As part of its matchmaking approach that devises data-driven early action food security solutions for dry areas, the Jameel Observatory supports researchers looking for answers that pastoral communities can use to overcome climate changes. Observatory Students combine their academic studies with field work to produce development-oriented resources with practical applications.

Abdishakur Diriye is a PhD. student at the University of Edinburgh’s College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine and Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Systems. After obtaining his bachelor’s degree in economics and management Science from Mogadishu University in Somalia, Abdishakur pursued a master’s in public administration at the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC).

During his time at USTC, he took on research assignments that inspired him to pursue a second MSc – in Environmental Policy and Management – at the University of Bristol. He has published research papers on climate change adaptation, sustainable land use policies, public participation and acceptability in decisions to mitigate environmental degradation.

Research focus and plans

His research pursuit hinges on securing appropriate financing mechanisms for pastoralists whose livelihoods depend on livestock and whose survival is intricately tied to the availability of water and pasture as a proactive approach to thrive in the face of droughts. He puts special emphasis on evaluating forecast-based microfinancing options such as weather (i.e., drought) index insurance programs to identify and develop better ways to access and utilize finance for early action initiatives at the onset of droughts.

He will also explore existing drought index livestock insurance programs in the Horn of Africa in terms of thresholds, triggers and timelines, evaluating their effectiveness and how they can be tailored to local economic worldviews and ethics such as Islamic insurance principles as well as unique pastoral economic structures.

Jameel Observatory significance

Supervised by Dominic Moran, Alan Duncan and Nathan Jensen, his research aims to ensure that pastoralists have quick access to necessary finance to invest in water, pasture, veterinary supplies, and other essential resources before droughts or other emergencies hit; minimizing livestock mortality and maintaining pastoralist livelihoods.


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His recent papers:

  • Abdishakur W. Diriye, Osman M. Jama, Ren Chong & Abdulhakim M. Abdi. 2022. Value of cultural worldviews and message framing for the acceptability of sustainable land use zoning policies in post-conflict Somalia, Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 65(14): 2587-2608,
  • Abdishakur W. Diriye, Osman M. Jama, Jama Warsame Diriye, Abdulhakim M. Abdi. 2022. Public preference for sustainable land use policies – Empirical results from multinomial logit model analysis, Land Use Policy 114: 105975.

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