Professor John F Morton
Professor of Development Anthropology, and Head of Livelihoods and Institutions Department
BA Hons, PhD
Livelihoods and Institutions Department
Natural Resources Institute
Professor John Morton has a first degree in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge, and a PhD from the University of Hull for a thesis on the social organisation of the Northern Beja, a group of semi-nomadic pastoralists in north-eastern Sudan. After working for Oxfam in north-eastern Sudan during 1985-86, he worked as a consultant for a variety of NGOs, UN agencies, etc., including three years as a freelance consultant based in Pakistan. He joined NRI in 1993. He has been Professor of Development Anthroplogy since 2004, Associate Research Director (Social Sciences) 2001-2010 and Head of the Livelihoods and Institutions Department since 2010.
John has led significant projects within his key research fields: the social, institutional and policy aspects of livestock development, particularly among pastoralist peoples; drought management; and impacts of climate change on smallholders, pastoralists and other categories of the rural poor, and their prospects for adaptation. He has also carried out high-level consultancies for DFID, The European Commission, the World Bank, UNDP and several NGOs within these topics. He has field experience in numerous African countries (especially in the Horn of Africa), South Asia and Mongolia. He is fluent in French, and speaks some Arabic.
John teaches a Masters-level course on Livestock in Sustainable Development with NRI's Masters degree courses, and is an active supervisor of research students within his fields of expertise.
John served as a Lead Author on smallholder and subsistence agriculture within the chapter on Food, Forests and Fibre of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). As such he was recognised as contributing to the award of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize to the IPCC. He is currently serving as Coordinating Lead Author on Rural Areas for the forthcoming Fifth Assessment Report.
I have two overlapping sets of research interests:
- The social, institutional and political context for livestock development, and for the development of pastoralist communities. I have worked on appropriate methodologies for livestock research among small-scale communities, on factors influencing uptake of tsetse control activities and ways to disseminate those technologies. I have led innovative research projects on the relations of pastoralist communities with elected parliamentarians in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, and on the engagement of the Ethiopian private sector (particularly meat and livestock exporters) in pastoral development. My interest has evolved towards looking at the ways in which the languages and discourses used to discuss pastoralism (by governments, NGOs, researchers and others) structure the prospects for pastoral development, and the practical implications for this for pastoralist empowerment.
- Impacts of climate change and prospects for adaptation. Through work on droughts and other forms of climate variability in pastoral areas I developed an interest in the impacts of climate change on pastoralists, smallholders and other categories of the rural poor, and their prospects for adaptation. This has been expressed through my work for the IPCC, and through my leadership of the project Climate Learning for African Agriculture (see below).
Current and Previous Funded Research Projects
Climate Learning for African Agriculture (CLAA). This two-year project funded by DFID's Climate and Development Knowledge Network is investigating climate issues (of both adaptation and mitigation) are being incorporated into the policy, planning, management and implementation of agricultural research and advisory services throughout Africa, and how the prospects for this can be improved in future. NRI undertakes the project in collaboration with the Forum for African Research in Africa and the African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services. John has led the project planning, commissioned researchers/facilitators for four country-level case studies with a strong element of action-research, personally backstopped the case-study in Benin, edited outputs (and translated those from Benin) and presented interim findings at conferences/workshops in UK, Senegal and Botswana.
After long involvement with research on technologies to control the tsetse fly and trypanosomiasis in Africa, John was asked to carry out the policy and institutional analysis for an impact assessment and lesson-learning exercise, funded by DFID's Research into Use Programme, on Uganda's "Stamp Out Sleeping Sickness Campaign". This involved interviews with policy-makers at national and district levels, researchers and drug companies, in order to analyse how research information had flown into the project, and how key decisions had been made.
Review of Impacts of Climate Change on Dryland Agrarian Societies: this review was carried out for the World Bank's Social Development Department, in collaboration with IIED. John led the review, constructed a conceptual framework, and presented the findings, which were later adapted as a book chapter.
