30 April 2024

Brooke announces two new programmes in 2023 Research Review

Brooke has published its latest Research Review, including new updates on its Global Research Strategy. 

To achieve its 2028 vision of bringing lasting positive change for working equids and their communities, Brooke will focus on two themes: working equids’ socioeconomic role and their role and welfare in the resilience and disaster preparedness of their communities. 

Gemma Carder and Ruth Jobling, Senior Managers for Global Research at Brooke, said:

“It's an exciting time for Brooke’s Global Research Programme! We are working collaboratively to generate impactful research knowledge to support our evidence based programming.”

Last year, Brooke kick-started the Global Research Strategy with an international workshop held in London. Bringing together external partners and Brooke teams from Africa, Asia, and Latin America, the workshop was an essential step in collaboratively planning how research will be used to progress Brooke’s work most effectively in communities, policy and animal health. From this, two three-year Global Research Programmes were born.

Understanding the role and welfare of working equids in disaster risk management

Extreme weather events such as floods and droughts can have a catastrophic impact on people and animals. The communities that Brooke and its partners work with rely heavily on working animals for their livelihoods - including delivering water and milk, taking goods to market and transportation. 

When a disaster occurs, donkeys, horses and mules can be critical in the recovery process, such as during the  2022 Pakistan floods. Unfortunately, they are often undervalued by and invisible to policymakers when it comes to Disaster Risk Management plans. 

Collaborating with University College London (UCL), Brooke will deliver quality research to increase the visibility and inclusion of working equids in national and international policy, as well as transforming equine welfare in communities.

Exploring the socioeconomic impacts of working equid welfare

Working horses, donkeys and mules contribute to sustainable livelihoods, food security, and good health and wellbeing. However, there is little research outside of organisations like Brooke as to whether opportunities to improve equid welfare also have positive impacts on people. 

The research programme will focus on working equids’ welfare and how this relates to their roles within communities and industries, aiming to develop sustainable animal health systems worldwide. 

Two Brooke-funded PhDs are helping to grow this research:

The Burden of Animal Disease in Working Equids

Now in its third year within the Global Burden of Animal Diseases programme (GBADS) at the University of Liverpool, this PhD aims to determine how animal disease affects human health and wellbeing. Brooke is helping the GBAD’s programme to enable a better understanding of how working equids contribute to livestock systems and communities, the issues that affect them and how these impact society. 

Exploring donkey welfare in Kenya with a One Health framework

Brooke East Africa is collaborating with the University of Nairobi to deliver this new PhD, which aims to understand the connections between donkey welfare and human and environmental wellbeing. The knowledge gained will be used to help Brooke intervene - bridging the gap between research and practice.