The Potential of Indigenous Institutions for Local Development: The Case of Hula Wereda, in Sidaama, Southern Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


Nowadays, the study of indigenous institutions has become one of the key issues among increasing /lumber of scholars and institutions. Indigenous institutions can play a significant role to achieve local development; this is because, they can offer reasonable and locally adopted responses to local development problems or they can be combined with scientific knowledge to improve productivity and living standards of the community. Accordingly, close investigation and analysis of these institutions are very important in local development point of view. This study was conducted to examine the potential indigenous institutions for local development, in Hula Wereda of Sidaallla Zone, Southern Ethiopia. In order to collect data, the study was utilized various data generating instruments like key informants interviews, focus group discussions, personal observations and secondary sources. For key informant interviews, 38 respondents were involved and four focus group discussions were held in various parts of Wereda. The sample was drawn by employing a pwposive, non-probability sampling procedure. The finding of study reveals that indigenous institutions are based on norms and values of the community and accessible to community members. The major benefits, these institutions provide include local service delivery, conflict management, natural resource management, local resource mobilizations, source of information and build sense of community ownership in local development initiatives. Further, they have paramount roles to enhance local agriculture, local income and to other local development activities. Generally, they play various social, economic and political roles in local development by filling the local development gaps of formal institutions. Accordingly, the proposed suggestions provided in the conclusion section gives insight in to possible strategies that could be adopted to utilize the roles of these institutions in local development. Among others, the study suggests that it seems essential that local development policies and programs must take into account these institutions; this would be useful in the proper targeting appropriate solutions for local development problems. Key Words: Indigenous Knowledge, Indigenous Institutions, Elders' Institution (Chimessa System), Dee, Jirte, Seera, Qeexaala, Local Development, Hula, Sidaama, Ethiopia.



Indigenous Knowledge, Indigenous Institutions