The Pastoralist Communication Initiative is the collective name for a series of projects working with pastoralists in the Horn of Africa, implemented and managed by Pastoralists Consultants International. The projects focus on new knowledge and innovation and connect pastoralists in the Horn with each other and with pastoralists in other parts of the world. We promote productive conversation between pastoralists, governments and others. We promote an appreciation of the potential of pastoral economies and societies with official institutions, the media and the public.

Pastoralist Consultants International

Pastoralist Consultants International is a non-profit company registered in the United Kingdom (no. 04505837). Formed in 2002 to support pastoralists’ knowledge and communication activities, the company has a board of four directors, two executive and two non-executive. Non-executive directors are Dr Jeremy Swift and Ivo Philipps. Jeremy has studied and worked with pastoralists for several decades. Ivo is a manager of international banking group, Standard and Chartered PLC.

The 6-10 consultants who work with Pastoralist Consultants International come mainly from pastoralist backgrounds. They have extensive connections within the world of pastoralism, expertise in pastoralist issues and skills in communication and event management.

Pastoralist Consultants International promotes dialogue and understanding. We implement projects that focus on facilitating pastoralist-led processes; organising pastoralist gatherings; linking pastoralists to non-pastoralists; and responding to pastoralist requests for research. Our team works in partnership with customary leadership of more than 30 pastoralist groups in East Africa and are connected to pastoralists in more than 30 countries.

We work on projects that assist members of bilateral, multilateral and international agencies, governments, politicians and local agencies in learning from and coming to agreements with pastoralists about their issues and aspirations.

Our Principles

We start from a position that pastoralists and other members of the pastoral economy should choose the direction of their development. We do not speak for pastoralists, they speak for themselves. We seek their guidance in selecting our activities and priorities and take action on request. We treat the institutions with which we work with the highest respect. We support innovation that significantly advances the pastoral economy and society and that is acceptable to that society and its government(s). We are independent and do not take sides or political positions in debates. We value working in alliance with those who operate by the same or similar principles.

Recent Projects

Education and Resilience in Kenya’s Arid LandsNapotaria - Karamoja

We are working UNICEF ESARO to find out how education in northern Kenya’s arid lands can help build a stronger and more secure society and economy. After undertaking a study which collected the views of a wide range of people living in the arid counties of Marsabit, Turkana and Wajir, we took the findings back to all three counties and discussed recommendations. This has stimulated collaborative action among and between citizens, state and civil society in Kenya while also contributing applicable insights on education provision in marginalised and conflict-affected areas more broadly.

Turkana pastoralist girl
Strength, Creativity and Livelihoods of Karimojong Youth

We facilitated and trained a team of young researchers to investigate livelihoods in Karamoja, northeastern Uganda. The research project was commissioned by Restless Development Uganda and done in collaboration with the Institute of Development Studies.