Public Infrastructures and Livelihood Strategies: The Case of Rural Households in Kersa District, Jimma Zone

Hassen Nagesso, Tariku Ayele, Birhanu Nigussie


Public infrastructures: roads, agricultural extension services, electricity, ICT, protected water sources, irrigation, formal education centers, and formal health centers are essential for human-being in diversifying their livelihood strategies. The general objective of this study is to examine the possible effect of rural public infrastructures on the rural households’ livelihood strategies. The empirical assessments elsewhere in Ethiopia and the circumstances on the rural livelihood in association with public infrastructures have conferred the paucity of sociological research. This study used the pragmatist research philosophy that advocates ontological and epistemological mixes in an effort to minimize the gaps noted on the empirical knowledge. Accordingly, the research strategy employs the triangulation of quantitative and qualitative approaches. As mirror to the methodological triangulation, the analysis has followed a mixed design that combines descriptive and inferential techniques with the themes emerging through qualitative explorations. Cross-tabulation descriptive statistics and binary and multinomial logistic regression were employed. Consequently, the findings of the research revealed that public infrastructures have a significant influence on livelihood diversification strategies. Specifically, there were significant associations whereby households who have access to assume infrastructures did more likely engage in mixed livelihood diversification strategies than households who don’t have access to respective rural public infrastructures. The findings from qualitative data also emphasize indispensability of given public infrastructures for diversification of livelihood strategies. Thus, by including cultural elements of local people, responsible bodies should increase the required resources for the purpose of upgrading and managing public infrastructures particularly on all-weather roads.


Public infrastructures; livelihood; livelihood strategies; rural household; livelihood diversification strategies

Full Text:



Anderson E. Paolo de R. and Stephanie L. 2006. The Role of Public Investment in Poverty Reduction: Theories, Evidence and Methods. Overseas Development Institute, 111 Westminster Bridge Road London SE1 7JD UK

Anderson P. and Shimokawa S. 2006. Rural Infrastructure and Agricultural Development. Paper prepared for presentation at the Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics, Tokyo, Japan, May 29-30, 2006

Ashley C. and Carney D. 1999. Sustainable livelihoods: Lessons from early experience. London, UK

Assefa H., Bienen D., and Ciuriak D. 2012. Ethiopia investment prospects: a sectorial scan. Addis Ababa.

Bryceson F., Bradbury A. & Bradbury T. 2008. “Roads to Poverty Reduction? Exploring Rural Roads' Impact on Mobility in Africa and Asia.” Development Policy Review 26(2):459‐482.

Bryman, Alan. 1998. Social Research Methods. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Babbie, Earl. 2008. The Basics of Social Research. 4th ed. Australia: Wadsworth.

Baron D. 2010. The Impact of Telecommunications Services on Doing Business in Ethiopia; Private Sector Development. Hub/Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectorial Associations

Bhatta B. 2004. “Socio-economic Transformations and Road Accessibility: Evidence from Northern Ethiopia.” A thesis submitted to partial fulfilment of the degree of master science in development and resource economics: Norwegian University of life sciences.

Bernard, Russell H. 2006. Research Methods in Anthropology: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. 4th ed. Oxford: Altamira Press.

Bowser W. 2015. The long and short of returns to public investments in fifteen Ethiopian villages. 3ie Replication Paper Series executive editor: Annette N Brown.

Chaya N. 2007. Poor Access to Health Services: Research Commentary. PAI, Washington DC, USA

Creswell, W. John and L. Plano Clark. 2011. Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research. 2nd ed. SAGE Publications Inc.

Corbetta, Piergiorgio. 2003. Social Research: Theory, Methods, and Techniques. London: SAGE Publications.

Cohen, L., Lawrence Manion and Keith Morrison. 2000. Research Methods in Education. 5th ed. London: Routledge Flamer.

Creightney, C. D. 1993. Transport and Economic Performance: A Survey of Developing Countries. Washington, D.C.: World Bank.

CSA. 2015. Section B- population

Demenge J., Rossella A., Katharina W., Alemu A., and Kebede M. 2014. Multifunctional roads: the potential effects of combined roads and water harvesting infrastructure on livelihoods and poverty in Ethiopia. Journal of Infrastructure Development.

Deribe K., Roda A. 2012. The potential of mobile phone technology for public health practice in Ethiopia.

Derso D., Mamo and Y., and Haji J. 2014. “Analysing socio-economic factors affecting the use of information and communication technologies among farmers in central highlands of Ethiopia.” African Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology (AJAST) 2(8):163- 171. (, ISSN 2311-5882

Dubale T. 2010. Multi-year Expert Meeting on Services Development and Trade: the Regulatory and Institutional Dimension, telecommunication in Ethiopia.

Ellis F. 2000. Rural Livelihoods and Diversity in Developing Countries. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Escobal J. 2005. The Role of Public Infrastructure in Market Development in Rural Peru. Wageningen University. Available at:

Fan S., Hazell P. and Thorat S. 1999. “Linkages between Government Spending, Growth and Poverty in Rural India.” Research Report 110. Washington, DC: IFPRI.

FAO. 2014. Analysis of public expenditures in support of food and agriculture in Ethiopia,

Foster V. and Briceño-Garmendia C. 2010. Africa’s Infrastructure: A time for transformation. The international Bank for reconstruction and development.

Foster V. and Morella E. 2010. “Ethiopia’s Infrastructure: A Continental Perspective.” The World Bank. Washington, DC 20433 USA.

Fosu, K. J., N. Heerink, E. K. Ilboudo, M. Kuiper, and A. Kuyvenhove N. 1995. "Public Good and Services and Food Security: Theory and Modeling Approaches with Special Reference to Ghana and Burkina Faso.” Accra, Ghana: Public Goods and Services Projects. Réseau de Recherché SADAOC.

Kahssay, A. and Mishra S. 2013. “Community Development through Hydroelectric Project: A Case Study of Gilgel Gibe III Hydroelectric Power Project in Ethiopia.” International Journal of Community Development 1(1):19-34

Marvasti, Amir B. 2002. Qualitative Research in Sociology: An Introduction. London: SAGE Publications.

Mensah J., Bourdon H., and Latruffe L. 2014. “Infrastructure Access and Household Welfare in Rural Ghana.” African Development Review 26(3):508–519.

Mogues T, 2011. “The Bang for the Birr: Public Expenditures and Rural Welfare in Ethiopia.” Journal of Development Studies 47(5):735–752.

Narayanamoorthy A. and Hanjra A. 2006. “Rural Infrastructure and Agricultural Output Linkages: A Study of 256 Indian Districts.” Ind. Jn. of Agri. Economics 61(3)

Phillips P. and Roth H. 2013. Infrastructure: Global Priorities and Global Insights. Urban land institute

Satish p. 2007. “Rural Infrastructure and Growth: An Overview.” Ind. Jn. of Agri. Econ. 62(1)

Shiferaw A., Söderbom M., Siba E., and Alemu G. 2015. Road Infrastructure and Enterprise Dynamics in Ethiopia. JEL code: O14, O18, H54

UN Millennium Project. 2005. “Investing in Development: A Practical Plan to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals.” London: Earth scan.

World Bank. 1994. “World Development Report 1994: Infrastructure and Development.” Washington D.C: World Development Report.

Yerasework Admassie. 2010. Social Research Methods. College of social sciences department of sociology graduate program

Abstract Views

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM

This journal is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NonDerivs 4.0 Internacional License.

Universitat Politècnica de València

e-ISSN: 2341-2593