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  • 1. LSP Working Paper 16 Institutional Learning Sub-programme Do Sustainable Livelihoods Approaches Have a Positive Impact on the Rural Poor? A look at twelve case studies Constance Neely, Kirsten Sutherland, and Jan Johnson October 2004 FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS Livelihood Support Programme (LSP) An inter-departmental programme for improving support for enhancing livelihoods of the rural poor.
  • 2. LSP Working Paper 16 Institutional Learning Sub-programme Do Sustainable Livelihoods Approaches Have a Positive Impact on the Rural Poor? A look at twelve case studies Constance Neely, Kirsten Sutherland, and Jan Johnson October 2004 This paper was prepared under contract with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO). The positions and opinions presented are those of the authors alone, and are not intended to represent the views of FAO. iii
  • 3. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies In 2003, during its 17th Session, the FAO Committee on Agriculture (COAG) discussed the role of SL approaches in FAO programmes and projects. As an outcome, the Committee “requested FAO to identify and document specific examples where applications of the rural livelihoods approach had led to success in reducing rural poverty.” In an initial effort to respond to this request, the Livelihoods Support Programme has supported the desk study reported on in this document. The Livelihood Support Programme The Livelihood Support Programme (LSP) evolved from the belief that FAO could have a greater impact on reducing poverty and food insecurity, if its wealth of talent and experience were integrated into a more flexible and demand-responsive team approach. The LSP works through teams of FAO staff members, who are attracted to specific themes being worked on in a sustainable livelihoods context. These cross- departmental and cross-disciplinary teams act to integrate sustainable livelihoods principles in FAO’s work, at headquarters and in the field. These approaches build on experiences within FAO and other development agencies. The programme is functioning as a testing ground for both team approaches and sustainable livelihoods principles. Email: Cover photo by Ian Cherrett, Rural Development in Lempira Sur Project iv jj28
  • 4. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies CONTENTS 1 WHY ARE WE DOING THIS? ........................................................................ 1 1.1 Context......................................................................................................................................... 1 1.2 Purpose and Objectives ............................................................................................................... 1 1.3 Methodology ................................................................................................................................ 1 1.4 Case Studies Reviewed................................................................................................................. 2 1.5 Criteria defining the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach............................................................ 4 1.6 Hypotheses relating to SL-specific principles.............................................................................. 5 1.7 General Indicators of Poverty Reduction.................................................................................... 6 1.8 Looking for Evidence of Positive Impact on the Rural Poor ...................................................... 7 2 EVIDENCE OF IMPACT ................................................................................. 8 2.1 Poverty Reduction, Enhanced Resilience, and Long-Term Sustainability ................................. 8 2.1.1 Poverty Reduction..................................................................................................................... 8 2.1.2 Resilience and Reduction in Vulnerability ............................................................................... 11 2.1.3 Long-term sustainability.......................................................................................................... 11 2.2 Linking use of Sustainable Livelihoods Principles with Evidence of Positive Change ............. 12 2.2.1 Analyzing the vulnerability context ......................................................................................... 13 2.2.2 Building Assets ....................................................................................................................... 15 2.2.3 Livelihoods Focus ................................................................................................................... 18 2.2.4 Good Governance ................................................................................................................... 18 2.2.5 Social Inclusivity and Empowerment....................................................................................... 21 2.2.6 Participation............................................................................................................................ 24 2.2.7 Partnerships & Multi-level, Macro-Micro Linkages ................................................................. 25 2.3 Aspects that Challenged the Achievement of Positive Change.................................................. 25 2.4 Project-related Constraints ....................................................................................................... 25 2.4.1 Participation, social inclusivity, and enhancing the livelihood strategies of the poor.................. 25 2.4.2 Issues surrounding the disaggregation of project interventions.................................................. 26 2.4.3 Issues surrounding empowerment ............................................................................................ 26 2.4.4 Issues concerning holistic interventions, increased resilience and ability to withstand shock ..... 27 2.4.5 Issues surrounding engaging dynamism and flexibility............................................................. 27 2.4.6 Issues surrounding good governance and institutions, and macro-micro linkages ...................... 27 2.5 Wider Constraints ..................................................................................................................... 28 2.5.1 Issues surrounding partnerships ............................................................................................... 28 3 OPERATIONALISING THE PRINCIPLES.................................................... 29 3.1 Linking SL Principles to SL-supporting Actions ...................................................................... 29 3.2 Linking the employment of SL principles to activities and outcomes: The case of WIN Nepal31 3.3 Getting it right : when to do things, and who to do it with...................................................... 32 v
  • 5. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies 3.4 When were specific principles most in evidence? ......................................................................32 3.5 A similar operational/ institutional pattern shared by several successful projects ...................35 4 WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS AND LESSONS LEARNED? ................. 38 4.1 What do we think we know? ......................................................................................................38 4.2 What do we not know?...............................................................................................................43 5 INSTEAD OF A CONCLUSION....... ............................................................. 44 5.1 Findings ......................................................................................................................................44 5.2 Emerging Issues and Insights.....................................................................................................45 5.3 The Way Forward......................................................................................................................45 6 SOURCES OF INFORMATION..................................................................... 46 6.1 References and Documents Reviewed........................................................................................46 6.2 Contacts and Interviews.............................................................................................................49 6.3 ACRONYMS..............................................................................................................................51 vi
  • 6. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies Do Sustainable Livelihoods Approaches Have a Positive Impact on the Rural Poor? A look at twelve case studies Constance Neely, Kirsten Sutherland, and Jan Johnson 1 Why are we doing this? 1.1 Context Sustainable Livelihoods Approaches (SLA) emerged as a means for more effective and more relevant poverty reduction through understanding poverty from the perspective of the poor. Originally conceived of in the 1980’s in the context of Farming Systems Research and Education, the approach was developed through the 1990’s and crystallized as SLA in the late 1990’s by the Department for International Development (DFID) (Carney, 1998; 1999). A number of organizations have employed the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach and Framework. The framework has been used as a programming framework (UNDP); for programming analysis, design, monitoring and evaluation (CARE Household Livelihood Security); and for integrating environmental sustainability (The SL Approach to Poverty Reduction, SIDA; Carney, 1999). The Department for International Development (DFID) has sought to advance poverty reduction results through mainstreaming good development principles associated with the SLA (people centred, responsive, multi-level, conducted in partnerships, sustainable, dynamic) and by applying a holistic perspective in programming support activities to ensure relevance to improving peoples’ livelihoods. Although there has been an evolution in the principles that can be included in the SLA and framework and an acceptance of how these reflect good development practice, the question remains, “is poverty being reduced?” The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has built upon the SLA to find ways and means to improve the sustainable livelihoods of rural dwellers. In 2003, during its 17th Session, the FAO Committee on Agriculture (COAG) discussed the role of SL approaches in FAO programmes and projects. As an outcome, the Committee “requested FAO to identify and document specific examples where applications of the rural livelihoods approach had led to success in reducing rural poverty.” In an initial effort to respond to this request, the Livelihoods Support Programme is supporting the desk study reported on in this document. 1.2 Purpose and Objectives This paper examines case studies of projects that employed a sustainable livelihoods approach or sustainable livelihoods principles and in which there were measurable effects of poverty reduction. The paper is not a comparative study between livelihoods and non-livelihoods approaches and as such “traditional” development cases were not considered. Although not part of the specific request from COAG, the paper also attempts to identify the operational and institutional elements that were consistent among cases of successful impact on the rural poor. 1.3 Methodology This paper is based on a desk study undertaken at FAO Headquarters in Rome. The study consisted primarily of a review of existing project case study documents with input from members of an extended study team and from participants of an update meeting held at FAO in April 2004. 1
  • 7. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies Case studies representing different regions, sectoral entry points and scales of influence were sought from within and outside of FAO. Those retained as having enough data to support useful evaluations are listed in Box 1. Further contributions were sought through interviews and e-mail exchanges with resource persons of the cases under review (section 6.2). An extended summary of each of the cases reviewed as well as other resources are available in the Supplemental Materials, being published separately in order to keep this present document down to a reasonable size. The Livelihoods Support Programme of FAO and the co-sponsors of the People Centred Development Day have been engaged in the study through a preliminary review of findings and a workshop to enhance the analysis of the outcomes. The study has been termed a “desk study with follow-up” and is considered a basis for the design of additional related activities. 1.4 Case Studies Reviewed Implementing Project Time Country Name Entry Point Organization Frame Strengthening Household Access to Bari Bangladesh Garden Extension Services (SHABGE) CARE Agriculture 1999-2004 Integrated Inter-regional Project for Participatory Government of 1992-2000 Bolivia Watershed Upland Conservation and Development Italy/FAO (three phases) Management FAO/ Community Participatory Natural Resource Management 1995-2004 Cambodia Government of Fisheries and in the Tonle Sap Region (ongoing) Cambodia Forestry The Ruba Lomine Integrated Rural Ethiopia Oxfam Agriculture 1995-2002 Development Programme The Lowlands Agricultural Development Gambia IFAD Agriculture 1996-2004 Programme (LADEP) Rural Development in Lempira Sur Project Honduras FAO Agriculture 1994-2002 (PROLESUR) DELIVERI – Decentralized Livestock Indonesia DFID Livestock Services 1996-2001 Services in Eastern Indonesia Food security; Environmentally Sustainable Food Security FAO/ Forest Natural resource and Micro-Income Opportunities in Critical Department of Myanmar rehabilitation; 1999-2002 Watersheds the Government Income-generating of Myanmar opportunities Empowerment of Women in Irrigation and Irrigation, Health, Nepal Water Resource Management for Improved FAO 1999-2003 Nutrition Food Security, Nutrition and Health (WIN) FAO/ Integrated Inter-regional Project for Participatory Pakistan Government of Watershed 1992-1999 Upland Conservation and Development Pakistan Management Community-Based Regional Development Community Yemen Programme (CBRDP) FAO 1998-2003 Enterprises Improving Household Food Security and Nutrition through Community Empowerment Zambia FAO Agriculture 1996-2001 in the Luapula Valley 2
  • 8. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies The analysis of case studies was carried out in three stages related to meeting SL criteria, assessing of impact on the rural poor, and determining the added value of the SL approach on impact. The first stage involved establishing whether the projects to be used incorporated an adequate number of SL principles for it to be considered sufficiently ‘sustainable livelihoods-related’. For this purpose, key criteria defining the SLA were identified and categorised according to their centrality to the approach (Figure 1). These criteria were used to determine which projects to include in the study. Few cases of those selected were designed or initiated specifically to implement a sustainable livelihoods approach, but all those retained had addressed the majority of sustainable livelihoods principles. The second stage of the analysis involved evaluating the impacts each project had had on the rural poor, the results of which evaluation form the core of this paper. Subsequently, stage three was designed to address the value added by the SL approach in reducing poverty. This was done by using the findings from previous stages along with a set of hypotheses addressing SL specific principles which had been developed by the extended study team participants (Box 2). Ultimately however, the extent to which the paper speaks to each of these hypotheses is limited by the fact that it is not a comparative analysis with ‘non-SL’ approaches to development, and by the lack of detailed evaluative material available on the majority of projects. These hypotheses are discussed further in the lessons learned in Section 3.0. A full set of principles, hypotheses, and indicators can be found in Annex 6.2. 3
  • 9. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies 1.5 Criteria defining the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach1 Sustainable poverty reduction Overall goals Secure and sustainable livelihoods for all (poor and non-poor) Addresses vulnerability specific to Principles the SLA context; increases Builds assets Focuses on livelihoods capacity to withstand (a diversified portfolio of (ways to earn a living) shocks; increases assets that reduce resilience vulnerability) EMBODIES ALL PRINCIPLES People- Enhances Principles essential, but not Dynamic; Builds on flexible; long- centred good strengths term governance & specific to the SLA institutional linkages (at Responsive; the micro, Not strictly participatory Empowering meso & macro sectoral levels) Multi-level, Ensures macro-micro Conducted Socially long-term linkages in partnership inclusive sustainability Critical principles (as a means Disaggregated analysis Supports livelihoods Process oriented and intervention strategies of the poor (to (feedback loops from (poverty, gender, age, get themselves out of outcomes to action ethnicity) poverty) replanning) to an end) Implementation is Holistic diagnosis & consistent with design interventions (if design is pro-poor) 1 Output of an LSP brainstorming session held on February 2nd, 2004. 4
