Social Inclusion and Stakeholder Engagement in Ethiopia

Social Inclusion and Stakeholder Engagement in Ethiopia Oromia Forested Landscape Project​

The Oromia Forested Landscape Project (OFLP) aims to target 287 rural woredas (districts) with more than 1.8 million people living inside or near forests. Project activities and resources will directly benefit 25,000 people, including at least 7,500 women (30 percent) in 49 deforestation hotspot woredas. 

Social Safeguards. The social risks associated with the OFLP have been assessed as High due to complex social relationships and related concerns linked to a large number of underserved and vulnerable groups in the intervention areas. The understanding of social risks and capability to mitigate and manage them by the Government at the national and especially at the jurisdictional level are weak, and thus intensive resources have been devoted to the elaboration and implementation of mitigation measures.
The Stakeholder risk was rated Substantial because of (i) potential for re-emergence of civil disturbances, (ii) weak multi-sectoral coordination, and (iii) possible inadequate distribution of benefits and funds flow associated with the ERPA due to risk of elite capture of the benefits and exclusion of some stakeholders, particularly underserved members of the communities. Mitigation measures have been elaborated, the national SESA Technical Working Group has been established to provide guidance on issues of environmental and social safeguards, including on engagement of underserved and vulnerable groups.  

About 23.5 percent of the population in Ethiopia live below the poverty line (2015). Poverty is more spread in the pastoral and drought-prone lowland areas in the periphery of the country, mainly in the Regional States of Somali, Afar, and Oromia. 87 percent of people in Oromia live in rural areas with 95 percent of farming households producing at subsistence levels. The land reform proclamation of 1975 allocated land only to those who are able to till it and by that denied rights of children, the elderly, and women, making these groups even more vulnerable. 

 Forest- dependent Indigenous Peoples and vulnerable groups. Oromia is a home for more than 88 percent of the ethnic Oromo, and the other 12 percent belong to the different ethnic groups, such as Amhara, Hadiya, Sidama, and others. Pastoral and agro-pastoral households in Oromia are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, as their livelihoods depend upon livestock production and thus the quality of the land. There are three million pastoralists in Oromia in 33 pastoral and agro-pastoral woredas in the region, covering about 152,170 square km. 

Elements of Indigenous Peoples Plan (IPP) are included in Social Development Plan (SDP), with measures for providing culturally appropriate economic and social benefits for vulnerable groups, engaging them in consultations conducted in culturally appropriate manners with materials and FGRM procedures translated into the Afan Oromo language (local language). Woreda/community level consultations took into consideration the social and cultural diversity of the forest communities with respect to their forest management and utilization practices. The program ensures Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) with the underserved people, which include ethnic minorities, pastoralists and other designated disadvantaged people living with disabilities or HIV/AIDS.

 Gender. Women in Ethiopia are traditionally responsible for unpaid household labor, leaving them economically insecure and reliant on men. They are often denied equal access to economic, political, and social opportunities due to prevailing traditional patriarchal social norms. Forest incomes are vital to women, serving as a buffer during seasonal shortages and crop failure. Women often take part in exploiting "free access" resources like firewood to generate income for themselves and their children. 

Proposed activities under OFLP seek to enhance women’s involvement in and influence over decision-making processes that define their access to forest rights and resources and rights to assets, including land and other property. A new land certification process implemented by the Government of Ethiopia and supported by the ISFL ensures land rights are now registered in the names of both spouses of a household, guaranteeing women are able to own and manage family land and thus play a greater role in securing livelihoods. The ISFL’s partnership with Nespresso has also expanded the role of women in coffee production. Nespresso, through its AAA Sustainable Quality Program, has focused on training and hiring female agronomists, giving Ethiopian women the opportunity to become deeply involved in sustainable coffee production. 

Women play an important role in OFLP through forest monitoring and are compensated equitably for their engagements. The project also promotes various household energy options outside of fuelwood in an effort to improve the health of women and children and reduce the time women spend gathering wood, allowing them to pursue other livelihood opportunities. Under OFLP, women also have the opportunity to become involved in livestock and poultry production, increasing their income potential. 

To enhance women’s participation in consultations and other activities, The REDD+ Secretariat is conducting gender analysis to inform elaboration of Gender Mainstreaming Action Plan (GMAP). The GMAP is expected to be elaborated in FY 2020. 

Results Framework for OFLP has one higher-level indicator on direct beneficiaries and three intermediate indicators disaggregated by gender: forest users trained, land users adopting sustainable land management practices as a result of the project, and beneficiaries that feel project investments reflected their needs. 

 Stakeholder Engagement. Awareness creation activities within the REDD+ programs in Ethiopia have been going on since January 2009. The Project focuses on increasing community engagement and participation in forest management and decision making through (a) increasing the capacity of forest-dependent communities to undertake community-led planning process; (b) increasing the capacity and responsiveness of regional and woreda administrations to respond to citizen demand; and (c) supporting channels where citizens and various levels of government can work together in the context of implementation and monitoring of community-led forest management. The Consultation and Participation Plan for undertaking consultations with communities, NGOs, community-based organizations and different platforms operating in the jurisdiction has been developed in 2014 but needs to be updated. 

OFLP relies on several vehicles for maintaining consultations and stakeholder engagement, the key vehicle being the REDD+ Information Exchange Network, which was established to engage with different stakeholders, share information, experiences and challenges.

Information on the REDD+ Information Exchange Network contact details could be obtained from Yitebitu Moges Abebe (PhD), National REDD+ Coordinator.

Contact: P O Box 12760, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Tel.: +251-912-865584
E-mail: or

 Feedback and Grievances Redress Mechanism. The OFLP FGRM is built based on traditional and formal conflict resolution systems and envisages arbitration by appropriate local institutions such as local authorities or community leaders. The FGRM also makes use of the existing kebele, woreda, zonal and Regional Public Grievance Hearing Offices (PGHO). Where satisfactory solutions cannot be achieved at such levels, the aggrieved party may escalate the matter to the formal court. The OFLP has established 1,810 FGRM committees at kebele and woreda levels in 14 zones. These committees have 13,110 members (10,653 male and 2,457 female committee members).

FGRM does not have a separate website but the project website can be used to submit any complaints:

 Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Framework. 

Indicator EOP Target EOP Target % Women FY17 Results FY18 Results FY19 Results
T1.1 Number of people reached with benefits from ISFL programs 250,000 30% 0 1,648 (8% women) 22,882 (10% women)
T2.O1.5 Land users who have adopted sustainable land management practices as a result of ISFL support 18,000 30% 0 0

6,370 (19% women)

T2.O1.c Land users who have received training for improving land management 25,000 30% 0

1,648   (8% women)

22,882   (10% women)

T2.O1.d Land users who have received training for agricultural productivity 20,000 25% N/A

30,372   (38% women)

31,379   (37% women)

CC.P.2 Number of stakeholders consulted on ISFL programs following WB safeguard policies (% women) Indicator will be reported on each  year, targets will not be included

349,746   (no disaggregation reported)

349,746      (no disaggregation reported)

349,746 (no disaggregation reported)


 Contact details of the REDD+ Secretariat, Ministry of Environment and Forest. 

Phone: +251111704214
Fax: +251111704251