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SPARC: Supporting Pastoralism and Agriculture in Recurrent and Protracted Crises

Image credit:ILRI/Stevie Mann Image license:CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Supporting Pastoralism and Agriculture in Recurrent and Protracted Crises (SPARC) is a six-year research programme (2020 - 2026) which seeks to address gaps in evidence and understanding of the problems and opportunities faced by pastoralists, agro-pastoralists and farmers living in fragile and conflict-affected states in the face of protracted crises.

To achieve this, it aims to influence the investments and policies of donors and governments in framing and responding to issues based on:

  • generation of evidence and improved understanding of the problems and opportunities faced by drylands communities;
  • building the capacity of donors and governments through convening and knowledge brokering, so as to understand what makes for effective action;
  • undertaking particular technical assistance as requested by the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and other governments to apply evidence and build capacity so as to improve pastoral and agropastoral resilience.

SPARC works in 18 countries across east, west and north Africa and the Middle East.

For more information, see the SPARC website, or sign up to follow SPARC on Twitter and LinkedIn.

SPARC Publications

SPARC creates, distils, evaluates and shares evidence and best practice on research and policy that aims to support pastoralists and farmers in dryland areas.

SPARC Features

What are the key debates, and topical and pressing issues, in research and policy that inform programming and funding to support pastoralists and farmers in dryland regions? What are the perspectives and priorities of dryland communities?

SPARC in the News

Young people are creating a new climate narrative for African drylands

Published in Climate Change News: As climate change puts pressure on the already vulnerable drylands of Africa, young people are changing the narrative to fight for resilient futures.

Read the article
Young adolescent girl herding cattle in Amhara, Ethiopia

Pastoralism under threat

Published in Geographical (2023), and featuring SPARC researchers: Climate change "makes this traditional, low-impact, sustainable means of human co-existence with animals and landscapes ever more crucial, it also poses its biggest threat."

Find out more

Farmers walk tens of kilometers to search for pastures in Guidimakha, a pastoral area with adverse climatic conditions, facing persistent poverty, high rates of food insecurity and shortfalls in agricultural production.

Webinar | Pastoralists on social media: harnessing the power of influencers for impactful campaigns

In January 2023, the SPARC Innovation Research Facility partnered with Wowzi to explore how pastoralists engage on social media in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Nigeria and how this can be unlocked for information and product campaigns and generate new streams of income.


  1. Transboundary climate risks to African dryland livestock economies

    Briefing/policy papers

  2. Food prices in Mali and Sudan

    Briefing/policy papers

  3. Somalia: Anticipatory Action in Advance of 'Wicked Crises'

    Briefing/policy papers

  4. Nigeria: Some land tenure insecurity issues in Hayin Ade and Wuro Bappate

    Briefing/policy papers

  5. Rapid Assessment of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

    Emerging analysis

  6. Stabilising the Sahel: Livestock as a driver of regional integration

    Briefing/policy papers

  7. Impacts of disruptions to livestock marketing in Sudan

    Working papers

  8. Financing livestock trade: Formal and informal finance in Kenya, Mali and Somalia

    Research reports

  9. Livelihoods and markets in protracted conflict: a review of evidence and practice

    Literature reviews

  10. Making the concept of resilience in the Sahel more useful

    Briefing/policy papers

  11. Obstacles to and opportunities for anticipatory action in Somalia

    Briefing/policy papers

  12. Impacts of war on food prices and food security in potentially vulnerable countries

    Briefing/policy papers

  13. Conflict in the time of Covid-19

    Case/country studies

  14. Livelihoods, conflict and mediation: Nigeria

    Case/country studies

  15. Livelihoods, conflict and mediation: Somalia

    Case/country studies

  16. Somalia: drought and rising costs take hold

    Briefing/policy papers

  17. Climate adaptation investments in conflict-affected states

    Briefing/policy papers

  18. Transboundary climate and adaptation risks in Africa: perceptions from 2021

    Research reports