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Incorporating Indigenous Knowledge in the Local Government’s Early Warning System: A Case Study from Baringo County, Kenya

Liang, Shu LU (2017) VBRM15 20171
Division of Risk Management and Societal Safety
Abstract
There is growing interest in using indigenous knowledge to supplement scientific early warning systems within disaster risk reduction. In October 2016, the government in Baringo County, Kenya incorporated indigenous knowledge in a drought scenario building and response-planning workshop. Specifically, three indigenous forecasters provided weather forecasts using star movements and goat intestines. The aim of this study was to understand how indigenous knowledge was incorporated into the local government’s early warning system. Further to this, the following aspects of the case study were investigated: indigenous knowledge characteristics, incorporation process, driving factors, impact to the government and indigenous forecaster interface,... (More)
There is growing interest in using indigenous knowledge to supplement scientific early warning systems within disaster risk reduction. In October 2016, the government in Baringo County, Kenya incorporated indigenous knowledge in a drought scenario building and response-planning workshop. Specifically, three indigenous forecasters provided weather forecasts using star movements and goat intestines. The aim of this study was to understand how indigenous knowledge was incorporated into the local government’s early warning system. Further to this, the following aspects of the case study were investigated: indigenous knowledge characteristics, incorporation process, driving factors, impact to the government and indigenous forecaster interface, and future scenarios. This qualitative study was primarily based on interviews with thirty-five informants including indigenous forecasters, and government, NGO and research representatives. The results revealed a stark contrast between indigenous and scientific knowledge in forecasts, forecasters and recognition. The indigenous forecasters were engaged through a top-down participatory development programme, which combined the indigenous and scientific forecasts into one message for planning and dissemination. While there was strong evidence that the communities’ acceptance of the early warnings improved with the consolidated message, it was not clear how much of an impact it had on the government’s decision-making processes. While many informants were hopeful of increasing and even mainstreaming indigenous knowledge incorporation, some took a more conservative view that the role of indigenous forecasting might weaken with an increase in scientific forecast accuracy and communities’ technical capacity. The study recommends the national and local government to conserve and promote indigenous forecast capacity with long-term community engagement, while addressing issues from incorporation activities. (Less)
Popular Abstract
At a 2016 local government workshop in Kenya, indigenous forecasters used goat intestines to give weather predictions. How/why was indigenous knowledge incorporated into government’s activities? This paper explores different aspects of this initiative including its background, process, impact and future.
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author
Liang, Shu LU
supervisor
organization
course
VBRM15 20171
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
indigenous knowledge, traditional knowledge, early warning system, disaster risk reduction, participatory development
language
English
id
8922488
date added to LUP
2017-08-29 11:43:48
date last changed
2017-08-29 11:43:48
@misc{8922488,
  abstract     = {There is growing interest in using indigenous knowledge to supplement scientific early warning systems within disaster risk reduction. In October 2016, the government in Baringo County, Kenya incorporated indigenous knowledge in a drought scenario building and response-planning workshop. Specifically, three indigenous forecasters provided weather forecasts using star movements and goat intestines. The aim of this study was to understand how indigenous knowledge was incorporated into the local government’s early warning system. Further to this, the following aspects of the case study were investigated: indigenous knowledge characteristics, incorporation process, driving factors, impact to the government and indigenous forecaster interface, and future scenarios. This qualitative study was primarily based on interviews with thirty-five informants including indigenous forecasters, and government, NGO and research representatives. The results revealed a stark contrast between indigenous and scientific knowledge in forecasts, forecasters and recognition. The indigenous forecasters were engaged through a top-down participatory development programme, which combined the indigenous and scientific forecasts into one message for planning and dissemination. While there was strong evidence that the communities’ acceptance of the early warnings improved with the consolidated message, it was not clear how much of an impact it had on the government’s decision-making processes. While many informants were hopeful of increasing and even mainstreaming indigenous knowledge incorporation, some took a more conservative view that the role of indigenous forecasting might weaken with an increase in scientific forecast accuracy and communities’ technical capacity. The study recommends the national and local government to conserve and promote indigenous forecast capacity with long-term community engagement, while addressing issues from incorporation activities.},
  author       = {Liang, Shu},
  keyword      = {indigenous knowledge,traditional knowledge,early warning system,disaster risk reduction,participatory development},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Incorporating Indigenous Knowledge in the Local Government’s Early Warning System: A Case Study from Baringo County, Kenya},
  year         = {2017},
}