wide range of disciplines and topics.  With other longstanding WIDE Ethiopian colleagues and newer members of the team, Pip Bevan, Catherine Dom, Alula Pankhurst and Sarah Vaughan organised a panel entitled ‘Globalisation and Rural Ethiopia’ speaking to the theme of the conference ‘Regional and Global Ethiopia – Interconnections and Identities’. A total of fourteen papers were presented at the well-attended panel (over 50 participants), of which twelve were based on new empirical data collected by the WIDE team earlier in 2018.

The conference also offered the opportunity for the team to distribute free copies of the ‘WIDE book’, published in Addis Ababa in January 2017 and based on earlier-made empirical data (Change and transformation in 20 rural communities in Ethiopia: Selected aspects and implications for policy, edited by Alula Pankhurst).

The presentations given by the WIDE team at ICES20 are available to download here.

  • 28 August 2018

Mokoro’s work piloting a financial benchmark for child protection in Indonesia was included in the ‘Best of UNICEF research 2017‘ publication. This report showcases some of the best and most innovative pieces of research coming out of UNICEF.

Government funding for child protection programmes often lags behind and expenditure estimates are unreliable. In 2014, Mokoro worked with UNICEF to establish a financial benchmark methodology that aims to provide an accurate estimate of a country’s per-child expenditure on child protection and to compare that with its spending per person overall. The objective was not only to better measure national expenditure on child protection for analysis and advocacy purposes, but also to allow for a degree of comparability across and within countries over time. This research in Indonesia piloted the application of this methodology  for the first time. The assignment was led by Alta Fölscher. Mokoro has since applied the methodology in AfghanistanCôte d’Ivoire  and Nigeria.

The editors of ‘Best of UNICEF research 2017’ commended the  research approach to this piece of work, which was co-designed and jointly implemented by UNICEF staff and consultants. This provided an effective means of capacity-building for UNICEF staff, as well as allowing broader access to government counterparts, thus enabling contextual insights through engaging potential research users. The internal reviewers also highlighted its innovative attempt to better document the costs of child protection programmatic interventions and to develop a systematic methodology for further financial benchmarking and replicability – a difficult area given existing data limitations. The authors were also commended for honest documentation of some of the limitations of the data and research findings.