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The impact of watershed development and management practices on rural livelihoods outcome: A structural equation modeling study in central highlands of Ethiopia


      The Ethiopian government increasingly recognized the watershed development and management practices as an integral part of rural livelihood development. However, studies associated with the impact of watershed development and management practices on livelihoods are often ambiguous. This study investigated the impact of WDMP on the rural livelihoods outcomes; in terms of income and employment generation, agricultural productivity, and social service and infrastructure. This was a study of cross-sectional design. Structured Equation Modeling (SEM) and Livelihood Approach (LA) were used to identify the impact of WDMP and to assess the status of the livelihood assets, respectively. The study found out that due to the implemented watershed development and management practices, the agricultural productivity and incomes of the community increased, employment opportunities were generated, and social service and infrastructure improved in the study area. However, there is no significant difference between the livelihood status of the treated and untreated watersheds. The study suggests that improving livelihood capital is needed to enhance agricultural productivity, income and employment generation, as well as social service and infrastructure through WDMP.