  • 10. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies 1.6 Hypotheses relating to SL-specific principles Principle Corresponding Hypothesis/es Addresses vulnerability - Projects that address the vulnerability context, by reducing vulnerability while and increases resilience strengthening individual and collective capacity to withstand shocks, are more effective in enabling the poor to overcome their poverty than approaches that ignore the vulnerability context Builds assets - Because asset ownership reduces vulnerability in the face of shocks, projects that build rural people’s assets are more effective in reducing poverty than projects that focus exclusively on raising income without regard for asset ownership and balance - To reduce poverty on a sustainable basis, it is not enough to raise household income above a national poverty line; it is equally important for households to acquire a capacity to prevent themselves from falling back into poverty when exposed to shocks - Projects that build rural people’s human and social capital in addition to building their physical, financial and natural capital are more effective in reducing poverty than those that neglect human and social capital while building other types of capital Livelihoods focus • Projects that focus on livelihoods are more effective in reducing poverty than projects that seek to reduce poverty through economic growth or improved access to infrastructure and social services without regard for the ways that poor people make their living The 12 case studies reviewed to date in preparation of this document were chosen to reflect different initiating partners and geographical settings. It was hoped that the study would include a broad array of sectoral entry points. However, because the nature of reducing poverty in rural populations is often strongly linked to food security, the majority tended to have an agricultural focus. Yet in a few cases, multiple entry points were addressed simultaneously. Preference was given to projects that had been in place long enough for results to have been achieved and, in the best scenario, those that had undergone an evaluative process. In general, the outcomes of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and participatory monitoring and evaluation (PM&E) strategies within the cases yielded mixed results. The highly variable quality and type of evaluation and reporting processes meant that in many cases “normative” and poverty reduction- related data were inconsistent or even unavailable 2 . The fact that the soundness of reported outcomes and impacts for many of these projects should be considered as indicative rather than as firmly proven clearly places limits on the analyses given here. Thus although we have attempted to make the best use of the material available to us our conclusions are deliberately provisional, not definitive. In most of the cases, the studies did not specifically identify poverty reduction as a goal of the project although it is anticipated that this is the driving premise given the nature of the projects. It is important to note that the cases were not looked at to evaluate whether project implementers met their original targets and objectives but rather the cases were viewed through a superimposed poverty reduction and sustainable livelihoods lens. 2 See Section entitled “What do we think we know?” and Annex 6.1 for a full account of PM&E processes adopted by each of the case studies. 5
  • 11. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies 1.7 General Indicators of Poverty Reduction General measures of poverty reduction have historically included increases in income or food security, however, a broader definition of poverty reduction also captures elements of enhanced choice, capability and power (Box 3). The SL approach, which builds on principles of building assets and a livelihoods focus, also incorporates principles of reduced vulnerability and sustainability as critical to achieving lasting poverty reduction. Subsequently for the purpose of this paper, poverty reduction will be reported along with evidence (or lack there of) of reduced vulnerability and long-term sustainability (see Box 4). Box 3. Definitions of livelihood and poverty Definition – Livelihood: a livelihood comprises the capabilities, assets (including both material and social resources) and activities required for a means of living. A livelihood is sustainable when it can cope with and recover from stresses and shocks, maintain or enhance its capabilities or assets while not undermining the natural resource base (DFID, 1999). Definition – Poverty: "Poverty: a human condition characterized by the sustained or chronic deprivation of the resources, capabilities, choices, security and power necessary for the enjoyment of an adequate standard of living and other civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights." (United Nations Committee on Social, Economic, and Cultural Rights, 2001). 6
  • 12. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies Box 4 1.8 Looking for Evidence of Positive Impact on the Rural Poor3 General Indicators of Poverty Reduction o Improved income levels of poor and non-poor o Changes in household food security o Improved basic needs (shelter, health, nutrition) o Changes in income distribution and decreases in inequities o Diversification of income sources o Changes in income security o Improved human rights o Increased access to public goods and services o Increased yields o Changes in consumption and diet o Improved quality of life Indicators of Increased Resilience and Reduction in Vulnerability/Volatility o A reduction in frequency/severity of shocks. o An increase in risk preparedness. o Increased capacity to cope with/prepare for/adapt to natural or economic shocks. o Increased capacity to cope with/prepare for/adapt to seasonality (IMM, 2004 ) Indicators of Long Term Sustainability o Increase in environmental sustainability o Reduction in conflict or increase in peace/resolution o Changes reflecting livelihood sustainability o Sustained Post Project Activities o Sustained Post Project Institutional Changes o Sustained Post-Project poverty reduction o Sustained or permanent removal of groups from social exclusion o Addressed inequities faced by disadvantaged groups 3 Annex 6.2 presents a list of poverty indicators related to each principle and associated hypothesis/es. 7
  • 13. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies 2 Evidence of impact 2.1 Poverty Reduction, Enhanced Resilience, and Long-Term Sustainability In this section a general overview of types of evidence of poverty reduction, enhanced resilience, and long-term sustainability found within the cases is provided. This is followed by a discussion of the degree to which cases that demonstrated a positive impact on the rural poor had applied or incorporated sustainable livelihoods principles. The majority of case studies are described briefly within the text boxes throughout Section 2.0 while additional information can be found in the case study summaries (available in the separately printed Appendices.) 2.1.1 Poverty Reduction Table 1 provides a general overview of how cases demonstrated improvements in the lives of the rural poor through increased income, diversification of income sources, changes in income distribution, improved basic needs and services, access to productive resources, increased agricultural yield, and changes in household food security. The scale at which these improvements were made differed greatly among cases and it was often difficult to derive numbers and types of beneficiaries from the information available. An expanded version of Table 1 can be found in the Supplemental Materials, being published separately. 8
  • 14. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies Table 1. General evidence of impact on selected poverty indicators Access to Country Income Income Access to 5 4 Income productive Yields HH FS Case Diversification Distribution Needs/ Services resources Financial services, Education Land Honduras Y Housing Seedlings Significant positive impact on rural poor Sanitation Irrigation Nutrition Water, Trees Nepal Y Sanitation Seeds Education Financial services, Yemen Y Literacy, Health IGA materials N/A N/A Extension Indonesia Y Livestock Sanitation Nutrition Seeds, Water Ethiopia Y Health, Credit Land, Bee hives Employment Land, Water Employment Seeds, Trees/ Myanmar Y Irrigation Tree products Extension Fertiliser Livestock Land, Trees/ Financial services, Some positive impact on rural 6 Tree products Cambodia Y Roads Fish ponds Education Seedlings Health Trees Bangladesh Y Credit Multi-storey poor Sanitation trellises, Credit, Water Livestock Extension Bee hives Bolivia Y Education Trees, Seeds Irrigation Fish ponds Nutrition Gambia N Health, Credit Land, Water Extension, Credit Trees, Poultry, rural poor impact on Pakistan Y positive Irrigation Livestock, Water Little Credit, Nurseries Seeds, Trees, Zambia Y Extension, Health Inputs = Evidence of an increase = Evidence of positive changes 4 Country cases with the three categories are not necessarily arranged in any particular order. 5 HH FS = household food security 6 The case of Cambodia has been provisionally included in this category as it is an ongoing project and outcomes and impacts have yet to be fully evaluated. 9
  • 15. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies The majority of cases reviewed demonstrated evidence of increased income associated with agricultural production while a few focused on wealth generation by initiating new non-agricultural enterprises and skills. Increases in income were the result of: a. Increases in existing production system yields through inputs and intensification (Gambia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Honduras, Nepal). In Gambia, the expansion and intensification of rice production transformed the situation in target villages from a rice deficit to a rice surplus. As a direct result of this, the incomes of 11,500 households increased by between 50-500%. b. Diversification through additions of crop and livestock or other on-farm enterprises to the existing farming strategy (Ethiopia, Nepal, Bangladesh). The IRDP in Ethiopia introduced a beekeeping programme targeted at small landholders, landless men and women and the elderly, as beekeeping requires minimum labour inputs and does not take up valuable land in that hives can be placed in trees, on wasted land or even on flat rooftops. c. Value addition to existing production (Nepal, Yemen), non-agricultural enterprises or off-farm employment. In Myanmar, the extensive labour required for physical soil conservation activities generated employment opportunities for 15,000 resource poor households over the dry season, when they would otherwise have migrated in search of work. In most cases, access to productive resources including land, water, seeds, livestock, and trees contributed to yield and income increases, which in turn, led to improved food security and nutrition levels. In the case of Nepal, greater yields contributed to increases in household food security, such that food insecure months were reduced dramatically or eliminated during the life of the project from 9 to 0-2. However, only in a few cases were there indications of either enhanced stability/security of yields or income. In Myanmar for instance, the results of an evaluation study conducted on the sustainability of household and community livelihoods indicated that the project had made a significant contribution to enhancing the assets base of households; ensuring the sustainability of interventions and group management; and achieving a strong impact in attaining income, employment and food security increases on a sustainable basis (FAO, 2002b). There was also evidence of improved basic needs satisfaction through increases in living conditions, nutrition, sanitation and improved access to services such as sanitation, health, education, credit, and extension services. a. In Honduras, large-scale improvements were made in housing conditions through the installation of piped water and latrines, as well as the adoption of improved stoves. In addition, 67 community banks were established along with two cooperatives. b. In Nepal, 15,000 women, men and children experienced improvements in health and nutrition through greater access to nutritious foods, improved domestic habits and the use of boiled water. Positive impacts were made on birthing practices, with women no longer giving birth in cowsheds at some sites and there was also a rise in the number of children attending school and receiving healthcare. c. In Bangladesh, savings groups formed by Farmer Field School participants helped households buy and install the concrete slabs needed to improve latrines to counter the high incidence of diarrhoeal diseases in the area. This was also confirmed through the spending choices associated with increased income reported in some cases (Yemen, Ethiopia, Nepal, Myanmar). 10
  • 16. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies Very few cases contained documented evidence of changes or shifts in wealth classes, or direct impacts on the most poor. LADEP in Gambia was one of these, where greater rice yields also led to shifts in income distribution, with 15-78% of very poor project participants moving into the categories of poor and non-poor. Early and late wealth ranking exercises carried out by the DELIVERI project also showed that many farmers had moved from the ‘poor’ or ‘middle poor’ to rich categories over the life of the project. 2.1.2 Resilience and Reduction in Vulnerability Three cases indicated increased resilience and the capacity to cope with natural or political shocks, which took the form of drought (Ethiopia,) conflict (Nepal) and climatic shock (Honduras). In Ethiopia, the IRDP faced not only a serious drought two out of the three years in which it was implemented, but it was also confronted with outbreaks of violence and looting as the result of continuing border tensions between Ethiopia and Eritrea. The return of tens of thousands of internally displaced peoples heightened the already urgent situation in project target areas. Food for work activities linked to the rehabilitation of natural resources, road construction and other training provided a short-term solution to the immediate need for food whilst revitalising rural livelihoods in the long-term through improving the natural resource and communication bases. Soil and water conservation, reforestation and area enclosure measures introduced under the project were identified by farmers as having been critical in reducing the impact of drought on their livelihoods. Despite overall declines in terms of nutritional status and the amount of food available, project activities were successful, if not in improving the livelihoods of target community members, then in at least ensuring that the majority of target households were able to maintain their status quo against the severity of the drought (Oxfam Canada/REST, 2003). The WIN project in certain sites in Nepal was affected by internal conflict between government forces and Maoist rebels. One village that consisted of ‘untouchable’ families for example, was highly vulnerable and insecure during the insurgency. A solution was sought based on a visit by a selected group of women from the village to a village in which drip irrigation and water tanks had been installed. The women were enthusiastic and thus guaranteed the safety of project staff, who stayed in the village for the month of work. The WIN project was seen to have helped households in other insecure areas to cope with conflict by promoting self sufficiency, strengthening groups, and community bases nurseries. Additionally, the training and team building of the WIN staff added to their willingness to continue work despite the threat this posed to their personal safety. The Lempira Sur region of Honduras was able to withstand the ravages of El Niño and Hurricane Mitch as a direct result of project interventions. Communal natural resource recovery measures that rendered the landscape highly resistant to natural shock coupled with the subsequent introduction of new/improved production, preservation and storage technologies allowed communities in the region to maintain a grain surplus throughout the El Niño and Hurricane Mitch disasters. 2.1.3 Long-term sustainability Franks et al. (2004) in a study of ten cases in Southern Africa, Tanzania and Uganda noted that sustainability must be considered in all of its aspects (economic, social, environmental, and institutional) in order to impact on peoples’ livelihoods. In their study, they added that economic and institutional sustainability are important for the short term while longer term consequences affecting the environment and social components must be considered. 11
  • 17. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies Long-term sustainability is perhaps the most difficult to address from the case studies reviewed. This may be primarily due to the level of maturity of the various project activities rendering it impossible to comment on sustained post-project activities, institutional change, poverty reduction, or removal of exclusion or inequities among social groups within communities. However there are perhaps elements of the framework which if successfully employed can reflect a greater possibility of long-term social and institutional sustainability such as: a. People’s empowerment - confidence, negotiating capacity, conflict resolution skills, grant-writing ability, capacity to discern useful projects based on values, education programs etc. b. Institutional change - representation in government bodies, enhanced service provision that goes beyond an ephemeral change. c. Enabling policies - the Bolivian water law for example. d. Partnerships and multi-level macro-micro linkages - cohesive, multi-disciplinary teams with a strong sense of ownership and the ability to reach an expanded geographical area and multiple sectors, linkages from the community, to district, to national level meaning that successful strategies are more likely to be translated into policy. Information that might reflect long-term sustainability in the form of environmental (mimicking ecosystems in Honduras; natural resource recovery measures in Myanmar), livelihoods (Yemen, Cambodia), institutional and community (Indonesia, Nepal, Honduras, and Yemen) sustainability was found in a limited number of cases. Financial sustainability was indicated by high rates of repayment on the loans made by community development organisations to fund income-generating and community benefit activities (Yemen, Myanmar). 2.2 Linking use of Sustainable Livelihoods Principles with Evidence of Positive Change As shown in the previous section, evidence of positive impact on the rural poor was found in the cases under review. This section examines the degree to which selected principles, both specific and non-specific to the SLA were incorporated by the projects and attempts to draw linkages between these principles and evidence of poverty outcomes and impacts. Table 2 presents a broad overview of the nature in which the three SL-specific principles were employed by the 12 projects. 12
