Pathways to Resilience in Semi-arid Economies (PRISE)

February 2014 to November 2018

Pathways to Resilience in Semi-Arid Economies (PRISE) was a five-year, multi-country research project that generated new knowledge about how economic development in semi-arid regions can be made more equitable and resilient to climate change.

PRISE aimed to strengthen the commitment of decision-makers in local and national governments, businesses and trade bodies to rapid, inclusive and resilient development in these regions. It did so by deepening their understanding of the threats and opportunities that semi-arid economies face in relation to climate change.

Ground breaking in its focus, PRISE research adopted a policy and development-first approach to engaging decision-makers in governments, businesses and trade bodies. Rather than starting with complex climate change projections, this research began by identifying the decisions people need to make now about investment choices and development options for semi-arid regions. Decision-makers and the research team decided jointly on the research questions and study areas to ensure that the research responded to demand. This approach meant that PRISE had the flexibility to support policy makers and investors with quick-response research whenever the need arose, as well as the capacity to lead longer-term collaborative studies.

PRISE research targeted semi-arid areas across six countries in Africa and Asia: Burkina Faso, Senegal, Tanzania, Kenya, Pakistan and Tajikistan. 

The research was organised around five areas: (1) climate risk management, (2) governance, institutions and finance, (3) markets and supply chains, (4) natural capital and (5) human capital. Each area was led by a consortium partner and engaged researchers from across the five consortium members to ensure a blend of cross-disciplinary expertise and methodological insights.

The consortium’s four member organisations were:

The PRISE project's Country Research partners included:

The project was funded by the International Development Research Centre in Canada and the UK Department for International Development.


Challenging the myths around semi-arid lands

Briefing papers | November 2017 | Eva Ludi, Guy Jobbins, Elizabeth Carabine, Catherine Simonet, Peter Newborne, Nathalie Nathe, Rajeshree Sisodia and Tiina Pasanen
In ‘Challenging the myths around semi-arid lands’, PRISE shows how semi-arid regions can be drivers of inclusive, climate-resilient economic development.

Resilience, equity and growth in semi-arid economies: a research agenda

Working and discussion papers | March 2017 | Guy Jobbins, Declan Conway, Sam Fankhauser, Bara Gueye, Emma Liwenga, Eva Ludi, Tom Mitchell, Helen Mountfort and Abid Suleri
This working paper sets out the rationale for PRISE’s focus on investment and development that have the potential to unlock rapid economic growth and reduce poverty.

The urban-rural water interface: a preliminary study in Burkina Faso

Working and discussion papers | January 2016 | Peter Newborne; Josephine Tucker
An initial framing paper produced in partnership with WISE-UP that looks at water allocation in Ouagadougou, and how the government manages the issue of water allocation between rural and urban areas, especially in semi-arid regions.

(Re)conceptualising maladaptation

Working and discussion papers | June 2015 | Lindsey Jones, Elizabeth Carabine and Lisa F. Schipper
What are the characteristics and symptoms of maladaptation and how can it be diagnosed? This paper aims to help policy-makers and practitioners identify the main constituents.