Livelihoods

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We’re getting serious about poverty
What we have done in the past has not been too successful: a search for something more effective
Initially: “direct impact on the poor”
Later: a more analytical understanding

Published in: Education

Livelihoods

  1. 1. Sustainable Livelihoods (SL)
  2. 2. Why all the noise about SL? <ul><li>We’re getting serious about poverty </li></ul><ul><li>What we have done in the past has not been too successful: a search for something more effective </li></ul><ul><li>Initially: “direct impact on the poor” </li></ul><ul><li>Later: a more analytical understanding </li></ul><ul><ul><li>of the complexity of poverty </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>of the factors that affect poverty </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Defining poverty <ul><li>Not just income / GDP </li></ul><ul><ul><li>but human development </li></ul></ul>TIP Think people, not national statistics Uganda PPA: “ The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer” <ul><li>Not just the means to survive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>but the capability to thrive </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Not being poor means that <ul><ul><li>can sustain the capabilities, assets, and activities required for a means of living, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>have the ability to cope with stresses and shocks, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and can maintain and enhance those capabilities and assets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>without undermining the natural resource base </li></ul></ul>TIP These are the characteristics of a ‘ Livelihood’ (Chambers & Conway, 1992) people ...
  5. 5. If we put people at the centre of development, we need ... <ul><li>to be more holistic </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>- poor people lead complex lives </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>to be dynamic </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>- like the threats and opportunities the poor face </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>to build on their inherent potential </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>- rather than what they have not got </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>to consider macro-micro links </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>- because people are affected by policies </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>to mainstream sustainability </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>- environmental, economic, social, institutional </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. And in particular ... <ul><li>We need to incorporate people’s own definition of desirable outcomes </li></ul>
  7. 7. The ‘Sustainable Livelihoods Approach’ is simply about putting these principles into practice
  8. 8. Sounds obvious ? <ul><li>But it’s not what we’ve been doing </li></ul>
  9. 9. What we did before (1)… [Taken from an analysis of livestock-sector projects] <ul><li>Supply of Technology, Inputs & Services [93%] </li></ul><ul><ul><li>often ‘production’ orientated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>missed the poor: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>not targeted towards the poor / inappropriate to the needs of the poor </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>captured by the wealthy </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>could not be sustained </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Move to ‘capacity-building’ in sector organisations instead </li></ul>
  10. 10. What we did before (2)… <ul><li>‘ Organisational Development’ [49%] </li></ul><ul><ul><li>equipped people and organisations with the skills and resources to do a better job </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>but, on the whole, little has changed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>new skills are not used </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>the new-look organisation is not financially viable </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>still tended to be ‘sector-specific’ and supply-driven </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>because the ‘rules of the game’ never really changed </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. So we now think about ... <ul><li>Policies and Institutions as well [10%] </li></ul><ul><ul><li>creating the enabling environment for a better way of doing things by ‘changing the rules of the game’: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>locally </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>nationally </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>internationally </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. The SL Framework (1) <ul><li>Is simply a tool to help: </li></ul><ul><li>plan new development initiatives </li></ul><ul><li>assess the contribution to livelihood sustainability made by existing activities </li></ul><ul><li>It: </li></ul><ul><li>provides a checklist of issues </li></ul><ul><li>highlights what influences what </li></ul><ul><li>emphasises the multiple interactions that affect people’s livelihoods </li></ul>
  13. 13. The SL Framework (2) <ul><li>Helps us think holistically about: </li></ul><ul><li>The things that the poor might be very vulnerable to </li></ul><ul><li>The assets and resources that help them thrive and survive </li></ul><ul><li>The policies and institutions that impact on their livelihoods </li></ul><ul><li>How the poor respond to threats and opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>What sort of outcomes the poor aspire to </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Vulnerability Context </li></ul><ul><li>Shocks </li></ul><ul><li>Trends </li></ul><ul><li>Seasons </li></ul>Livelihood Strategies <ul><li>Policies & Institutions (Transforming Structures & Processes) </li></ul><ul><li>Structures </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Government </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Private Sector </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Processes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Laws </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Policies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Institutions </li></ul></ul>The SL Framework Livelihood Capital Assets Human Social Physical Financial Natural <ul><li>Livelihood Outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>+ Sustainable use of NR base </li></ul><ul><li>+ Income </li></ul><ul><li>+ Well-being </li></ul><ul><li>- Vulnerability </li></ul><ul><li>+ Food security </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Vulnerability Context </li></ul><ul><li>Shocks </li></ul><ul><li>Trends </li></ul><ul><li>Seasons </li></ul>Livelihood Strategies <ul><li>Policies & Institutions (Transforming Structures & Processes) </li></ul><ul><li>Structures </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Government </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Private Sector </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Processes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Laws </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Policies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Institutions </li></ul></ul>The SL Framework Livelihood Capital Assets Human Social Physical Financial Natural <ul><li>Livelihood Outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>+ Sustainable use of NR base </li></ul><ul><li>+ Income </li></ul><ul><li>+ Well-being </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced vulnerability </li></ul><ul><li>+ Food security </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Vulnerability Context </li></ul><ul><li>Shocks </li></ul><ul><li>Trends </li></ul><ul><li>Seasons </li></ul>Livelihood Strategies <ul><li>Policies & Institutions (Transforming Structures & Processes) </li></ul><ul><li>Structures </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Government </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Private Sector </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Processes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Laws </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Policies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Institutions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Livelihood Outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>+ Sustainable use of NR base </li></ul><ul><li>+ Income </li></ul><ul><li>+ Well-being </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced vulnerability </li></ul><ul><li>+ Food security </li></ul>Livelihood Capital Assets Human Social Physical Financial Natural
  17. 17. Vulnerability Context <ul><li>The external environment in which people exist </li></ul><ul><li>Trends - population, resources, economic, governance, technology </li></ul><ul><li>Shocks - illness, natural disaster, economic, conflict, crop / livestock pests & diseases </li></ul><ul><li>Seasons - prices, production, health, employment </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Vulnerability Context </li></ul><ul><li>Shocks </li></ul><ul><li>Trends </li></ul><ul><li>Seasons </li></ul>Livelihood Strategies <ul><li>Policies & Institutions (Transforming Structures & Processes) </li></ul><ul><li>Structures </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Government </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Private Sector </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Processes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Laws </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Policies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Institutions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Livelihood Outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>+ Sustainable use of NR base </li></ul><ul><li>+ Income </li></ul><ul><li>+ Well-being </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced vulnerability </li></ul><ul><li>+ Food security </li></ul>Livelihood Capital Assets Human Social Physical Financial Natural
  19. 19. What are these ‘assets’? <ul><li>Human capital - skills, knowledge & info., ability to work, health </li></ul><ul><li>Natural capital - land, water, wildlife, biodiversity, environment </li></ul><ul><li>Financial capital - savings, credit, remittances, pensions </li></ul><ul><li>Physical capital - transport, shelter, clean water, energy, comms. </li></ul><ul><li>Social capital - networks, groups, trust, access to wider institutions </li></ul>
  20. 20. It’s all about pushing out the ‘area’ of these assets TIP But it’s also about the sustainability of those assets Human Capital Natural Capital Physical Capital Social Capital Financial Capital
  21. 21. With your neighbour(s) ... <ul><li>Consider one form [H, N, F, P, S] of capital asset </li></ul><ul><li>Why is this form of capital asset important? </li></ul><ul><li>What could we do to build this form of capital asset </li></ul><ul><ul><li>directly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>indirectly </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. <ul><li>Vulnerability Context </li></ul><ul><li>Shocks </li></ul><ul><li>Trends </li></ul><ul><li>Seasons </li></ul>Livelihood Strategies <ul><li>Policies & Institutions (Transforming Structures & Processes) </li></ul><ul><li>Structures </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Government </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Private Sector </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Processes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Laws </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Policies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Institutions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Livelihood Outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>+ Sustainable use of NR base </li></ul><ul><li>+ Income </li></ul><ul><li>+ Well-being </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced vulnerability </li></ul><ul><li>+ Food security </li></ul>Livelihood Capital Assets Human Social Physical Financial Natural
  23. 23. People’s access to livelihood assets is affected by policies and institutions <ul><li>Or ‘transforming structures and processes’ </li></ul><ul><li>Structures: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>organisations, levels of government, private sector behaviour </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Processes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>policies, laws, institutional </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ rules of the game’, incentives </li></ul></ul>TIP Think micro, think macro, link micro to macro
  24. 24. <ul><li>Vulnerability Context </li></ul><ul><li>Shocks </li></ul><ul><li>Trends </li></ul><ul><li>Seasons </li></ul>Livelihood Strategies <ul><li>Policies & Institutions (Transforming Structures & Processes) </li></ul><ul><li>Structures </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Government </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Private Sector </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Processes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Laws </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Policies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Institutions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Livelihood Outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>+ Sustainable use of NR base </li></ul><ul><li>+ Income </li></ul><ul><li>+ Well-being </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced vulnerability </li></ul><ul><li>+ Food security </li></ul>Livelihood Capital Assets Human Social Physical Financial Natural