  • 18. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies Table 2. An overview of the incorporation of SL-specific principles Country Vulnerability Livelihoods focus Builds assets Finan Physi Human Social Natur cial cal al Capacity to store grain, Increased yield, storage, Honduras Significant positive impact on support other provinces agro-industrial crops, Increased food security, Nepal Farm-related IGA’s nutrition, irrigation Increased income, Yemen Training in various IGA’s rural poor increased opportunities Increased access to Indonesia Integration of livestock services – animal health NR recovery, drought Improved sustainable Ethiopia mitigation measures farming practices, IGA’s NR recovery, increased IGA’s, livestock, Myanmar food security, irrigation on-farm employment, Livelihoods diversification Sustainable management Some positive impact Cambodia (livestock, aquaculture, of forests/fishing grounds horticulture) on rural poor Increased food security, Bangladesh Homestead gardening nutrition & income Diversification, eco- Improved land & water friendly IGA’s, training in Bolivia management improved farming practices Increased incomes from Focus on rice production Gambia higher rice yields only Rangeland rehabilitation, Training in new livelihood positive on rural Pakistan impact Little watershed management strategies poor Increased production of Improved agricultural Zambia more nutritious crops practices; IGA’s 2.2.1 Analyzing the vulnerability context All cases engaged the three SL-specific principles, but to differing extents and with differing levels of success. The vulnerability context was generally characterised by food insecurity and malnutrition, a lack of disposable income, a limited asset base, the exploitation of natural resources and vulnerability to natural shocks. Efforts to address these issues mainly took the form of increasing the production of nutritious crops; promoting the sale of surplus crops to generate extra income; building human (training), social (group formation), financial (credit services), natural (planting of trees, seed and plant nurseries), and physical (treadle pumps, multi-storey trellises) capital; and the recovery of natural resource in order to decrease vulnerability to natural shocks. Boxes 6 and 7 illustrate further how these, and other principles were put into practice and how, using the cases of Honduras and Ethiopia respectively. 13
  • 19. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies Box 6. SL principles linked to key project impacts: Lempira Sur, Honduras7 The implementation of the first phase of the Lempira Sur project was undertaken in the context of accelerating impoverishment. Ever more extensive slash-and-burn agriculture and cattle ranching was leading to a rapid loss of soil fertility, which in turn, had prevented the regeneration of trees, destroyed local flora and fauna and dried out water sources, leading to heavy erosion and landslides. Project interventions were designed to support the communal recovery of natural assets by mimicking natural ecosystems (address vulnerability context, long-term sustainability), and promoting new production and land management technologies (e.g. the use of mulch, the spacing of seeds, live barriers) (building natural and human capital, focus on enhancing livelihoods). The adoption of agro-forestry and silvo-pastoral systems led to the reforestation of 10 000 hectares of land, while the large-scale implementation of soil conservation techniques (e.g. zero burning, zero tillage, hedges, cover crops) contributed to the regeneration of natural resources and to increased water retention (building natural, physical and human capital). Together, these achievements allowed participating households and communities to withstand the ravages of El Niño in 1997 and to maintain a grain surplus throughout (increased resilience and ability to withstand shock). The technologies promoted by the project proved resistant to drought and participating households experienced successful harvests (20% loss) as a result (building financial capital), whilst non-participating households suffered massive losses (80%) (Cherrett, 2000: 29). In addition, the region escaped the worst of Hurricane Mitch in 1998 due to the widespread adoption of project technologies which rendered the landscape highly resistant to the effects of the hurricane (increased resilience and ability to withstand shock). Lempira Sur continued to experience grain surpluses in the aftermath of Mitch due to the use of new locally built silos introduced by the project (building physical capital), and was able to mobilise famine relief aid to other parts of the country. To establish an enabling environment for people centred development and link households to departmental government, the Lempira Sur project supported the strengthening or creation of local governance institutions including Community Development Councils (CODECOs), the Municipal Development Council (CODEMS) and the mancomunidades (associations of more than one municipality). This resulted in enhanced capacity for informing decision-making from the bottom up – through CODECOs to the mancommunidades (good local governance and institutional linkages, multi-level). The project’s success, stemming from improved production systems and environmental sustainability whilst remaining a neutral/honest broker, also built the capacity of community members to organize themselves and reflect their priorities in policy decisions (building social capital, empowering). 7 Photos by Ian Cherrett, Rural Development in Lempira Sur Project. 14
  • 20. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies Box 7. SL Principles Linked to Key Project Impacts: Ethiopia8 The Ruba Lomine Integrated Rural Development Programme (IDRP), undertaken by Oxfam Canada and the Relief Society of Tigray in Ethiopia (partnerships), took account of a range of factors shaping the vulnerability context in the region. Issues around food security and nutrition, agricultural production, health and environmental sustainability were considered against the backdrop of a continuing drought, the key factor determining the vulnerability of households to poverty and food insecurity (holistic diagnosis). As such, a three-pronged approach was adopted to target the short, medium and long-term effects of drought at both the household and the community levels (addresses vulnerability context). A food-for- work programme associated with long-term environmental rehabilitation measures to reduce soil erosion and land degradation addressed both the immediate need for food and contributed to the prevention/mitigation of further drought (long-term sustainability, building natural and physical capital, increased resilience and ability to withstand shocks). It also helped to protect household assets, primarily livestock, from distress sales (Gotts, 1998). Local groups were formed to manage these activities and other communal resources such as water installations, in order to encourage local ownership of interventions and to ensure their sustainability beyond project completion (building social capital, enhances good governance and institutions, long-term sustainability). Training was provided in improved agricultural production techniques and in a range of income-generating activities, and a community credit fund was established (building human and financial capital, enhancing and diversifying livelihood strategies). These activities allowed farmers to continue production despite poor rains, and to diversify livelihoods away from a full dependence on agriculture. Households were also able to use the income gained from these other activities to purchase additional food to supplement subsistence production. Thus, while the area continued to be plagued by drought, the IRDP contributed to households’ ability to withstand related shocks in both the immediate and distant future by addressing not just the symptoms, but the root causes of food insecurity and poverty. 2.2.2 Building Assets All cases reviewed demonstrated evidence of increases in some/all five forms of assets: • Human asset development took the form of technical, vocational and organizational capacity-building provided to individuals, vulnerable/disadvantaged groups (poor, landless, women, female household heads, elderly, destitute), producer groups, community development associations, and local and national NGO’s and governmental institutions. • Social assets were built through the formation, training, cohesion and capacity-building of community groups, committees, farmer groups, and local leaders. While some projects 8 Photo taken from Noble, R. 2003. Collaborative Learning to Achieve Sustainable Livelihoods. A Final Evaluation Report of the Ruba Lomine Integrated Rural Development Programme. []. 15
  • 21. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies worked deliberately with pre-existing groups in the interest of cohesion and solidarity (Nepal, Gambia), others created new associations in the interest of social inclusivity (Yemen)9. • Financial assets were enhanced through income generation and savings as well as access to community development funds, community banks, or other credit schemes. • Physical assets were built through infrastructural support related to sanitation, water supply, roads, and shelter and storage facilities, and/or the provision of farming tools and other equipment (treadle pumps, multi-storey trellises, bee hives). • Natural assets or stocks were addressed in a variety of ways, including: a. The incorporation of productive resources, such as the planting of mulberry and apple trees in Pakistan. b. Providing access to, or the reclamation of land for, agricultural production. In Gambia, backswamps and tidal swamps were reclaimed through the construction of causeways and bridges. c. Addressing upstream-downstream relationships through integrated watershed management, as in Bolivia. d. Managing lands to mimic natural ecosystems, as in Honduras. e. Promoting improved farming and land use practices, such as in Cambodia, Myanmar and Pakistan. Box 8 presents the case of Yemen, where the building of assets through community organization, enterprise skills facilitation and access to credit and savings facilities was adopted as a key strategy in addressing rural poverty. 9 The dominance of elites, traditional leaders and other powerful groups in some parts of Yemeni society posed a challenge to the formation of Community Based Organisations under the CBRDP. In the interest of representing the needs of the wider community whilst also maintaining some element of existing power structures, CBO’s were formed by a mixture of traditional community leaders, ‘the poor’, women and other marginalised groups. 16
  • 22. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies Box 8. SL principles linked to key project impacts: CBRDP, Yemen10 The building of human, social and financial capital formed the core of the FAO/UNDP Community- Based Regional Development Programme (CBRDP) being implemented in five districts of Yemen, on the basis that these communities’ lack of specific skills was one of the factors preventing them from becoming active participants in the development process (people-centred). Under the project, 53 Community Development Organisations (CDO’s) were formed, each consisting of an Executive Body (EB), a General Assembly and various Technical Committees. These CDO’s were created to identify, implement and monitor poverty alleviation interventions, manage a newly-established community credit fund, and create effective linkages with institutions at different levels (enhancing good governance and institutions, multi-level linkages, building social and human capital). Ensuring the representation of the poor and women in all the functions of the CDO’s was key (socially inclusive). By 2003, the poor constituted 65% of all CDO members, while women formed 36% of all CDO members and 21% of EB members. Clear changes in the perception of the community towards women’s participation were noted, with initial refusal to allow women representatives in the EB’s giving way to a situation whereby a female chairperson was elected chairperson of the Gozr Al-Behar CDO. Through these CDO’s, communities have gone from passive recipients to active initiators of development interventions (empowering). Training in project design and proposal writing skills has allowed CDO’s to attract an additional $697 945 to fund local development activities through the community revolving credit fund (building financial capital). In coordination with CDO’s, government departments have also expanded and upgraded their coverage of services in project areas. Alongside measures designed to strengthen CDO’s, human capacity-building and training activities also took place. Development training was provided to improve technical, organisational, managerial, administrative and financial skills, and vocational training was given in 14 fields ranging from carpentry and plumbing, to perfume and ceramics production (focus on enhancing livelihoods, building human and social capital, not strictly sectoral). Gender was again a critical factor here, with women being exempted from certain training eligibility criteria in order to encourage their participation. Women made up 35% of all trainees, many of whom highlighted the significant, positive impact training had had on their feelings of self-confidence and self-worth (empowering). Vocational training and the availability of credit through the community revolving fund has led to the creation of numerous small businesses, which have helped diversify household income sources (reducing vulnerability to economic shock). There is evidence to suggest that, as a result of such businesses, the average household income has gone from YR 17 033 to YR 22 490, a rise of 26% (building financial capital). This income was allocated to higher-quality food (22.6%), healthcare (15.7%), children’s education (12.8%), Gat (12.2%), savings (10.3%), household assets (9.1%), expansion of existing business (6.5%), the creation of a new business (4.5%), the repayment of debts (3.5%), and others (2.8%), with women being more likely to allocate their incomes towards household wellbeing (food, health and education). 10 Photo by Stephan Bass, CBRDP. 17
  • 23. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies 2.2.3 Livelihoods Focus All cases incorporated some form of livelihoods focus. Several good examples are demonstrated in Honduras, Yemen and Ethiopia (earlier Boxes 6, 7 and 8). What was difficult to clarify from the existing documentation was the degree to which livelihood strategies were intentionally developed based on pre-existing livelihood strategies and assets analysis of the ‘beneficiary’ communities, or based on over-riding intentions of the project donor organization. Examples from Ethiopia, Pakistan, Yemen and Gambia demonstrate the divergent approaches to incorporating a livelihoods focus (Box 9). Box 9. A livelihoods focus in practice In Ethiopia, the IDRP sought to render existing livelihood strategies more sustainable by coupling natural resource recovery measures with training in improved agricultural practices. Further training was provided in non-traditional farming activities such as bee-keeping, which takes up minimal or no land space and is thus a feasible strategy for small landowners as well as landless persons. In Pakistan, the PUCD programme sought to empower women by developing livelihood strategies adapted to the practice of purdah in the area. Whereas previous initiatives focused on ‘traditional’ activities such as embroidery, the PUCD piloted projects in household poultry-raising, sheep rearing, tailoring, latrine construction and homestead fruit and vegetable production. In Yemen, the ‘livelihoods focus’ principle was operationalised through the provision of development and vocational training, and through the creation of a community credit fund. Together, these allowed the expansion of existing livelihoods strategies and the identification and realisation of new, viable income-generating activities, helping to diversify household income sources and to increase household income levels. In Gambia, LADEP focused exclusively on increasing yields of monoculture rice in order to boost food security and income levels. It did so at the expense of other livelihoods strategies however. Human and financial capital were diverted away from upland crops (groundnuts) to lowland rice production, with potentially negative implications for nutritional levels and increased vulnerability to natural and economic shocks affecting rice. 2.2.4 Good Governance Governance refers to the form or strength of governing systems – structure, power, effectiveness, efficiency, rights and representation and addresses inter alia exercising political power; efficiency and accessibility of service providers; honesty, efficiency, effectiveness, accountability and accessibility; human rights; property rights; and decentralization. Although not true for all cases reviewed, there were some cases in which the principles of governance and/or multi-level linkages were well illustrated, and were articulated as: a. Strengthening customary village institutions (Gambia, Bolivia), or creating new village-level institutions (Myanmar, Yemen). b. Building community representation in local government (Zambia, Honduras). c. Building the capacity for participatory, multidisciplinary or collaborative approaches (Nepal, Pakistan, Honduras). 18
