Sustainable livelihoods


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Sustainable Livelihoods by Dr Karnam Narendar, Osmania University

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Sustainable livelihoods

  1. 1. Sustainable Livelihoods
  2. 2. Essential Facts <ul><li>One Billion People </li></ul><ul><li>30 States </li></ul><ul><li>33 languages </li></ul><ul><li>1652 dialects </li></ul><ul><li>Six major religions </li></ul><ul><li>650 million voters </li></ul>
  3. 3. 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>
  4. 4. Defining poverty <ul><li>Not just income / GDP </li></ul><ul><ul><li>but human development </li></ul></ul>“ <ul><li>Not just the means to survive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>but the capability to thrive </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. 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>people ...
  6. 6. 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>
  7. 7. And in particular ... <ul><li>We need to incorporate people’s own definition of desirable outcomes </li></ul>
  8. 8. The ‘Sustainable Livelihoods Approach’ is simply about putting these principles into practice
  9. 9. Sounds obvious ? <ul><li>But it’s not what we’ve been doing </li></ul>
  10. 10. What we did before… <ul><li>Supply of Technology, Inputs & Services often ‘production’ orientated </li></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>
  11. 11. What we did before… <ul><li>‘Organizational Development’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>equipped people and organizations 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 organization is not financially viable </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>still tended to be supply-driven </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>because the ‘rules of the game’ never really changed </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. So we now think about ... <ul><li>Policies and Institutions as well creating the enabling environment for a better way of doing things by ‘changing the rules of the game’: </li></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>
  13. 13. The SL Framework <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>emphasizes the multiple interactions that affect people’s livelihoods </li></ul>
  14. 14. The SL Framework <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>
  15. 15. 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><ul><li>WHICH LEADS TO ASSET BUILDING </li></ul>
  16. 16. 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><ul><li>All this is based on livelihood strategies </li></ul>
  17. 17. Livelihood Strategies - what do people do? <ul><li>Natural-resource based </li></ul><ul><li>Off-farm activities </li></ul><ul><li>Migration / remittances </li></ul><ul><li>Intensification vs. diversification </li></ul>
  18. 18. Our interventions must recognize 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>
  19. 19. Livelihood Outcomes - what are people seeking to achieve? <ul><li>More sustainable use of the natural resource 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>
  20. 20. 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>Ways of working on different Projects & Programmes </li></ul>
  21. 21. 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 within a programme </li></ul></ul>