Cullis, A.

Soil and water conservation in sub-Saharan Africa: The need for a bottom-up approach

The report, written for an Arid Lands Workshop, very briefly discusses the main issues in SWC in sub-Saharan Africa. A list of "do's" for participatory soil and water conservation are then briefly discussed, which are mostly to do with the organisational side of SWC, rather than the technical. A short analysis is made of the character of Oxfam-funded SWC projects which concludes that the Oxfam projects are innovative and successful at getting the local population involved when compared to other such projects in the area.

Ranking with Shagaa in Mongolia

'Shagaa' (a bag of sheep and goats' knucklebones) can be found in most Mongolian households. They are used like dice or counters, each facet of the bone representing a different livestock type, in about twenty different games. In this exercise herders used the shagaa bones to rank winter livestock losses over the last ten years. The technique proved useful for illustrating the trends in livestock losses over the years, and providing a basis for discussion. The exercise was enhanced by the use of the bones, which to the herders already represented animals.