  • 24. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies d. Enhanced responsiveness of local government to local priorities (Indonesia, Ethiopia). e. Building the service provision capacity of government agencies (Indonesia, Nepal). f. Influencing policy reform (Indonesia, Honduras, Bolivia, Nepal). In most cases, there was a link from household to local government and in some cases, a link to national government. Projects that stressed aspects of governance, multi-level linkages and institutions from the outset seemed better positioned to report an enhanced responsiveness to community and farmer priorities while impacting national efforts. A brief description of the governance and multilevel aspects of the Indonesia and Honduras cases are provided in Boxes 10 and 11 respectively. Box 10. Governance Principles linked to Outcomes in Indonesia11 The DELIVERI project in Indonesia was designed to address weaknesses in the delivery of livestock services to resource poor farmers, in recognition that existing service provision was rigid, under-responsive, and incapable of accommodating the varied needs of poor farmers. Through the introduction of more client- focused quality services approaches to livestock service provision within the Department of Livestock Services in four districts in Sulawesi, it was hoped that the programme would contribute to sustainable increases in wealth and enhance the self-reliance of small-scale and resource-poor farmers through increased livestock production. An extensive capacity-building programme was operated at all levels, from senior officials in the Ministry of Agriculture, to provincial and district level government staff, to national and local NGO staff, to private service providers. The project was able to influence two laws for planning and implementing livestock services and has influenced both farmer and government services capacity particularly in the development of a participatory and responsive extension service as well as behaviour changes related to time and quality management. DELIVERI participants were seen to be in a position to impact the World Bank Extension Reform Project and contribute to Ministry of Agriculture-wide thinking on participatory planning. 11 Photo taken from ‘Delivering Quality Services: Improving Community Services in Indonesia’ CD-ROM provided by Peter Bazely of the IDL Group. 19
  • 25. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies Box 11. Governance Principles linked to Outcomes in Honduras12 While the Lempira Sur Project in Honduras started out with, and maintained a focus on food security, it also invested heavily in governance. In 1999, it put in place a Governance Project (FAO, 2004) to support the reinforcement or creation of local governance institutions to develop planning efforts to link households to municipal government. The institutions included Community Development Councils (CODECOs), the Municipal Development Council (CODEMS) and the mancomunidades (associations of more than one municipality). The Lempira Sur project engaged government and local authorities in the planning process. Central government was appreciative of the positive on-the-ground changes that the project had made and this led to its collaboration with the project. As a result, the Municipal law was amended to legitimize the mancomunidades. Additionally, the efforts of the project were coherent with three national policies related to decentralization including the Master Plan for National Reconstruction and Transformation (1999), the Poverty Reduction Strategy (2001) and the Local Development and Decentralization Programme (2002). Maintaining a neutral ground, the project was able to create independence for small farmers, build the capacity for local government organization and self-management, and ensure that policy decisions better reflected the needs and priorities of the poor and vulnerable through political sensitization and training in open dialogue with mayors and candidates. The mayors have their own organization for negotiating with central institutions. Additionally, a two-way dynamic has been put in motion. The organizations and municipalities are negotiating for better services, while at the national level, some ministries are appreciating the fact that more of their services are available in the project area than before. 12 Photo by Ian Cherrett, Rural Development in Lempira Sur Project. 20
  • 26. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies 2.2.5 Social Inclusivity and Empowerment The degree to which projects were socially inclusive and empowering varied greatly across projects. In some instances, projects specifically engaged multiple socio-economic groups including the poor and very poor (Honduras, Ethiopia, Myanmar), untouchables (Nepal, Box 11), and other marginalised groups (Yemen). In other cases, social inclusivity was expressed as including or working only/predominantly with women (Pakistan, Gambia and Bangladesh). Projects that made a concerted effort to ensure social inclusivity were often able to facilitate the empowerment of vulnerable/marginalised groups. This was articulated as: a. Significant changes in women’s position within the household, and access to and control of household income (Bangladesh, Box 12). b. Significant changes in the status of other marginalised/disadvantaged groups within the community (Myanmar). c. Enhanced problem solving by women (Nepal). d. Promoting the rights of communities to access natural resources (Cambodia). e. Empowering farmers to engage in extension planning (and criticism) and entrepreneurial activities promoted by women (Indonesia, Pakistan). f. Enhanced ability to initiate and be proactive in development (Yemen). g. Associations allowing small-scale farmers’ voices to be heard in policy debates (Gambia). h. Reduction in dependence on or use of an intermediary patron in times of trouble (Honduras). i. Bringing together local government and communities during project design (Ethiopia). 21
  • 27. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies Box 11. Empowerment of Women in Irrigation and Water Resources Management for Household Security, Nutrition and Health (WIN) The WIN project set out to empower women in irrigation management and provide access to productive resources while addressing food security, nutrition and health concerns (multi-sectoral). An underlying objective was to strengthen local and national capacity to effectively assist in the incorporation of gender, household food security, nutrition and health into irrigation and water management projects in the country. Project interventions included the diversification of crop production; home gardening; animal raising; community vegetable seedling nurseries; treadle pumps and spring water tapping; water storage devices; training in group organisation and strengthening, business skills, literacy/numeracy and technical issues ; . As many as 2555 households in four districts benefited and the project worked with 6128 women and 1031 men. The project had successful experience of recapitalising food insecure households, especially resource poor Kamayas (impact on most poor, socially inclusive). Overall, the project reported influencing as many as 15,000 women, men and children. Nutrition and health has improved through nutritious food, cleaner domestic habits, the use of boiled water, and changes in birthing practices. There was evidence of income generation from farm sales (financial capital), time savings for women and children, improved food security (reduced food insecure months from 9 to 0-2 months), improvement in social factors (children in school and getting health care). Women have been empowered through group formation efforts including water users committees, participation in water management and group savings; training in literacy, leadership, gender, women’s rights; and access to women friendly technologies, Equitable sharing of work loads, reduction in domestic violence and women making claims for services from government line agencies have also been reported. Women were noted as being better able to solve their own problems (human and social assets). Local women were also trained as social mobilizers. Additionally there were changes in attitudes and practices of extension staff that evolved from sectoral to multi-sectoral teams to interact with communities and farmers (empowering, good governance, responsiveness). The most vulnerable and food insecure groups (landless, freed Kamayas, Dalits and others) were identified during participatory appraisals. The project was encouraged to work the existing On-Farm Water Management (OFWM) project, it was noted that these groups would not have been assisted. The Nepal team worked with more well-off participants through the OFWM yet found a way to work with the most vulnerable through collaborative arrangements with GTZ (socially inclusive, working in partnership). The WIN approach was noted as having a potential role in mitigating severe food insecurity in conflict and recovery situations. While WIN can assist conventional irrigation and water resources projects to integrate health, nutrition, and gender aspects, the approach has been shown to play a constructive role through peace/conflict mitigation and the promotion of peace and reconciliation. Team building as a part of the process allowed for successful work. The project managed to succeed during assassination and insurgencies at project sites and the team continued their work at considerable personal risk. WIN staff included part time government officers assigned to line ministries and 2-3 long-term, experienced national consultants, and through sensitization and participatory process training, the project built cohesive, multi-disciplinary multi-district teams. They were able to respond to local needs and considered to be highly effective with regard to technical expertise, gender awareness, conflict management and project reporting. While the WIN project has helped the Nepal government (governance) focus on gender mainstreaming, participatory poverty assessments, and demand-driven responses to local needs, the Nepal government has recognized the WIN approach as being cost effective 22
  • 28. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies Box 12. Strengthening Household Access to Bari Garden Extension Services (SHABGE)13 SHABGE was implemented by CARE, in partnership with 23 local NGOs in five districts of Bangladesh. The project aimed to improve the household food security, consumption and nutrition of poor and marginalised women and men farmers (people-centred). Because women constituted the greatest number of disadvantaged groups however, 99% of project participants were female (disaggregated interventions). Participants were all poor, but to differing extents. Some were landless, while others had access to between 2-25 decimals of land14. SHABGE also worked with elderly women and widows, who are often neglected or subjected to violence because they are seen as a burden to the household (Bartlett, 2002) (socially inclusive). Through a programme of Farmer Field School training (building human and social capital; livelihoods focus), these women experienced small increases in yields of fruit and vegetables (building natural capital). This in turn had generally led to increased household consumption and improved health (fewer skin complaints and eye problems were specifically cited), as well as increases in household incomes through the sale of surplus produce (increasing resilience to health-related shocks; building financial capital). Whilst women were highly appreciative of these outcomes, they particularly valued the impact the project had had on their status within the household and community. Participation in SHABGE had strengthened women’s decision-making ability, their access, control and use material resources, and their access to knowledge and technology (Wilson & Hussain, 2002). Women noted that their husbands and families had begun to treat them with more respect, that they were now participating in household decision-making and that their control over household income had increased. In addition, participants were now considered locally as experts in homestead gardening (Bartlett, 2002a) and were consulted by other community members on new farming practices and technologies (empowering). 13 The picture in this text box shows Rokeya Begum, a landless entrepreneur and FFS participant. It is taken from Bartlett: 2002. 14 0.02-0.25 acres (100 decimals = 1 acre), or 81-1012 m2. 23
  • 29. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies 2.2.6 Participation Social inclusivity and empowerment were often closely associated with the nature and quality of participatory processes put in place by a particular project. One of the aspects which contributed to strengthening the impact of the five more successful projects was precisely the strength of the participatory processes that they set in motion. Aspects of participation included: a. Ethiopia: High levels of community participation in the problem identification, planning, implementation and monitoring and evaluation phases of the IRDP. Actions undertaken to ensure community participation in programme activities included the creation and support of local committees, interventions specifically targeting women, the landless and female-headed households, and the training of local Community Development Cadres. b. Honduras: The completion of participatory diagnoses with groups, communities and villages within the project target area. These diagnoses were reviewed by project teams and the capacity of the project to respond was analysed. On this basis, teams negotiated a plan of work with the participating communities. At the end of the first year of implementation, and each year after that, the project carried out a process of participatory evaluation and diagnosis, the results of which were in turn reviewed by senior management and project priorities and activities altered accordingly. c. Indonesia: The provision of training to farmers groups and Dinas Peternakan (Department of Livestock) staff to use more participatory approaches to project planning and implementation, as part of the strategy to provide more client-oriented livestock services to farmers. The Community Livestock Action Planning (CLAP) was developed as a participatory project appraisal and planning approach targeted at farmers and farmer groups in DELIVERI project villages. CLAP substantially increased DP staff understanding of livestock production issues within their districts, provided valuable background information about constraints and opportunities for livestock development, and strengthened the capacity of farmers groups to develop their own activities. d. Myanmar: Ensuring the participation of community members through a range of community-based organisations established under the project, including Farmers Income Generating Groups, Livestock Income Generating Groups, Affinity Groups (self-help groups) and Village Forestry Groups. e. Nepal: The formation of multi-sectoral district and national teams who were trained in participatory and gender responsive methodologies, and who carried out participatory assessments and gender action planning in local sites. Target groups included women, marginalised indigenous groups and food insecure households. These groups were trained by district staff in specialized topics, and were then supported in implementing their own plans and activities. f. Yemen: The formation of Community Development Associations that took account of traditional power structures (by promoting the participation of local tribal leaders) whilst also ensuring the participation of poorer and marginalised community members and women. Based on a sample of 33% of all CDO members, 74% were found to be poor, representing 65% of total CDO membership. Women’s participation was somewhat lower at 37%. 24
  • 30. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies 2.2.7 Partnerships & Multi-level, Macro-Micro Linkages Establishing strong partnerships proved to be a critical factor both in ensuring widespread participation and geographical coverage, and in contributing towards the longer-term sustainability of project achievements. Through some of its many partners, WIN Nepal was able to work with the non-poor (through the World Bank) and the most vulnerable groups (through GTZ). It was also able to continue working with isolated communities in areas of insurgency through its district teams. Linkages spanning the community, district and national levels were also key in facilitating the adoption of successful project strategies at the institutional level. In Gambia, 12 District Level Lowland Farmer Associations created under LADEP were linked to the National Farmers Platform and to the National Women’s Farmers Associations, facilitating the representation of local needs at the national level. As a result, attitudes towards rural development were influenced within the government, whose capacity to adopt self-help-based and demand-driven approaches was built and where the importance of combining social development with engineering works was recognised. Participatory training provided by LADEP also increased the capacity of government extension staff and transformed their way of working with rural communities. 2.3 Aspects that Challenged the Achievement of Positive Change While there was significant evidence of the positive impacts many of the 12 projects had had on rural poverty reduction, project performance was not always favourable. Five of the projects in particular faced some/major constraints in effecting positive impacts on the rural poor (Table 3). Table 3. Projects that faced challenges in achieving successful poverty reduction Cases that had some positive impacts on the rural Cases that had limited positive impacts on the poor rural poor Bangladesh Pakistan Bolivia Zambia Gambia These challenges centred around both project-related constraints (those within the power of the project to control) and wider constraints (those beyond the direct control of the project). The pattern that emerged from these challenges, discussed in more detail below, was one whereby project-related constraints appeared to be linked to the inconsistent application of some of SL- specific and non-SL-specific principles. 2.4 Project-related Constraints 2.4.1 Participation, social inclusivity, and enhancing the livelihood strategies of the poor All projects made some attempt to mainstream participation throughout the various stages of the project cycle and to address the needs and enhance the livelihood strategies of the most vulnerable groups. A number of projects however experienced difficulties in this due to design weaknesses. Local stakeholders were not consulted prior to the design of CARE’s SHABGE project in Bangladesh for example, and difficulties were experienced in encouraging women’s participation due to strict socio-religious codes limiting women’s mobility and presence in the public sphere. In one district, it took facilitators four months to satisfy the minimum participation requirement of 20 women and only after extensive negotiation with husbands, elites and local politicians to explain the project’s goal and strategy. Women’s lack of involvement in project design also had 25