Responsibilities within the University
- Member, Professors and Readers Committee, REF Unit of Assessment Co-ordinator, Anthropology and Development Studies
- Morton, J., Nelson, V., Apenteng, E. and Lamboll, R. African Agricultural Research and Advisory Services under Climate Change: Perspectives from an E‐Discussion. Climate Learning for African Agriculture: Working Paper No.4 (2013). http://www.erails.net/images/fara/climate-learning/climate-learning/files/WorkingPaper4Ediscussion.pdf
- Morton, J. and Kerven, C. Livelihoods and Basic Service Support in the Drylands of the Horn of Africa. Brief prepared by a Technical Consortium hosted by the CGIAR in partnership with the FAO Investment Centre. Technical Consortium Brief 3. Nairobi: International Livestock Research Institute (2013). http://cgspace.cgiar.org/handle/10568/27615
- Morton, John (2012) 'Responsible companies' and African livestock-keepers: Helping, teaching but not learning? In: Pastoralism and Development in Africa: Dynamic Change at the Margins. Pathways to Sustainability . Routledge, Abingdon, UK, pp. 108-118. ISBN 9780415540711. Earlier conference-paper version at http://www.future-agricultures.org/conference-resources/doc_download/1161-responsible-companies-and-african-livestock-keepers
- Morton, John (2010) Why should governmentality matter for the study of pastoral development? Nomadic Peoples, 14 (1). pp. 6-30. ISSN 0822-7942 (Print), 1752-2366 (Online) (doi:10.3167/np.2010.140102)
- Mousseau, F. and Morton J. Addressing Chronic Food Insecurity in the Horn of Africa: Good practice identified but commitment needed? REGLAP Discussion Paper (2010). http://www.disasterriskreduction.net/fileadmin/user_upload/drought/docs/FINAL%20PaperAddressing%20Chronic%20Food%20Insecurity%20in%20the%20HoA_260111.pdf
- Morton, J. Development for the World's Mobile Pastoralists: Understanding, Challenges and Responses. Inaugural Professorial Lecture, University of Greenwich, (2010). http://www.nri.org/old/publications/professorial/d4191-10_morton-professorial.pdf
- Morton, John (2010) The innovation trajectory of sleeping sickness control in Uganda: Research knowledge in its context (Discussion Paper 08). Discussion Paper. Research Into Use / UK Department for International Development (DFID), Edinburgh, Scotland.
- Anderson, Simon, Morton, John and Toulmin, Camilla (2009) Climate change for agrarian societies in drylands: implications and future pathways. In: The Social Dimensions of Climate Change: Equity and Vulnerability in a Warming World. New Frontiers of Social Policy . The World Bank, Washington, DC, USA, pp. 199-230. ISBN 9780821378878 (doi:10.1596/978-0-8213-7887-8)
- Brown, Douglas R., Gomes, Isabel, Morton, John F. and Rinaudo, Tony (2008) Pastoralism and poverty: research informing practice. Faith and Economics, 52. pp. 15-31. ISSN 0896-307X
- Morton, John F. (2007) The impact of climate change on smallholder and subsistence agriculture. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104 (50). pp. 19680-19685. ISSN 0027-8424 (doi:10.1073/pnas.0701855104)
- Batima, Punsalmaa, Brander, Keith, Erda, Lin, Howden, Mark, Kirilenko, Andrei, Morton, John F., Soussana, Jean-François, Schmidhuber, Josef, Tubiello, Francesco, Easterling, William and Aggarwal, Pramod (2007) Food, fibre and forest products. In: Climate change 2007 – impacts, adaptation and vulnerability contribution of working group II to the fourth assessment report of the IPCC. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, pp. 274-313. ISBN 9780521705974
- Morton, John F., Livingstone, John K. and Mussa, Mohammed (2007) Legislators and livestock: pastoralist parliamentary groups in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. Gatekeeper Series, 131 . International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), London, UK, pp. 1-25. ISBN (ISSN) 1357-9258 ISSN 1357-9258
- Morton, J. "Pastoralist Coping Strategies and Emergency Livestock Market Intervention" in McPeak, J.G. and Little, P.D (eds.) Livestock Marketing in Eastern Africa: Research and Policy Challenges, ITDG Publications (2006).
