Iddirs, traditional burial associations, are an important part of the social fabric in the communities where we work. ACORD works closely with Iddirs to support their organisational development. As a result large numbers of NGOs are supporting the livelihood initiatives of Iddirs through provision of seed capital for micro-credit activity, entrepreneurial skill development and programmes of support to orphans and vulnerable children. More importantly there is a growing interest within these strengthened community based organisations to engage in diverse development activities, going beyond their traditional funeral role

 Areas of focus

ACORD has been working in Ethiopia since 1995 to address the key issues of sustainable livelihoods and social justice. Today ACORD works in four regions in Ethiopia with agro-pastoral communities in Gambella and Boranna region as well as urban and peri-urban communities in Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa. 

 >>   Livelihoods: ACORD's approach is to work through traditional community based structures such as Iddirs supporting them to deliver essential services as well as engage in policy formulation and decision making that effects the livelihoods and well-being of their members.

In urban areas ACORD works to make credit, saving and social services directly available to communities. ACORD has successfully built the capacity of Iddirs to provide micro-credit services to their members, participate in income generation projects, and implement small infrastructure projects and programmes of support to orphans and vulnerable children. ACORD also supports the urban poor especially women, through access to improved urban agriculture production method, techniques, and agricultural inputs

The programme has successfully established a community based disaster and risk management systems and community based animal health systems in pastoral and agro pastoral areas. ACORD pioneered the Community Based Animal Health Programme among the agro pastoralist communities in Gambella. The Community Based Animal Health Workers trained and deployed by ACORD are stock owners themselves therefore know the problems first hand, are part of the community and are accepted and they travel on foot and are able to reach the remotest villages. They have proven to be effective for reaching out to remote villages with instant treatment for livestock diseases and prophylactic vaccination for common contagious diseases. In Boranna, ACORD is improving the drought preparedness capacity of communities through practical interventions to increase community resilience against drought. This includes supporting the construction and maintenance of water harvesting facilities, reclamation of communal reserve pasture land, supporting livestock marketing initiatives and strengthening the existing community based animal health programme.

>> HIV/AIDS: ACORD focuses on awareness raising and capacity building of various community based anti-aids groups.

>> Gender and women's empowerment: is integrated into all our work in Ethiopia, both at a practical level addressing livelihood and more strategically to enhance the capacity of women's organisations in terms of participation and decision making in community affairs. 

 Where we work

ACORD works in four regions in Ethiopia with agro-pastoral communities in Gambella and Borana region as well as urban and peri-urban communities in Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa.

View ACORD in Ethiopia in a larger map

Our partners in Ethiopia

ACORD in Ethiopia works in partnership with more than 300 community based organizations such as Iddirs (traditional burial associations) in urban areas and self help groups such as community managed disaster risk reduction committees in pastoral and agro pastoral areas. It also involves the participation of relevant government institutions and local administrative structures. 

ACORD is a leading member of Poverty Action Network of Ethiopia (PANE) the national civil society network, which engages in debate on governance and policy issues and the current Chair of the largest umbrella organisation of all NGOs in Ethiopia - Christian Relief and Development Association (CRDA). ACORD is also a member of Pastoralist Forum in Ethiopia (PFE) bringing forth the issues of the long neglected Nuer pastoralists in national pastoralist advocacy.

ACORD receives valuable support from donors including CCFD - Terre Solidaire, CIDA, Comic Relief, CordAid, Dan Church Aid (DCA), Dutch Government, Jersey Overseas Aid Commission, Samaritan Austria and Trócaire.

Photos, videos and publications

Putting small-scale farming first:
Improving the national agriculture investment plans of Burkina Faso, Burundi, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Tanzania
Download report
African women and girls at the grassroots - their say on their world post 2015
Women's voices from citizen-driven workshops on the post-2015 framework held in 13 African countries
Download report

Attaining to vulnerability to HIV and AIDS in food insecure settings in Sub-Saharan Africa. A synthesis report of Ethiopia, Uganda, Burundi and Mozambique.


Iddirs Beyond Funeral (DVD, 2011). Iddirs, traditional burial associations, are the most dominant form of community based organisation in Ethiopia. This film shows community groups in Ethiopia coming together to change things for the better and contribute to development and social justice.  English

Resilient pastoralist communities
View slideshow
Read story

Enhancing Pastoral Women's Economic Empowerment in Lowland Borena, Dire and Miyou districts, Borena zone, Oromia Regional State, an Impact Assessment Report published by ACORD Ethiopia in December 2017. Available in English, Oromo and Amharic language. Download here.

Photos and videos of ACORD's work in Ethiopia can be sent upon request. Contact us by e-mail

How you can support communities in Ethiopia

Financial donations and in-kind support to ACORD's Ethiopia Area Programme go a long way in providing support to pastoralist communities to access community based animal health services, promoting women's empowerment and access to land and promoting peace in the conflict prone Gambella region. These act as crucial capacity building factors for successful implementation of our projects. Commitments and ownership by communities themselves to sustain their own facilities ensures that our programmes have a lasting impact on their livelihoods and their development.

Make a donation now! For more information on our work in Ethiopia please sign up to our newsletter, visit your nearest ACORD office or call us.

  • community organisations
  • disaster risk reduction
  • employment
  • ethiopia
  • food security
  • humanitarian
  • income generation
  • livelihood
  • pastoralism
  • refugees and idps
  • women
  • ACORD 40 years - 1976-2016

    Defending rights. Promoting justice.
    How we work - The ACORD advantage - Where we work - ACORD's impact by the numbers - How ACORD is creating sustainable change

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    New publication

    Putting small-scale farming first:
    Improving the national agriculture investment plans of Burkina Faso, Burundi, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Tanzania

    Released January 2014

    Download report
    English | French

    Ethiopia stories

    ACORD is working in Boranna zone, South West Ethiopia to improve the drought preparedness capacity of the communities.
    Read more


    Africa can feed itself so what’s going wrong? Watch the video and learn more about CAADP, the continental roadmap to sustainable agriculture
    Read more on ACORD's work in Agriculture and food security.

    Contact us in Ethiopia

    You are welcome to contact the ACORD programme in Ethiopia:

    •  by email

    •  by post

    PO Box 12377 Bole Road
    Addis Ababa

    •  by phone

    +251 116 181 566

    •  by fax

    +251 11 6627 763

    Tilahun Tefera, Country Director for ACORD in Ethiopia.