  • 31. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies implications for the relevance of these activities to their needs. As one PNGO leader put it, ‘only about 60-70% of women members are now participating in FFS sessions. The others have stopped participating because they don’t see the project as a way of reducing their poverty’ (cited in Wilson & Hussain, 2002: 19). The Participatory Upland Conservation Development programme in Bolivia experienced similar problems. While the PUCD programme made a number of advances related to raising awareness, enhancing income of some groups, good governance and impacting national policies, some difficulty was experienced in enhancing the living conditions of the poor and landless, including women. The PUCD found that participatory processes were not sufficient on their own to ensure the equitable participation of socially marginalized groups. By 1997, only 14% of the 202 households participating in technical training ‘hard’ project activities 15 belonged to landless households, or to those owning less that 3 ha of land. Similarly, by 1999, women constituted just 15% of all project participants, with the highest percentage concentrated in ‘soft’ activities16. The reasons for these weaknesses were twofold. Firstly, greater attention could have been paid to the nature of the livelihoods strategies of poor and marginalised groups, and the fact that the limited range of assets open to them often prevented them from qualifying for project assistance. Secondly, greater attention by project implementers could have been addressed to meeting the demands women had expressed during participatory planning sessions. This was reflected in women’s poor participation. 2.4.2 Issues surrounding the disaggregation of project interventions Related to the lack of consistency in targeting the most vulnerable groups was the tendency to categorise ‘the poor’ as a homogenous category. The SHABGE project illustrates this well. While it was aimed at ‘poor and marginalised men and women farmers’, a lack of systematic selection criteria meant that project participants were selected somewhat arbitrarily by Field Trainers (FTs). Access to land was used as a key indicator of poverty, and while some FTs were satisfied if two- thirds of the households in their FFS had less than 25 decimals (1013m2), others selected only those with 10 decimals (405m2) or less. Other staff, having been instructed to focus on ‘the poorest of the poor’ had selected landless families (Bartlett, 2002). Because of these differences in levels of land ownership/access amongst FFS participants, benefits gained from homestead gardening interventions also differed. Those with greater access to land gained greater benefits from homestead gardening activities. Conversely, those with limited access to land reported that their homestead spaces were so small that little or no income was generated from selling vegetables. Such participants were also unable to afford inputs such as seeds, seedlings, fencing or irrigation equipment in order to make the limited land they had available more productive. 2.4.3 Issues surrounding empowerment Measures to build human and social capital had generally contributed to the empowerment of beneficiary communities, as in the case of Yemen. With some projects however, the nature and execution of project interventions limited the extent to which beneficiaries could be ‘empowered’. In Bangladesh for example, FFS participants complained that they were unable to contribute to processes designed to keep track of and illustrate changes that were occurring on study plots because they were illiterate. Calls were made for basic literary training to be held prior to the 15 For example, farming systems improvement, income diversification and community infrastructure. 16 Participatory research exercises, evaluation and re-planning workshops at the community level, and capacity-building events, for example. 26
  • 32. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies implementation of such components. Instead, the learning process was simplified in order to make it more user-friendly, although this was done to such an extent as to render it almost meaningless (Bartlett, 2002). Concerns were also raised as to the quality of training women received from the FFS. A trade-off made between the depth and the breath of this training meant that participants had become ‘adopters’ of, and not experts in new varieties, practices and technologies (Bartlett, 2002), able to recognize, but not to understand the benefits arising from them. A tendency by FTs to view the FFS concept as prescriptive rather than flexible may help to explain this. Field staff were hesitant to adapt FFS topics. They also tended to be unclear as to the study plot objectives and were often the ones to decide the nature of FFS activities, giving participants little ownership of the learning process. 2.4.4 Issues concerning holistic interventions, increased resilience and ability to withstand shock Most projects were not based on holistic diagnoses. The LADEP Gambia project, in attempting to the increase levels of food security and raise the incomes of impoverished household through the promotion of monoculture rice production in lowland areas, may have increased these households’ vulnerability to other, different shocks. An increase in the number of rice farmers by up to 200% in some areas has resulted in human and financial resources being concentrated into rice production at the expense of other (upland) crops. Some villages witnessed a reduction in (1) the production of crops such as groundnuts, where men (traditionally upland farmers) had chosen to switch from groundnuts to rice because of higher returns, and (2) vegetable production on homestead gardens, where labour requirements for dike construction reduced the amount of time women were able to spend on homestead gardening and where they considered rice more profitable anyway. These changes have potentially negative implications in terms of both nutritional levels (lack of diversity in the diet)17 and increased vulnerability to natural shock (pests, drought). In addition, an increase in the amount of standing water behind dikes for longer times than previously had anecdotally contributed to an increased incidence of malaria in the 11 project sites, increasing households’ vulnerability to health-related shocks18. 2.4.5 Issues surrounding engaging dynamism and flexibility In Indonesia, the DELIVERI project worked in collaboration with government agencies in order to develop responsive and quality service delivery related to livestock. Peter Bazely (1999, noted that difficulties arose when the project parties could not easily conceptualize a project that was more “non-physical” in nature, and were not as willing to engage in this. Additionally, contractors found it difficult to work with such a flexible effort that focused on transforming structures versus delivering tangible products. 2.4.6 Issues surrounding good governance and institutions, and macro-micro linkages Despite weaknesses in its approach, SHABGE made important contributions to the empowerment of women. Participants reported tangible improvements to their status within the household and 17 It is impossible to comment on the actual effects of the exclusive production of rice had on nutritional levels as no data was gathered on this issue. 18 Phase II of the project has noted these weaknesses and plans to devote more attention to upland, as well as lowland farming, the diversification of production away from a sole focus on rice to include homestead gardening activities, and to partnerships with the health sector to address the issue of malaria and other vector-borne diseases, and HIV/AIDS. 27
  • 33. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies community in the form of increased incomes, a greater role in household decision-making and greater mobility, and intangible impacts such as a greater sense of self-confidence and self-worth. Although SHABGE had great potential to support these women to realise changes in their status, it did not engage district and national government representatives, undermining the institutionalisation of these achievements. 2.5 Wider Constraints 2.5.1 Issues surrounding partnerships Examples such as WIN illustrate well the idea that working in partnership is an effective means of addressing the multi-dimensional nature of rural poverty. While the IHFSAN project in Zambia (Box 14) attempted to work in a similar manner in order to address multi-sectoral concerns, institutional and policy changes underway when the project was initiated were key in explaining the weakness of partnerships established under the project, and the subsequent lack of significant achievements made despite the numerous development initiatives that were undertaken (FAO, 2004). Box 14 Improving Household Food Security and Nutrition Through Community Empowerment, Zambia IHFSAN aimed to ensure long-term food security and nutrition in the Luapula Valley by improving the year-round access of vulnerable households to a balanced diet. This was to be achieved through increasing access to a variety of nutritious foods and income, nutrition and health education, community empowerment and institutional capacity-building. Partnerships with the Ministries of Health, Education, and Community Development and Social Welfare were created to address multi-sectoral concerns, whilst responsibility for overall implementation lay with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries (MAFF). Reorganisation and decentralisation within these institutions however, forced remaining staff to divide their time between ministry tasks and project work limiting the time they could spend on project activities, and created uncertainty as to the roles and responsibilities in nutrition-related activities. In addition, a bias emerged towards achieving technical, agricultural outputs as project implementation was overseen by MAFF. Funds earmarked for activities in health, water, nutrition and social/human capacity-building were often re-channelled into agricultural activities, and remaining resources were too small to cope with the enormous demand for these services. Food production activities absorbed a disproportionate amount of human and financial resources and yet communities were given little opportunity to analyse how this strategy was designed to meet their nutritional needs. Thus, although improving the nutritional status of vulnerable groups had been identified as a fundamental project objective, this problem was only partially addressed. The case studies reviewed have demonstrated principles and aspects that have worked well and those that have worked less well. Cases that have been successful in improving the lives of the rural poor were rarely without constraints that required attention. A number of projects for which constraints were evident chose to embrace the learning and have indicated that they were addressed or would be addressed in the upcoming phases (Gambia). 28
  • 34. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies 3 Operationalising the Principles 3.1 Linking SL Principles to SL-supporting Actions The key difficulty making an SL approach “work” has been how to move from a livelihoods analysis of a situation to determining the action-oriented specifics of actually doing something: • what to do, • where to do it, • when to do it, • how to do it, and very importantly, • who to do it with. SL principles provide criteria against which actions can be measured, but don’t say which actions to take. The question of how a combination of livelihoods analysis and livelihoods principles can inform intelligent and effective action is posed graphically below: How can livelihoods analysis, combined with SL principles, help you figure out what to actually DO? The answer is not always self-evident. al k tic wor ts ks se Livelihood ly ri s As n a a me PI P strategies A fr The question: What procedures will join together analysis and principles to get results? ?? : es ory cro e pl t ci icipa o-ma inab l P rin rt cr Pa i tas c M Su et If this question can’t be easily answered a priori on the basis of deduction from the principles, it may be useful to look at patterns in the actions of successful projects and see how they approached the “operationalisation” problem. 29
  • 35. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies One key question is whether all of the SL principles have to be applied all the time in order to have impact. Toner et al for example write that ‘attention to all SL principles is required for an intervention to have the potential to create sustainable impact’ (2004: 3). The reality however seems to be that very few cases can or do activate each and every SL principle, and that positive impacts can be achieved without doing so. This prompts the question of which principles are the truly necessary ones, and how and when in the project cycle do they need to be at their most influential? The “bare essentials” toolkit for effective analysis, planning, and ultimate success appear to include: • a minimal essential set of principles • a minimal essential understanding of the livelihoods situation • a minimal essential set of “institutions” in the broader sense (farmer’s groups, training resources, etc) • a sequence of sound entry points (only some of which will be evident from the beginning); examples of such entry points include o easily assimilated technical improvements to hillside farming techniques which will reduce vulnerability o support to existing local credit institutions, o partnerships for the improvement of roads, improvements to local educational and health situations.… • an openness to synergy, partnership, and reverberating energy. The following diagram looks at some aspects of how SL principles (alongside the usual and still quite valid non-SL-specific principles) were operationalised in the case Nepal (WIN Project, Diagram 1). 30
  • 36. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies 3.2 Linking the employment of SL principles to activities and outcomes: The case of WIN Nepal Project Strategy 1: Project Strategy 2: Strengthen local & Assist poor national capacity to households to assist in gender, increase & household food diversify Addressing security, nutrition, & agriculture Building health, health with water production human & nutrition and management social capital water to empower management women in water management Technical and Multi- 1HSDO :,1 literacy training for women disciplinary district teams; Multi-sectoral national People-centred Women, steering most food committee; insecure, gender marginalised mainstreaming ethnic groups Livelihoods focus; Building assets Good Training of effective teams governance in technical institutional Building Socially matters, gender linkages assets inclusive awareness and conflict management Socially Building inclusive; assets Partnership Empowering Teams worked in Empowering partnership to target women and most Formation of food insecure Sustainability women’s, sales and savings © WIN groups and Multi-disciplinary teams water Multi-disciplinary teams able to committees; able to train; effective in train; effective in conflict Community seedling groups; irrigation conflict management; able management; able to source social model women’s groups; training to source social mobilisers mobilisers preventative measures WIN project (Nepal) addresses vulnerability related to food insecurity, lack of human and social capital, and conflict 31
