Environmental Pressures

The Environmental Pressures module examines how the Horn’s arid and semi-arid geography is related to underdevelopment and conflict. Materials guide exploration of how cycles of drought affect the livelihoods of agricultural and pastoralist communities, compounding the problem of poverty throughout the region. A general introduction to the region’s varied ecosystems is complemented with information on patterns of land use and production, the prevalence of food insecurity, and the nature of humanitarian responses.

Local Governance

This module in the Horn of Africa project will examine the forms of local governance, traditional and official, that exist across the region.

Students will learn how, due to the weakness of most central governments, local governments have often provided the principal means for maintaining order, adjudicating disputes, and allocating property rights. The wide variation in forms of indigenous local governance will be stressed.

Small Arms Trafficking

This module in the Horn of Africa project will examine how the trafficking of small arms perpetuates conflict in the region.

Students will learn how political instability and prolonged conflict have encouraged the proliferation of small arms across the Horn over several decades. Small arms have been become readily accessible to a variety of actors, including rebel groups and criminal networks, while governments have been unable to effectively police their porous borders.

Conflict Management

The Conflict Management module will provide students with an overview of local, national, and regional initiatives to manage conflict and promote peace in the Horn. From this module, students will learn how communities have used traditional mechanisms to prevent the escalation of local conflicts and how national governments have responded to such conflicts once they do erupt. Students will review the role of regional initiatives, such as the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), to which all Horn countries belong.


The youth module focuses on those persons between the ages of 10 and 24, who constitute approximately 33% of the population in the region.* This module addresses the demographic challenges that exist whereby, on average, 63% of the population is under the age of 25 and the dependency ratio averages 82.8%. These demographics have strained educational, economic and social infrastructure, and they deeply impact politics.