Dairy’s contribution towards healthy and nutritious diets in Ethiopia: Exploring transition pathways for Ethiopia’s dairy sector

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional


Transition pathways approaches are increasingly being applied to reflect on sustainable, just and inclusive food system transitions and food and nutrition security (Wigboldus et al., 2021).Through the ‘Food security and valuing water’ research theme of the Knowledge Base program - Food and Water Security - of Wageningen Research (WR), stakeholders within the Ethiopian dairy sector have been engaged to explore the potential contribution of Ethiopia’s dairy sector towards healthy and nutritious diets through increased consumption of nutritious dairy products. In the process the “exploring transition pathways” approach and methodology, that was generated in the knowledge base programme, was applied within a specific context with relevant stakeholders. The methodological approach encompassed desk-top research, key informant interviews and interactive multi-stakeholder workshops. By building on and making use of the extensive network, in depth insights and rich experiences of the BRIDGE project1, which has been operating within the Ethiopian dairy sector for a good number of years, the process was strongly grounded in the reality of Ethiopia. Thanks to the BRIDGE project the process was able to engage key stakeholders in the interviews and workshops that took place. This report summarizes the learnings from the activities that took place throughout 2021 and 2022.This report touches on two main elements:1. Key insights and outcomes of the process.2. Learnings and applicability of the methodological approach for exploring food system transition pathways.By applying the approach “exploring transition pathways” to a specific case in Ethiopia, we conclude that the methodological steps in the approach support stakeholders and practitioners to think beyond what is already there and challenge entrenched assumptions regarding development trajectories.The approach provides guidelines for food system transition exploration processes. A core strength of the approach is its methodological capacity to guide multiple stakeholders and development practitioners in their exploration of transition pathways. This is achieved by diverting the focus from what is currently (im)possible and starting-off by visioning a desired future, without being limited by thoughts about how to realise the envisioned futures.The experience has shown that the approach can be tailored and be made fit-to-purpose by customizing it to a concrete food system change process. For proper application and continued learning it is valuable to continuously monitor and reflect, together with the project team, about the different experiences that stakeholders have throughout the methodological steps, as well as to reflect on the stakeholder engagement process in itself.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationWageningen
PublisherWageningen Centre for Development Innovation
Number of pages55
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

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NameReport / Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation


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