- Morton, J. "Conceptualising the Linkages between HIV/AIDS and Pastoralist Livelihoods" European Journal of Development Research 18(2):235-254 (2006)
- Kitalyi, A., Mtenga, L., Morton, J., McLeod, A., Thornton, P., Dorward, A. and Saadullah, M. "Why Keep Livestock if you are Poor?" (2005) in Owen E., Kitalyi, A., Jayasuriya, N. and Smith, T. (eds.) Livestock and Wealth Creation: Improving the Husbandry of Livestock Kept by the Poor in Developing Countries, Nottingham University Press.
- Devendra, C., Morton J., Rischowsky, B. and Thomas, D. "Livestock Systems" (2005) in Owen, Kitalyi et al. (eds.) as above.
- Morton, J. and Barton, D. "Destocking as a Drought Mitigation Strategy: Clarifying Rationales and Answering Critiques", Disasters Volume 26, no.3, pp. 213-228 (2002).
- Morton, J. "The Electronic Dissemination of Policy Information; Experiences from the Livestock-Environment Toolbox", Journal of International Development Volume 13, 877-891 (2001).
- Morton, J. and Meadows, N. Pastoralism and Sustainable Livelihoods: an Emerging Agenda NRI Policy Series 11 (2000). http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/user_upload/drought/docs/Policy%20Series%2011%20-%20Pastoralism.pdf
- Morton, J. Greenhalgh, P. and Long, S.A "Policy Pressures and Options" in Campbell, K.L.I, Hodgson, N. and Gill, E.M.(eds.) Livestock and Environment Toolbox CD-ROM. Natural Resources International Ltd., Chatham Maritime, U.K. and Livestock, Environment and Development (LEAD) Initiative, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations FAO. Rome. ISBN 92-5-104445-7. (1999) Also as website: http://www.fao.org/lead/toolbox/homepage.htm
Recent Conference Presentations
- López-i-Gelats , F., Rivera-Ferre, M. and Morton J. "What Drives Pastoralists' Vulnerability to Climate Change? A qualitative meta-analysis". Presentation to the 17th World Congress of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, Manchester (2013)
- Morton, J. ""Hunger is the Killer of Children and Women": state discourses for pastoral sedentarization in Karamoja". Presentation to the 17th World Congress of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, Manchester (2013)
- Morton, J., Kisauzi, D. and 8 others "Incorporating Climate Change into Agricultural Research and Advisory Services in Africa". Presentation to AFAAS Agricultural Extension Week, Gaborone (2013).
- Morton, J., Lamboll, R., Kisauzi, D., Nelson, V. and Wopereis-Pura, M. "African Agriculture under Pressure: Exploring Climate-Compatible Futures for Research and Advisory Services". Poster presentation at Planet under Pressure conference, London (2012).
- Morton, John F. (2010) Pastoralism and climate change:clarifying research and policy agendas(with particular reference to the Horn of Africa). In: Second International Conference on Climate, Sustainability and Development in Semi-arid Regions, 16-20 Aug 2010, Ceará Convention Center Fortaleza, Ceara, Brazil. (Unpublished)
- Morton, J. "Strengthening Local Agricultural Innovation in the Face of Climate Change". Presentation to the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, San Diego (2010).
- Co-ordinating Lead Author, Chapter on Rural Areas, Working Group II, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
- Member, Peer Review College of the UK Economic and Social Research Council.
- Member, Scientific Advisory Panel, Commonwealth Studentships Commission for the UK.
- Consultant Scientific Editor, Tropical Animal Health and Production.
- Former Council Member, Development Studies Association (2003-2009).
- Trustee, Pastoral and Environmental Network in the Horn of Africa (1999 - , Chair of Trustees 2007-2009).
- Recognised as contributing to the award of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Professor John F Morton
Natural Resources Institute
University of Greenwich
Central Avenue, Chatham Maritime, Kent ME4 4TB, United Kingdom.
Tel: +44 (0)1634 88 3064