  • 37. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies 3.3 Getting it right : when to do things, and who to do it with Is there a “right” or “most effective” sequence in the application of SL principles? For each part of the project cycle (preliminary identification, planning, implementation, evaluation, revision, etc) , are there certain SL principles which are absolutely essential, while in other parts of the project cycle adhering to these same principles might not be so absolutely essential? Or is the key not in some sequence of strong application of various principles, but in patterns of implementation actions or even partnership linkages, different actions and different linkages each having its own associated constellation of actively implemented SL principles? The data in our case studies is not sufficient to give a definite answer to these questions, but it has provided some interesting and potentially useful indications through our attempts to visualise approaches to these questions in various graphical ways. The first of these visualisation tools looks at timing, at when during the project cycle different principles were very strongly or less strongly in evidence. The second of these tools looks at patterns of institutional relationships and partnering. 3.4 When were specific principles most in evidence? When looked at closely not many of our case studies turned out to have enough time sequence data to construct the kind of detailed timelines we were looking for. The WIN (Nepal) and the Shagbe (Bangladesh) cases however were among the better ones in this regard it seemed worth a try. We tried to look at: o the timing of when different principles were most strongly in evidence (or their absence was most conspicuous!), and see if this correlated with any important aspects of project’s processes and outcomes. o Whether there was any evident and common pattern in two projects with respect to this timing Please note: The timelines shown on the next two pages are given as examples of the tools. The details of these timelines may not make a lot of sense to readers who are not familiar with the details of these specific projects. Those readers who DO want to understand the individual entries are warmly invited to consult the extensive summaries of the case studies in the Supplemental Materials (being made available separately because it has so many pages, more than this present document) 32
  • 38. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies Figure 2. WIN (Nepal) time variation in the strength with which various SL principles were applied Project design was rigid, but national team worked flexibly within the confines and built local ownership Principles 2000 2001 2002 2003 Holistic diagnosis Disaggregated analysis Training and work with food insecure women interventions Dynamic, flexible, long-term National team worked within the confines and built ownership Project became more flexible Not strictly sectoral Water, Health, Nutrition from the beginning Process-oriented Capacity building in process for teams to carry out objectives Implementation consistent Ambitious design, call for redesign but Re-plan of program; PME on local indicators, central evaluation Level 1 – Some means to implementation with design not accepted by budget holder recommendations not taken on by project Builds on strengths Agricultural production; Women’s capabilities Address risk/ vulnerability Focus on food security needs of women issues Supports livelihoods Income-generating opportunities for women, untouchable oriented strategies of the poor women, freed Kamayas Livelihoods- Livelihoods focus Income generating opportunities - vegetables, livestock, trees Multi-level linkages Local, district and national, but did not address the provincial level Partnerships NGO,IGO,GO When OFWM joined with GTZ RICW project Socially inclusive OFWM worked with better-off farmers, GTZ RICW helped work with most poor Empowering Unassociated individuals came together - joint decision making People-centred, responsive The project was built around women’s priorities People-oriented Level 2 – Means to achieve outcomes Level 2 – Means to achieve outcomes participatory WIN Steering Committee Committee never met; Enhances good governance comprised of diverse No consistency at provincial and institutions Partnering allowed the project to stakeholders; worked with level due to security work with the most poor and district teams builds assets marginalized Human, social, financial, physical, natural in terms of productive resources Addresses vulnerability and Through irrigation. Did not work with vulnerable who were increases resilience not in project irrigation areas Ensures to achieve impacts Level 3 - Outcomes long-term sustainability 33
  • 39. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies Figure 3. Time sequence in application of SL principles: SHABGE, Bangladesh (refer to Supplemental Materials for details) Principle 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 Holistic diagnosis Disaggregated analysis Project was designed to focus on poor, landless and elderly women, and widows Disaggregated interventions FFS participants include poor, landless and elderly women, and widows Dynamic, flexible, long-term Project attempted to adapt Field Documentation System to illiterate women’s needs, but did not address issue of illiteracy itself Not strictly sectoral FFS training touched upon issues surrounding health and domestic violence Level 1 – Process-oriented Some means to implementation Implementation consistent with Implementation was too consistent with design, and thus lacked flexibility, particularly in terms of the FFS design curriculum Builds on strengths Address risk/ vulnerability issues Homestead gardening activities designed to improve food security and nutrition levels, as well as raise incomes Supports livelihoods strategies Through FFS training oriented of the poor Livelihoods- Livelihoods focus Project set out to improve livelihood strategies of poor and marginalised men and women farmers Multi-level linkages Through PNGO’s Partnerships First PNGO’s undertake FFS training in 2001 outcomes Socially inclusive Project engaged different categories of poor women, who first began FFS training in January 2000. Empowering Outcomes of FFS training begin to take effect? People- oriented People-centred, responsive FFS participants only engaged when FFS training begins, not in identification and Level 2 - Means to achieve participatory design of project interventions Enhances good governance and institutions Through training in participatory methods and the FFS model given to PNGO’s Builds Assets Through FFS training: human/social capital built; natural capital built through tree- planting; physical capital built through construction of multi-storey trellises achieve impacts Level 3 - Addresses vulnerability and Those who participated in first FFS begin to experience small increases in fruit and vegetable Outcomes to increases resilience production, and in income Participants Field staff engaged only reluctant to adapt when training FFS curriculum to begins local needs 34
  • 40. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies While no standard pattern emerges from these timelines, they do help to visualise the strengths and gaps that were important in influencing project performance. The implementation of the WIN project for example, was initially constrained by the reluctance of FAO Headquarters to allow field staff to adapt the project document to the situation facing them on the ground. The national team found a way to work flexibly within these confines however, and succeeded in building local ownership. Equally, the strong emphasis placed on working in partnership from the outset proved critical to project performance. In collaboration with NGO’s, IGO’s and GO’s, the WIN project was able to work with the most poor and marginalised, as well as with isolated communities situated in conflict zones. In turn, the case of SHABGE highlighted the need for certain SL principles – in this case, flexibility and participation - to be in place throughout the entire lifespan of the project in order to achieve effective and sustainable poverty reduction. 3.5 A similar operational/ institutional pattern shared by several successful projects Scoones (1998) points out that it is not sufficient to analyse specific elements within cases. Rather, it is more important to analyse common institutional and organisational patterns that link these elements together. In addition to the time sequences (above), we’ve tried to look at this through operational/ institutional implementation maps which highlight key elements and linkages in successful cases (Figure 4). Identifying a “minimum set” of good development principles necessary for success would be good, but still not sufficient. Principles make good measuring sticks, but are often not very useful in giving concrete ideas and guidance on decisions regarding specific strategies tactics and actions. For this it can be instructive to look at what some successful projects actually did, keeping in mind that this may be rather different from what they had originally said or planned. The sequence of institutional and issues linkages in several of our case studies point to the possibility that certain successful projects may have shared certain patterns of implementation, as was the case in Honduras and Yemen. It is not clear if this structural similarity in implementation patterns of some successful projects derives from an underlying context: nearly everybody in the regions where these projects had the most impact were very poor, even by national standards. It is also possible that SL type projects may simply work best in areas where everyone, being very poor, share many of the same problems. (Rather a good attribute for SL approaches, if it turns out to be a valid idea.). In the process of sketching out diagrammatically the sequences, processes, and linkages of several of the more successful projects we noticed that in some ways they showed very similar implementation patterns. The implementation pattern found in both the Yemen and the Honduras projects, originally developed as an animated PowerPoint presentation, is laid out on the following page. The implementation map is more easily understood if one pays close attention to the sequence in which the various elements are presented, as indicated and described more fully in the list just underneath the diagram. The interested reader is encouraged to consult the electronic version of this document for the animated sequence, which is much easier to follow. 35
  • 41. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies ´7+( ,03/(0(17$7,21 0$3µ Health Health 12 Local Local Project catalyses Credit/ AccessibleTransport/ Credit/ AccessibleTransport/ Savings markets RoadsRoads Partners carry Education Education 12 Savings markets forward 6 Other programmes Other programmes Community Benefit projects projects 12 Local producers Activities 11 Ministries Ministries Profit 3 generation Community Community Development Community Local Local Risk 2 Development Association Development Government Government minimization Association 6 Association 9 Vocational / Organisational Organisational Organisational Technical Development Development Development Training 4 Training 8 Support Support Training provided by local trainers 10 catalyzed by project 5 Collaborative diagnosis Collaborative diagnosis Planning, and Evaluation 1 Planning, and Evaluation NOTE: the numbers in the diagram above refer to the elements described more fully in the list below, in roughly the sequence as used in the projects on which this diagram is based. 19 In electronic (especially Word) versions of this document the Implementation Map is also present as an icon which opens an animated PowerPoint presentation, easier to follow and with more detail. 36
  • 42. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies A comparison between two of the more successful cases, Honduras and Yemen, revealed common patterns both in terms of their operational processes and institutional linkages and in the sequence in which these processes and linkages were introduced20. 1. Collaborative diagnosis, planning and evaluation. In other words, the continuous participation of beneficiaries and other stakeholders throughout each stage of the project cycle. The project must be able to respond to/act upon factors such as strengths/weaknesses in project performance, potential conflicts, and changing social, environmental, political and economic conditions. 2. Risk minimisation. Prior to, or whilst integrating new enterprises, issues such as food insecurity and vulnerability to natural and other shocks must be addressed. This was done in the case of Honduras through natural resource recovery measures, which in turn led to increased agricultural production and improved food security levels. 3. Profit generation is promoted through enhancing and/or increasing on- and off-farm activities. 4. Vocational and/or technical training is provided in order to support and improve upon profit generation strategies, and to build human capital. 5. Training provided by local trainers catalysed by the project constitutes part of the strategy to build a human ‘critical mass’ which will continue to exist beyond project completion, and which contributes to the longer-term sustainability and replication of (successful) project interventions through the continued presence of technical support. 6. Locally accessible financial services (credit and savings) are created or supported and strengthened in order to support profit-generation activities. 7. A number of Community Development Associations (CDAs, or functionally similar organisations) are established in order to accurately represent the real needs of the rural poor, to facilitate the full participation of rural communities in the development process, and to negotiate with local and national authorities and other institutions. 8. Organisational development training is provided to these CDAs in order to equip them with necessary technical, organisational and managerial skills. 9. Micro-macro linkages are established through local government, which engages with CDAs in order to better represent the needs of rural communities at the institutional level, and to translate these needs into policy at the national level. 10. Organisational development support units, which often take the form of partnerships with local and national NGOs, provide technical and financial support to the implementation of project activities. 11. CDAs finance community benefit activities on a loan basis, and part of the profits generated from these activities are then channelled back into the CDAs in order to fund future activities. CDAs are also responsible for the monitoring and evaluation of these activities. 12. Demand-driven, multi-sectoral interventions (health, education) are piloted by the CDAs with project support. Successful interventions in sectors outside the principle mandate of the supporting project (health and education, for example, in the context of an FAO project) are from the beginning done in partnership with other relevant projects, programmes, and line ministries, which then take on full responsibility after a successful piloting period. 37
  • 43. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies 4 What are the Implications and Lessons Learned? In the previous sections, the opportunity was taken to report on how the cases incorporated sustainable livelihoods principles (or not) and identify the impact these projects had on the rural poor. This section will provide a stock taking on what we think we know and what we still do not know given the findings of this study. 4.1 What do we think we know? ß Do livelihoods approaches lead to poverty reduction? While further study is necessary, our initial analysis would suggest that livelihoods approaches can contribute to real poverty reduction if applied effectively. As discussed, all cases under review contained elements of the SLA to greater or lesser extents yet the outcomes differed significantly. Different levels of success appeared to be based on either the number and type of SL principles applied or the quality of their application. The more successful cases appeared to be those which had applied the greater number of SLA principles e.g. the three principles specific to the SLA and a mixture of other essential principles, in an effective manner. Projects that experienced lower levels of success were affected less by an absence of some SL principles per se, but rather weaknesses in project diagnosis, design, implementation and/or monitoring and evaluation. As Diana Carney points out, ‘the usefulness of the SL framework, as with any tool, is set by the user’ (2002: 16), and so the question remains whether it is the user or the tool at fault21? Is it the approach itself we should be looking at, or its execution in the field? Answering this question requires analysis of a project that has been specifically designed and implemented using the SLA. ß Which principles seem to positively influence poverty reduction outcomes? We think that projects must address a minimum number of principles to set the stage for reducing poverty. These include those that are specific to sustainable livelihoods and depending on the context perhaps, a mix of those that are not SL-specific, but considered important principles of good development. In their papers entitled “Goodbye to Projects”, the authors conclude that SL principles provide a useful cross-checking framework and that attention to all SL principles is required to create sustainable impact (Toner et al., 2004; Franks et al., 2004). In order for this conclusion to be helpful in a practical sense however, we must be able to understand the sequence in which these principles are introduced, and the mechanisms (organisational elements and institutional linkages) associated with them. We have made a preliminary attempt to do this through timelines and implementation maps, but there is a need for more in-depth analysis here. Equally, while there must be a minimum number of principles put in place in order for a project to achieve real poverty reduction, it is the way in which these principles are executed and not the number of principles per se, that is the key determinant of success. In other words, the quality of project design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation remains a critical factor in shaping the effectiveness of project outcomes and impacts. The 21 A point raised by Eddie Allison in his notes on ‘The Future for the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach’ meeting held in Bradford, 24-25 February 2004. 38