  25. 25. Livelihood Strategies - what do people do? <ul><li>Natural-resource based </li></ul><ul><li>Non-NR / off-farm activities </li></ul><ul><li>Migration / remittances </li></ul><ul><li>Intensification vs. diversification </li></ul><ul><li>Straddling </li></ul><ul><li>Competition </li></ul><ul><li>Short-term vs. long-term </li></ul>
  26. 26. Our interventions must recognise that people have different strategies to achieve different ends <ul><li>How important is “our” concern to people’s livelihoods? </li></ul><ul><li>And whose livelihoods in particular? </li></ul><ul><li>What else is important to people, and what conflicts might there be? </li></ul>
  27. 27. <ul><li>Vulnerability Context </li></ul><ul><li>Shocks </li></ul><ul><li>Trends </li></ul><ul><li>Seasons </li></ul>Livelihood Strategies <ul><li>Policies & Institutions (Transforming Structures & Processes) </li></ul><ul><li>Structures </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Government </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Private Sector </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Processes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Laws </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Policies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Institutions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Livelihood Outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>+ Sustainable use of NR base </li></ul><ul><li>+ Income </li></ul><ul><li>+ Well-being </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced vulnerability </li></ul><ul><li>+ Food security </li></ul>Livelihood Capital Assets Human Social Physical Financial Natural
  28. 28. Livelihood Outcomes - what are people seeking to achieve? <ul><li>More sustainable use of the NR base </li></ul><ul><li>More income </li></ul><ul><li>Increased well-being </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced vulnerability </li></ul><ul><li>Improved food security </li></ul>
  29. 29. <ul><li>Vulnerability Context </li></ul><ul><li>Shocks </li></ul><ul><li>Trends </li></ul><ul><li>Seasons </li></ul>Livelihood Strategies <ul><li>Policies & Institutions (Transforming Structures & Processes) </li></ul><ul><li>Structures </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Government </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Private Sector </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Processes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Laws </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Policies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Institutions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Livelihood Outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>+ Sustainable use of NR base </li></ul><ul><li>+ Income </li></ul><ul><li>+ Well-being </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced vulnerability </li></ul><ul><li>+ Food security </li></ul>Livelihood Capital Assets Human Social Physical Financial Natural
  30. 30. To my mind ... <ul><li>It’s about seeing development from the shoes of the poor, not the shoes of the scientist </li></ul><ul><li>It has major implications for the way we work </li></ul><ul><ul><li>as specialists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>within a country programme </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>as a donor agency </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>with other donors </li></ul></ul>
  31. 31. Not the same as ... <ul><li>Integrated Rural Development </li></ul><ul><li>‘Farming Systems Approaches’ </li></ul><ul><li>Not incompatible with ... </li></ul><ul><li>Sector-wide approaches </li></ul><ul><li>Rights-based thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Common sense </li></ul>
  32. 33. SL in Practice <ul><li>Working up new initiatives </li></ul><ul><li>Reality checks on existing initiatives </li></ul><ul><li>Where’s the big difference? </li></ul><ul><li>Projects & Programmes </li></ul><ul><li>Ways of working </li></ul>
  33. 34. Where’s the difference? <ul><li>Forced to look at context & relationships </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Vulnerability (inc. environment) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Policies & Institutions </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Therefore more complicated than before </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>but the ‘complexity’ has to be captured </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>horizontal and vertical linkages </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>internalising assumptions </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>‘ Process’, and policy dialogue, implicit </li></ul>
  34. 35. Projects & Programmes <ul><li>Explicitly related to people’s livelihoods </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>but not necessarily sitting crossed-legged under a tree </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>assess short-term livelihood interests against long-term environmental interests </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Holistic analysis, but not necessarily an holistic project </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>balance between what is desirable and what is feasible </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>‘ entry points’ & ‘sectoral anchors’ / ‘institutional homes’ </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Longer, wider, ‘process’ projects, and ‘joined-up’ programmes </li></ul><ul><li>More effective macro-micro linkages </li></ul>
  35. 36. Ways of Working <ul><li>More information, more analysis, better partnerships .... and more time </li></ul><ul><li>Process appraisal - when is a project not a project? </li></ul><ul><li>Seize opportunities - esp. with policies & institutions </li></ul><ul><li>Teams:- DFID teams, consultancy teams </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>make use of the neutral framework - space for everyone </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>familiarising sectoral experts </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>managing cross-sectoral teams </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>synthesing through an SL lens </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>

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