Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Sean Jones


Many households in Ethiopia have struggled to remain food secure and meet their nutritional needs. In response to chronic food insecurity the Ethiopian government developed the Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) to provide support to households in the form of food or cash transfers in exchange for public service work. The idea of the program is that households will develop their livelihoods through the public work and eventually become self-sufficient, food secure and graduate from the PSNP.

Some households graduate from PSNP in a shorter time than others, attributing to many different factors. This study looks at soil quality as a factor influencing a household’s ability to graduate and hypothesizes that houses which have already graduated from PSNP will have soil of better quality. The survey was conducted with the University of Maryland’s Qualitative Soil Assessment Book indicator table for PSNP graduate, PSNP participant and non-PSNP households. Results of the survey proved that PSNP graduate households had soil of better quality. The follow paper also discusses the need for further research as well as implications for sustainable development.

PSNP, food insecurity, soil quality, Ethiopia


African Studies | International and Area Studies | Water Resource Management