  • 44. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies DELIVERI project, widely considered as a positive example of the SLA in practice, did not address each and every SL principle22, illustrating that success can be achieved by addressing a minimum combination of principles. The DELIVERI case also benefited from timely policy changes, amongst other factors, that put the project in a good position to succeed, suggesting that the immense value of having the right policies, practices or people in place to succeed, as reported in the Honduras and Nepal cases, cannot be discounted. The character, attitude, vision, and will of agents of change, project coordinators, government agents, development practitioners, elected or informal leaders associated with the project can move it to success or assist in its breakdown. ß What do we think we know about monitoring and evaluation in assessing the impact of SL approaches? In general, the outcomes of ME and PME strategies within the cases yielded mixed results. The constraints tended to cluster around issues of human resources and capacity (overworked or untrained facilitators) as well as communications and transportation issues. Tackling issues of social relevance continue to be difficult to grasp compared to data on more technical matters. In many cases, the impact on yield was recorded, but data to show the relationship with income, nutrition, household food security, or health was not. On a more positive note, where locally derived indicators served dual purposes (e.g. serving a wider use in the community as a guide for decision making as well as providing required indicators to serve outsiders) as was the case in Honduras, there is reason to believe that internalizing monitoring and evaluation and lesson learning can be achieved. The widespread lack of good ME data raises the question of whether this gap could be a result of inherent weaknesses of the SLA itself, of an incomplete application of the framework, or just the difficulties of carrying out effective (P)ME. With an incomplete knowledge of how ME processes were undertaken in each of the twelve cases, we cannot be certain of the reason. Further analysis towards answering this question might include an examination of the proportion of project budgets that have been allocated towards ME in cases that managed to produce apparently high quality ME data (Myanmar, Ethiopia, Honduras), and those that did not (Zambia) in order to understand whether poor ME results from a lack of human and financial resources (and if so, how much should we be allocating in order to achieve good ME), a lack of time, lack of good methods, or a lack of commitment? What do we think we know about reaching the poorest of the poor? We are still not getting there. Most cases failed to address the needs of the most poor. It seems that the livelihoods approach, while a means to diagnose who the poor are, does not necessarily build in the ability to work with the most poor. In Zambia for example, the characteristics of nutritional vulnerability and food insecurity had been identified during the preparatory phase of the project, and yet it was slow in addressing the direct nutritional and health needs household most at risk of food insecurity. The main explanation for this would appear to be that many development interventions, by their very nature, exclude the poorest/most vulnerable groups, who do not possess the 22 Out of six core SL concepts (people centred; holistic; dynamic; building on strengths; macro-micro links; sustainability), the DELIVERI project was seen to best illustrate three (people centred; holistic, macro-micro links). []. 39
  • 45. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies necessary physical, natural and financial asset base (i.e. land, labour, livestock, seeds, farming implements, agricultural inputs, capital) to participate in production-related and income-generating activities. In order to have positive impacts on the poorest and most vulnerable individuals/households/groups, it is necessary to ‘recapitalise’ those that have no disposable income or assets to invest in enterprise development. In other words, initial investments must be made to provide the very poor with a minimum asset base if they are to be brought back into the development process, investments that can be recovered, at least in part, after an appropriate grace period. This was done successfully in Myanmar, where 251 destitute individuals were targeted through the distribution of small-scale livestock (sows, does, ewes and scavenging poultry), an intervention that proved to be an effective way of generating a rapid change in income for low-risk landless persons/households, and where project inputs costs could be recovered relatively quickly. ß What do we think we know about building assets? There were very few cases that addressed all five assets (human, social, financial, natural, physical), although all cases addressed human, social and financial assets. In terms of building human and social assets, we found that successful cases tend to be a result of combined technical and organizational skills. While building human, social and financial assets are important, vulnerability and long-term sustainability may not be addressed unless the natural resources upon which livelihoods depend are managed and sustained. ß What do we think we know about governance? From the vantage point of enhancing good governance, the investment of time and resources seems to pay off. Many of the projects reviewed invested in various aspects of governance, but those that simultaneously worked with local and national government seemed to enhance ownership, build awareness, increase responsiveness, and influence policy effectively. In cases where central government was brought in during the planning stages, there was greater ownership and readiness for support of changes. When broad spectrum awareness raising and organizational and leadership skills are built at the local level (including representation of community groups in government), there is less chance that political shifts (mayoral elections) will paralyze implementation. This also puts government in the position of negotiating with donors for additional or extended projects. Norton and Foster (2001) looked at the potential for SLA to be used in the development of Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP). ß What do we think we know about long-term sustainability? Not enough is being done about it. There were few cases that put in place measures that would indicate long term sustainability, particularly financial, food, and environmental sustainability. Either little attention is being paid to this OR we do not yet know what to put in place or what to look for in terms of evidence. Although not included in this study, there are examples in which communities have built detailed visions of long term sustainability up front allowing for planning and decision making (relative to community activities or internal and external projects) to take into account whether the action will lead in this direction (Savory, 1999). Another question one could ask is, if the principle of long term sustainability is fully employed, do exit strategies become obsolete? 40
  • 46. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies ß What do we think we know about livelihoods approaches? There were cases in which the livelihoods were strengthened by incorporating a natural resource component (making existing practices ecologically sustainable or building in incentives not to employ destructive practices). In the case of Yemen, existing livelihoods strategies were improved upon and new strategies were introduced through vocational training aligned with credit and support of community organizations. A clear case is also made in Honduras for building on existing livelihoods that can reduce and/or eliminate risk (increase or stabilize beans and corn yields) before addressing income generation through different livelihoods strategies or the facilitation of new enterprises. ß What do we think we know about partnerships? Projects that were successful tended to have a mix of partners and links to the local, national and international level. Two important aspects of partnerships are a) the complementarity for advancing progress in a cost effective way with each partner working from their comparative advantage, and b) ownership by actors whose support is needed for success. The projects under review tended to have a mix of local grass roots organizations, internationally affiliated organizations, and governments at the local level an in some cases at the national level. Two cases revealed partnerships with business and industry, although these relationships were abandoned at an early stage. A number of projects collaborated with other international or local organizations’ projects to advance their work. ß What do we think we know about multi-sectoral approaches and the engagement of ministries? Multi-sectoral approaches are definitely being carried out. The cases that were most successful in addressing multiple sectors at once invested in building coherent multidisciplinary teams with government agency individuals and raising awareness with local groups about relationships between the sectoral aspects of the project (for example, water and nutrition). They tended to engage multiple ministries in the form of national steering committees or were attached to a level of bureaucracy that supersedes the ministries. Where central government was involved in the planning processes, it was easier to transcend from a single sector to additional sectors according to project needs (agriculture to education). A key element that must be ensured is keeping the higher levels of government informed/engaged. The engagement of different ministries and/or partners can allow for multi-sectoral approaches to be carried out in a collaborative way even if the project has a single focus or limited resources. ß What do we think we know about exit strategies? While the SL approach lends itself to building community capacity so that “external” projects can exit at some point, there is a strong need to explicitly build in exit strategies to the design process. (see the paragraph on sustainability above). ß What do we think we know about empowerment? There were a number of cases in which dramatic changes were made in women’s capacities and confidence. These included women taking on entrepreneurial endeavours (replacing 41
  • 47. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies middle-persons), becoming social mobilizers, forming or joining committees, and demanding services, among others. Other aspects of empowerment centred primarily around rights to access natural resources (Cambodia, Gambia), and the improved representation of community groups at district and national levels (Yemen). Empowerment was strongly linked to both social inclusivity, and the nature and quality of participation. ß What do we think we know about flexibility and embracing errors? The iterative nature of projects is a plus for continued learning. Building in the flexibility to change directions or activities based on new knowledge can both enhance the learning of the project participants and project managers. In the case of the Gambia, the strategy has changed dramatically based on lessons from the earlier phases. In the case of Honduras, the iterative learning has empowered the local community and leadership. In the case of Nepal, there was some inflexibility among team members, possibly based in an over ambitious design, which created tension among local implementers. While there is a theoretical consensus on the importance of flexibility and/or embracing errors, this is sometimes difficult to achieve in practice. There was a willingness to improve projects along the way, and participatory monitoring and evaluation provided a means for mid-course corrections, however, many of the projects had ineffective PME in place due to lack of human or financial resources to carry them out. This often kept projects from seeing areas of improvement until too late. ß What do we think we know about furthering the SL approach? The SL approach is a logical evolutionary iteration in participatory development. Because purely SL cases are difficult to find, it seems that application of principles follows an “include and transcend” approach. Development approaches will continue to build on experience and lessons learned with or without a specific terminology. 42
  • 48. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies 4.2 What do we not know? 63. We have already mentioned some of the things we know less about in previous sections. Here we add a few more, principally at the “conceptual” level. ß We do not know how an additional set of cases would influence the findings in this study, but we are keen to find out. There are also additional cases that we wish to incorporate as well as a number of cases that are in early stages of implementation, or are in need of an evaluation which we will keep on a “need to watch” list. ß We do not know if a truly SL “start to finish” effort that has evidence of reducing poverty actually exists. It seems more likely that the cases we reviewed were intended to be participatory efforts with a livelihood perspective and brought in the principles that seemed appropriate. ß While we find that these cases showed evidence of reduced poverty and incorporated livelihoods principles, we are unable to say, unequivocally that the SL approach is better at reducing poverty than other approaches. ß While we can easily speculate, we still do not have a recipe for which mixture of principles lead to more effective poverty reduction. As mentioned earlier, the Bradford study (Franks et al, 2004) noted that all principles were needed for positive impact. ß We cannot say if SL approaches are more cost effective, however in the case of Nepal, the government reported that the approach used was effective given limited resources. ß We do not have enough evidence to draw a connection regarding scales of impact and principles applied. The cases covered a wide range of impacts, but there was not consistent data on numbers and types of beneficiaries. ß We do not have data to indicate if, having positively influenced the poor, the principles applied will keep the poor from falling back into poverty when exposed to new shocks. ß While we know that community organization and the sense of solidarity were key components of successful cases, we do not know which community organizations built upon existing or endogenous networks and which were created anew through project activities. In Honduras, effectively “new” organizations were built out of existing ones, which process catalysed some significant evolution in previously very unequal power structures. Along those same lines, we did not have a case that is not project driven, so we did not compare these cases with ones of endogenous community efforts and activities that led to poverty reduction without external influences. It would be useful to carry out such a study in the future. ß We do not know where they are now. Most projects were keen to have post project data collected but it is rare that resources are made available. In several cases, the capacity to take stock of continued progress by community members is present but it was not clear whether data collection would continue. ß We do not know how communities would respond to the common pattern outlined in the operational map (see Section 2.4). 43
  • 49. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies 5 Instead of a conclusion....... This report is an initial step in an action-research process that will hopefully take us forward with the unanswered issues brought out in this paper. In many ways, we consider having asked what we believe to be relevant questions as being good progress in a work that remains to be done. Thus, instead of concluding remarks, we would like to present below the summary and analytical synopsis which, based on this study, was prepared for the 2005 meeting of FAO’s Committee on Agriculture: 5.1 Findings The SLAs embody good principles of development and specifically incorporate principles associated with a) building assets (human, social, physical, financial and natural); b) focusing upon livelihoods (comprising capabilities, assets and activities required as a means of living); c) reducing vulnerability to stresses and shocks; and d) enhancing sustainability. The desk review suggests that SL approaches can contribute to real poverty reduction if applied effectively. The more successful cases appeared to be those that applied the greater number of SLA-specific principles along with a mix of other important principles of development. While all cases applied SL principles, few set out specifically to implement a sustainable livelihoods approach per se. All cases reviewed demonstrated, to some degree, enhanced assets, improved governance (with multi-level linkages), a focus on livelihoods strategies for the poor, as well as being multi-sectoral, participatory, people-centred, process oriented with a degree of flexibility, and conducted in partnership. In general the cases demonstrated improvements in the lives and resilience of the rural poor through some combination of increased income, diversification of income sources, improved basic needs and services, better access to productive resources, increased agricultural production (through diversification, intensification, and value addition) and enhanced household food security and nutrition. There were several cases in which dramatic changes were made in women’s capacities and confidence. One FAO project in Nepal (Empowerment of Women in Irrigation and Water Resources Management for Improved Food Security, Nutrition, and Health (WIN)) successfully empowered women in irrigation management and provided access to resources for other marginalized groups while addressing food security, nutrition and health concerns. Project interventions included diversification of production systems and farm-based enterprise development to impact over 2,555 households resulting in increased income and food security. Women gained capacity through group formation efforts including water users committees; participation in water management and group savings; training in literacy, leadership, gender, and women’s rights; and access to women friendly technologies. Only a few cases focused on wealth generation through non-agricultural enterprises and skills. In Yemen, the FAO Community-Based Regional Development Programme (CBRDP) provided training to improve technical, organizational and financial skills. Vocational training was given in 14 fields ranging from carpentry to ceramics production. Training in project proposal development 44
