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Since 2005, Inter Aide agricultural programs in Ethiopia (support to smallholder farming families) have developed several partnerships with traditional local structures called “Iddirs”. Iddirs are vernacular organizations, based on collective savings, aiming at supporting financially and organisationally member families in certain circumstances (burial ceremonies for instance). Based on mutual understanding and solidarity amongst their members, Iddirs constitute the nearly sole traditional entity having a real legitimacy within the community.

In order to have a better understanding of the local Iddirs groups of Wolayita and Kembata-Tembaro zones, Inter Aide has undertaken a study to get a deeper knowledge of the history, identity, role and functioning patterns of these institutions. One of the expectations of this study was also to obtain an accurate representation of the responsibilities and limits of Iddirs groups, as regards agricultural development activities, allowing to better adjust the programs’ methodology to the specificities of the prevailing social context.


Author: Thomas Leonard/Inter Aide