Range management and range livestock development projects have had a chequered history. Most have been considered unsuccessful if not outright failures (Baker 1975, Jahnke 1982, Sandford 1983, Dyson-Hudson 1985, Dwyer 1986, and Gow 1987). The reasons offered have mostly tended to be the organisational and administrative problems affecting project implementation rather than the technical (Rondinelli no date and Honadle et al. 1986). At a 1986 meeting of range management professionals representing the universities, comprising CID (the Consortium of International Development), few of the 32 constraints identified affecting implementation concerned the technology of range management. Most were administrative in nature. One major conclusion, however, was that range livestock projects were too short to measure successful interventions given the arid and semi-arid nature of the resource.
The reasons for short planning and implementation horizons are legion. Most important among these are the budget restrictions of the donor agencies. Also, administrators of both donor and host government agencies fall under immediate scrutiny of their critics when a project begins, necessitating quick results to justify expenditure and involvement. In some donor agencies, staff are rotated frequently. The need for quick, positive results for career advancement only exacerbates the problem.