Policy research

Our policy research provides the main evidence base for our advocacy. It allows us to make substantiated claims about the essential role of working equids in sustaining the livelihoods of their owners and the importance of their welfare for the benefit of people.

We welcome the use of our resources by policy makers, academia and other non-governmental organisations to promote improving the welfare of working equines and strengthening the resilience of their owners.

Research reports

Invisible workers

The economic contributions of working donkeys, horses and mules to livelihoods

This report is part of our policy and research to increase knowledge of the links between working equine welfare and human welfare. It focuses on the economic contributions of working horses, mules and donkeys to household incomes, and aims to highlight to policy makers and other development actors the multiple roles that these animals perform, financially benefiting their owners.

(Note: in the report, the figure of 112 million working animals, provided by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) 2014, refers to all horses, donkeys and mules in the world, including sports and pleasure horses. The number in developing countries is estimated at over 100 million.)

Voices from Women

Women's views on the contributions of working horses, donkeys and mules make to their lives

In 2013, we initiated the Voices from Women research project to explore the role of working horses, mules and donkeys in supporting the lives of women from the perspectives of the women themselves. Voices from Women currently covers four countries - Ethiopia, Kenya, India and Pakistan - which have been involved in the first phase of the research.

Ethiopia livelihoods report

Donkeys, horses and mules - their contribution to people's livelihoods in Ethiopia

Ethiopia has the third largest equine population in the world with around eight million horses, donkeys and mules, while 83 percent of Ethiopia’s population live in rural areas and are primarily engaged in agriculture (Central Statistics Agency, Ethiopian Government, 2010).

The report shows that at least 40 percent of households surveyed said donkeys helped reduce women’s work, while all communities said equine animals were economically important for rural and urban communities for all wealth groups.