A research team from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (Stein Holden and Mesfin Tilahun) have contributed to documenting the Award winning land restoration policy. Their census of 740 youth groups in five districts in Tigray was an important reference in identifying the winner of the Award (Holden and Tilahun 2017). They concluded that there is a high degree of compliance with Elinor Ostrom’s Design Principles across the youth groups, and that the youth group model shows promise as an approach for engaging landless and unemployed youth in productive activities and as environmental custodians. Ultimately, they recommend that it be tested in other countries.
The paper on winning land restortion policy with the title "THE IMPORTANCE OF OSTROM’S DESIGN PRINCIPLES: Youth Group Performance in Northern Ethiopia" was presented by Stein Holden (co-authored with Mesfin Tilahun) at the Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty in Washington, DC. This paper was also published as CLTS Working paper with the title " The importance of Ostrom's design principles: Youth group performance in Northern Ethiopia" written by Stein T. Holden and Mesfin Tilahun.
The World Bank, which has been involved in the project, points out that the project “is reducing youth unemployment, and incentivizing good land stewardship among the next generation of community leaders, while boosting the climate resilience and carbon storage potential of production landscapes by bringing land back into production”.
Tigray’s approach provides an integrated landscape management model for the restoration of sub-Saharan African drylands. Its evolution from top-down, centralised programmes to more bottom-up, decentralised, and participatory programmes shows how a stepwise or sequential series of steps can help garner local and international support and scale up sustainable land management interventions. The effective mobilisation of local farmers was a key success factor and is a cost-effective way to enhance welfare and sustainable land management.
The NMBU research team continues its research on the performance of youth groups consisting of youth who were landless and unemployed and that have been allocated rehabilitated communal lands. They are required to conserve these lands while they at the same time have established a joint business on this land (such as forestry, irrigation, horticulture, animal rearing, beekeeping).
More information can be obtained here: http://www.futurepolicy.org/healthy-ecosystems/biodiversity-and-soil/tigrays-conservation-based-adli/