Academic Workshop

Mobile Pastoralism, Index Insurance, Computational Sustainability and Policy Innovations for the Arid and Semi-arid Lands of East Africa

Wednesday, June 10, and Thursday, June 11, 2015 , John Vercoe (JVC) Auditorium International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) Nairobi, Kenya

The Academic Workshop will showcase the research work that is ongoing in and around IBLI; on behavior and welfare and drivers of change that affect the pastoral community in the Arid and the Semi Arid Lands. This two day event will feature talks from renowned scholars and academicians from across the world on issues that concern the pastoral community. There will be discussions on microinsurance as a social protection tool, does IBLI have impact on increasing resilience, market engagements or is it competing against expectations. The innovation of IBLI lies in its design and the use of state of the art remote sensing science. Detailed presentation and discussions will take place on the role of organizations like NDMA’s drought monitoring along with the ways by which the NDVI readings can be made even more precise than what they currently are.

The eco-system that the pastoral community lives in, is a very vibrant and ever changing environment. In order for a pastoral community to be able to cope against the constant changing climate and increasing variability, it is important that pastoral men and women have access to essential services like finance, feeds, medicine, institutional support and so on. This workshop intends to address some of these issues. Even though there are obvious limitation in terms of infrastructure, use of ICT and mobile phones in particular have had a great influence in passing on information to this community. To this effect, IBLI is working on several mobile based training platforms for the IBLI sales agents who work and belong in this community. Through this workshop, some of the impacts of such ICT based training will be shared.

We look forward to your participation. Academic workshop Agenda 

Note on Format of Talks:

1. Keynote talks will be scheduled for 1 hour. This presumes a 45-minute presentation and 15 minute discussion and Q&A.
2. Regular talks will be scheduled for 30 minutes. This presumes a 20 minute presentation (with minimal interruption, for clarifying questions) and 10 minutes for discussion.
3. Speakers have the option to select into having a formal discussant; in that case the discussant will take up to 5 minutes of the 10 minute discussion period.



 Wednesday, June 10, 2015


8:30 – 9:00

Registration, tea and coffee

9 – 9:30

Opening and Introductions

Andrew Mude, ILRI, and Russell Toth, University of Sydney

Morning session (9:30-12:30)

Social Protection Through Microinsurance: Targeting, Design, Uptake, Impacts


9:30 – 10:30

Social Protection in the Face of Climate Change: Targeting Principles and Financing Mechanisms

Michael Carter, UC Davis

10:30 – 11:00

Coffee and tea break


11:00 – 11:30

Index Insurance and Cash Transfers: A Comparative Analysis from Northern Kenya

Nathan Jensen, Cornell University

11:30 – 12:00

Is the Demand of the Index-based Livestock Insurance and Informal Insurance Network Substitute or Complement?

Kazushi Takahashi, IDE-JETRO

12:00 – 12:30

Dynamic Effects of Index Based Livestock Insurance on Household Intertemporal
Behavior and Welfare

Munenobu Ikegami, ILRI

12:30 – 1:45


Afternoon session (1:45-5:00)

Other Impacts of IBLI: SWB, Resilience, Market Engagement, Competing Expectations

1:45 – 2:15

The Subjective Well-being Gains from Insurance That Doesn’t Pay Out

Kibrom Hirfrfot, Cornell University

2:15 – 2:45

Does Insurance Improve Resilience? Measuring the Impact of Index-Based Livestock Insurance on Resilience in Northern Kenya

Joanna Upton, Cornell University (on behalf of Jenn Cisse)

2:45 – 3:15

Pastoralist Market Engagement in The Presence of Index Based Livestock Insurance: Evidence from Northern Kenya

Eddy Chebelyon, ILRI

2:45 – 3:30

Coffee and tea break

3:30 – 4:00

Competing Expectations in Index-Based Livestock Insurance: Actors and Imagined Futures

Leigh Johnson, University of Zurich



4:00 – 5:00

The ‘Elephant in the Room’ Issues in Pastoralism Research: An informal

Peter Little, Emory University

Free evening


Thursday, June 11, 2015


Morning session (9:00-11:40)

ADRAS and ICS agenda: alternative modeling approaches

9:00 – 9:10

Overview of ADRAS agenda

Russell Toth, University of Sydney



9:10 – 10:10

On Computational Sustainability and Applications in pastoralism


Carla Gomes, Cornell University

10:10 – 10:40

Crowd Sourcing Rangeland Conditions: Using mobile phones to enable pastoralists to participate as citizen scientists


Yexiang Xue, Cornell University

10:40 – 11:10

Coffee and tea break


11:10 – 11:40

Potential of Social-ecological Modelling to Understand Dynamics of Pastoral Land Use Under Processes of Change


Birgit Müller, Gunnar Dressler, Felix John, UFZ Leipzig

Late morning session (11:40-12:40)

The IBLI Contract and Remote Sensing

11:40 – 12:10

Optimal Seasonal Integration Times of NDVI Series for Index-based Livestock Insurance
in East Africa


Vrieling, University of Twente

12:10 – 12:40

NDMA’s Operational Drought Monitoring of Pastoralist Areas in Kenya Based on Satellite Observations


Clement Atzberger, University
of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna

12:40 – 2:00


Afternoon session (2:00-5:00)

Other topics and closing

2:00 – 2:30

The Impact of Mobile Training on Sales Agent Performance


Elizabeth Lyons, UC San Diego

2:30 – 3:00

Credit Access with Focus on Gender: A case study of Marsabit, Northern Kenya


Anne Gesare, ILRI

3:00 – 3:15

Coffee and tea break

3:15 – 3:45

Does Peer Monitoring Influence Choices Between Cash and Food? Findings from a
Field Experiment in Northern Kenya


Erin Lentz, University of Texas

3:45 – 4:15

The Impact of a Multipronged Approach to Poverty Alleviation on Household Outcomes

Vilas Gobin, Monash University


4:15 – 4:45

Closing session



Gather for transport

7:00 – 9:30

Group dinner offsite


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