  • 50. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies enabled newly formed community organizations to attract US$698 000 to a revolving credit fund for local development. A number of case studies demonstrated reduced vulnerability. The Rural Development in Lempira Sur Project (PROLESUR) implemented by FAO in Honduras supported the communal recovery of natural assets. The region was able to withstand the ravages of Hurricane Mitch by promoting locally coordinated production and land management technologies that mimic natural ecosystems, such as soil conservation and reforestation interventions. These efforts combined with improved preservation and storage technologies allowed communities, formerly recipients of food aid, to maintain a grain surplus throughout the disasters. 5.2 Emerging Issues and Insights While positive results were reported in many cases, success in addressing social inclusivity and long-term sustainability was evident in only a few cases. The most vulnerable groups without assets to build upon continued to be excluded. Long-term sustainability particularly related to the environment remained an issue. Evaluation of effective impact was hampered in several cases by a lack of sufficient monitoring and evaluation data. Several of the more successful projects, particularly in Honduras and Yemen, showed remarkably similar patterns of implementation with respect to institutional linkages and sequencing of actions: collaborative diagnosis, planning and evaluation; risk minimization; profit generation; vocational/technical training and training of local trainers; locally accessible financial services; establishment or enhancement of community development associations with organizational development training; links and partnerships with local and national government and NGOs; community benefit activities; and multi-sectoral interventions. 5.3 The Way Forward In summary, the evidence gathered from exploring successful examples suggests that effective incorporation of the good principles of development associated with the SLAs are required to set the stage for reducing poverty. The analysis indicates that the SL principles addressing social inclusivity and environmental sustainability need to be kept more to the forefront. Using a livelihoods perspective along with a good developmental tool kit and appropriate sequencing can enhance the quality of a wide range of approaches to improve the lives of the rural poor. 45
  • 51. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies 6 Sources of information 6.1 References and Documents Reviewed Aaker, J. and J. Shumaker. 1994. Looking Back and Looking Forward: Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation. Little Rock, Arkansas: Heifer International, Ashley, C, and D. Carney. 1999. Sustainable Livelihoods: Lessons from early experience. London: Department for International Development (DFID) Issues Series. Bartlett A., Meyer, J., Kar K., Jay A., Alam Z. and Sarker A. 2004. First Output to Purpose Review Report. CARE Rural Livelihoods Programme. February 2004. Dhaka, Bangladesh: Rural Livelihoods Evaluation Partnership. Bartlett, A. 2002. Food for Thought: Selected Outcomes of Rural Livelihoods Projects in Bangladesh supported by DFID and CARE. Bartlett, A. 2002a. Impact Study on FFS Activities within SHABGE-DFID Project [Draft]. Dhaka: CARE. Bass, S. 2003. Project Document for the Community-Based Regional Development Programme, Phase II, 2004-08 (Draft). Rome: FAO. Bass, S. 2003. Designing a pastoral risk management strategy in Mongolia: applying a sustainable livelihoods perspective. IUAES XVth Congress, Florence, Italy. Commission on Nomadic Peoples Session 7-8 July, 2003. Baumann, P, M. Bruno, D. Cleary, O. Dubois, X. Flores. 2003. Applying People-Centred Development Approaches within FAO: Some Practical Lessons. Rome: FAO. Baumann, P. 2002. Improving Access to Natural Resources for the Rural Poor. A Critical Analysis of Central Concepts and Emerging Trends from a Sustainable Livelihoods Perspective. Rome: FAO. Boudreau, T. J. Holt. 2000. A Food Economy Report on the Ruba Lomine Project Area for Oxfam Canada and REST: A Food Economy Baseline with an Analysis of Programme Implications. The Food Economy Group. Carney, D. (ed.) 1998. Sustainable Rural Livelihoods: What contribution can we make? London: DFID. Carney, D. Sustainable Livelihoods Approaches: Progress and possibilities for a change. London: Department for International Development (DFID). Cleary, D. 2003. People-Centred Approaches. A Brief Literature Review and Comparison of Types. Rome: FAO. Cotula, L. 2002. Improving Access to Natural Resources for the Rural Poor. The Experience of FAO and Other Key Organisations from a Sustainable Livelihoods Perspective. Rome: FAO. DFID. 1999. Sustainable livelihoods guidance sheets. 46
  • 52. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies DFID. 2001. Proceedings of the Inter-Agency Forum on Operationalising Participatory Ways of Applying Sustainable Livelihoods Approaches, Pontignano (Sienna), 7-11 March 2000. ( Estrella, M. (Editor) Learning from Change: Issues and experiences in participatory monitoring and evaluation. 2000. With J. Blauert, D. Campilan, J. Gaventa, J. Gonsalves, I. Guijt, D. Johnson, and R. Ricafort. Intermediate Technology Publications, International Development Research Centre, London. FAO, 2001. Asia-Pacific Conference on Early Warning Prevention Preparedness and Management of Disasters in Food and Agriculture, Chiangmai, Thailand. 12-15 June, 2001. FAO. 2000. The Participatory Upland Conservation and Development Project in Pakistan. GCP/INT/542/ITA, 1992-1999. Case study prepared for the Inter-Agency Forum on Operationalising Participatory Ways of Applying Sustainable Livelihoods Approaches, Pontignano (Sienna), 7-11 March 2000. FAO. 2001. Terminal Report: Interregional Project for Participatory Upland Conservation and Development, Pakistan (GCP/INT/542/ITA-PAK). Project Findings and Recommendations. FAO: Rome. FAO. 2003a. International Summative-cum-Evaluation Workshop Report (31.12.03 Draft) Women in Irrigation and Water Resources Management for Improved Household Food Security, Nutrition and Health. December 16-18, 2003, FAO, Rome FAO. 2003b. Report of the Seventeenth Session of the Committee on Agriculture. Rome 23-28 June, 2003. FAO. 2004a. Livelihoods Support Program, Sub Programme 3.2: Participatory Policy Making (PPM). Summary Case Study. Lempira Sur Rural Development Projects, March 2004 FAO. 2002. Empowerment of Women in Irrigation and Water Resources Management for Improved Household Food Security, Nutrition and Health (WIN Project) GCP/INT/FIP. (19 December 2002 Draft for Discussion). WIN Reformulation Workshop Proceedings, December 10-12, 2002, FAO Rome FAO. 2003c. SD: TCP/MON/0066 Technical Cooperation Programme. Pastoral Risk Management Strategy, Mongolia. Terminal statement prepared for the Government of Mongolia by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, 2003 FAO. 2004b. FAO Progress Report, Trust Fund Programme.2003 Annual Report (KE Draft 08.01.04) United Nations Foundation GCP/INT/750/FIP, Empowerment of Women in Irrigation and Water Resources Management for Improved Food Security, Nutrition, and Health. Frankenberger, T. 2000. What Indicators can be used for Impact Assessment? Inter-Agency Forum on Operationalising Participatory Ways of Applying Sustainable Livelihoods Approaches, Pontignano (Sienna), 7-11 March 2000. Franks, T., A. Toner, I. Goldman, D. Howlett, F. Kamuzora, F. Muhumuza, T. Tamasane. 2004. Goodbye to Projects? The Institutional Impact of Sustainable Livelihoods Approaches on Development Interventions. Department for International Development 47
  • 53. SL project impact on the rural poor – lessons from twelve case studies Gotts, K. (ed). 1998. Ruba Lomine Integrated Rural Development Programme. A Joint Evaluation Report Prepared for Oxfam Canada and the Relief Society of Tigray (REST). March 1998. Human Development Index. []. Hussain, K. 2002. Livelihoods Approaches Compared: A Multi-Agency Review of Current Practice. []. IMM Ltd. 2004. Poverty Impact Assessment Guide. []. Lama, K. A Model of Exemplary Collaboration in Khari Tole, Tikha VDC of Doti District. 2002. Process of project implementation of “Empowerment of Women in Irrigation and Water Resources Management for Improved Food Security, Nutrition and Health” supported by UNF/FAO (GCP/INT/750/FIP) Noble, R. 2003. Collaborative Learning to Achieve Sustainable Livelihoods. A Final Evaluation Report of the Ruba Lomine Integrated Rural Development Programme. []. Norton, A. and M. Foster. 2001. The potential for using sustainable livelihoods approaches in poverty reduction strategy papers. Final Report. March 2001. London: ODI. Oxfam Canada/REST. 1998. Ruba Lomine Integrated Rural Development Programme. Phase II Proposal. Oxfam Canada/REST. 2000. Ruba Lomine Integrated Rural Development Programme. Programme Implementation Plan, December 1, 1999 to November, 2002. Oxfam Canada/REST. 2001. Ruba Lomine Integrated Rural Development Programme, Phase II. Annual Report, December 1, 1999 to March 31, 2001. Oxfam Canada/REST. 2003. Ruba Lomine Integrated Rural Development Programme, Phase II. Final Report, December 1999-March 2003. Pandey, A. with K.K. Shrestha, N.D. Pandey, P. Bhattarai, T. Pradhan, K. Lama. Report of the WIN Nepal National Summative Self Assessment Workshop on the Empowerment of Women in Irrigation for Improved Household Food Security, Nutrition, and Health (WIN) Project of FAO. Rathberger, E. 2003. Dry Taps: Gender and Poverty in Water Resource Management. FAO: Rome. []. REST. 2002. Ruba Lomine Integrated Development Programme. Annual Report on Labour Poor Female Headed Households, November 2001 to October 30, 2002. Savory, A. with J. Butterfield. 1999. Holistic Management: A new framework for decision making. New York: Island Press. UNDP. 2003. Community-Based Regional Development Programme. Participatory Impact Trends Assessment, Al-Makha. Sana’a: UNDP. UNDP. 2003. Impact Assessment Report on the Community-Based Regional Development Programme, Yemen (Draft). Sana’a: UNDP. Wilson, P. Z. Hussain. 2002. CARE SHABGE-DFID Partnership Review. Dhaka: CARE. 48
  • 54. 6.2 Contacts and Interviews The following persons were engaged in various capacities at different stages of the paper. The core FAO study team were closely involved in selecting projects and in developing principles, hypothesis and indicators by which to analyse and evaluate them. The extended FAO study team took part in brainstorming sessions in the initial stages of the project designed to develop and categorise principles according to their importance to the SLA, and to elaborate a set of hypotheses to allow the consultants to analyse and evaluate case studies. Workshop participants provided valuable input on the progress of the paper so far and suggested areas for further study. Interviewees were contacted in order to gain more in-depth information on projects they had worked on, to review case study summaries compiled by the consultants, and to seek other case studies of potential relevance to the study. We wish to thank all those who took the time to speak or write to us, or to attend brainstorming sessions and workshops, and for the important contributions they have made to this paper. Core FAO Study Team Name Service Marta Bruno Consultant Alice Carloni TCIP Jan Johnson SDAR Constance Neely Consultant Kirsten Sutherland Consultant Extended FAO Study Team (in addition to core study team) Name Service Stephan Bass SDAR Stephan Dohrn SDAR Olivier Dubois SDAR Antonia Engel FONP Siobhan Kelly AGSF Andrew Murray SDAR Paola Termine SDAR Hiroko Yashiki SDAR Workshop Participants, 14th April 2004 (in addition to core study team) Name Service Bernd Bultemeier PBEE Bill Seiders SDRE Brian Thompson ESNP Charlotte Masiello-Riome GILF David Kahan AGSF Doyle Baker AGSF Hiroko Yashiki SDAR Ilaria Sisto SDWW Jennie Dey-De Pryck SDAR John Dixon AGSF Manuel Paveri FONP Marcelino Avila SDA Olivier Dubois SDAR Raymon Van Anrooy FIPP 49
  • 55. Interviews Name Organisation Project Karel Callens FAO (ESNP) Luapula Valley, Zambia Florence Egal FAO (ESNP) WIN, Nepal Abdoulaye Toure IFAD LADEP, Gambia Perin Saint’Ange IFAD SADEFP, Mali Micheline Dutroux IFAD SADEFP, Mali Luca Fe d’Ostiani FAO (SDAR) Upper Pirai, Bolivia Ian Cherrett FAO (SDAR) Lempira Sur, Honduras Fabio Pittaluga FAO (FIDP) SFLP, West Africa Benoit Horemans FAO (FIDP) SFLP, West Africa Eddie Allison Overseas Development Group SFLP, West Africa Julia Wolf FAO (SDAR) SHABGE/GO-INTERFISH, Bangladesh Daniel Renault FAO (AGLW) WIN, Nepal Robin Marsh U.C. Berkeley Other possible cases Ilya Rosenthal IFAD Multiple Projects Kathy McCaston CARE General Karlyn Eckman Freelance consultant WIN, Nepal Peter Bazeley DFID DELIVERI, Indonesia Sabona Mtisi Zimbabwe E-Mail Exchange Name Organisation Project Tim Frankenberger TANGO International General Martin Hanratty USAID General Tim Mahoney USAID General Astrid Agostini FAO (AFSCM) Bondo District ARLMP, Kenya Kath Pasteur Institute of Development General Studies Loretta Payne CARE Bangladesh SHABGE/GO-INTERFISH, Bangladesh Christine March DFID Bangladesh SHABGE/GO-INTERFISH, Bangladesh Lucie Lalanne Oxfam Canada IRDP, Ethiopia Peter Reid DFID WORLP, India Olga Ramaromanana Chemonics International LDI, Madagascar Ellen Muehlhoff FAO (ESNP) Luapula Valley, Zambia 50
  • 56. 6.3 ACRONYMS CBRDP Community Based Regional Development Programme CDO Community Development Organization COAG Committee on Agriculture CODECO Community Development Councils CODEMS Municipal Development Council DELIVERI Decentralized Livestock Services in Eastern Indonesia DFID Department for International Development EB Executive Body FAO Food and Agriculture Organization FFS Farmer Field School FT Farmer Trainer GTZ Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit IDRP Integrated Rural Development Programme IFAD International Fund for Agriculture Development IHFSAN Improving Household food Security and Nutrition JPSP LADEP Lowlands Agricultural Development Programme LSP Livelihoods Support Programme ME Monitoring and Evaluation MAFF Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries MELA Monitoring, Evaluation, and Lessons Learned Approach OFWM On-Farm Water Management PCD People Centred Development PNGO PRA Participatory Rural Appraisal PRSP Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers PUCD Participatory Upland Conservation Development SHABGE Strengthening Household Access to Bari Garden Extension Services SIDA Swiss International Development Agency (?) SL Sustainable Livelihoods SLA Sustainable Livelihoods Approach UNDP United Nations Development Programme WIN Empowerment of Women in Irrigation and Water Resource Management for Improved Food Security, Nutrition and Health (WIN) 51
  • 57. Further information about the LSP The Livelihood Support Programme (LSP) works through the following sub-programmes: Improving people’s access to natural resources Access of the poor to natural assets is essential for sustainable poverty reduction. The livelihoods of rural people with limited or no access to natural resources are vulnerable because they have difficulty in obtaining food, accumulating assets, and recuperating after shocks or misfortunes. Participation, Policy and Local Governance Local people, especially the poor, often have weak or indirect influence on policies that affect their livelihoods. Policies developed at the central level are often not responsive to local needs and may not enable access of the rural poor to needed assets and services. Livelihoods diversification and enterprise development Diversification can assist households to insulate themselves from environmental and economic shocks, trends and seasonality – in effect, to be less vulnerable. Livelihoods diversification is complex, and strategies can include enterprise development. Natural resource conflict management Resource conflicts are often about access to and control over natural assets that are fundamental to the livelihoods of many poor people. Therefore, the shocks caused by these conflicts can increase the vulnerability of the poor. Institutional learning The institutional learning sub-programme has been set up to ensure that lessons learned from cross-departmental, cross-sectoral team work, and the application of sustainable livelihoods approaches, are identified, analysed and evaluated for feedback into the programme. Capacity building The capacity building sub-programme functions as a service-provider to the overall programme, by building a training programme that responds to the emerging needs and priorities identified through the work of the other sub-programmes. People-centred approaches in different cultural contexts A critical review and comparison of different recent development approaches used in different development contexts is being conducted, drawing on experience at the strategic and field levels in different sectors and regions. Mainstreaming sustainable livelihoods approaches in the field FAO designs resource management projects worth more than US$1.5 billion per year. Since smallholder agriculture continues to be the main livelihood source for most of the world’s poor, if some of these projects could be improved, the potential impact could be substantial. Sustainable Livelihoods Referral and Response Facility A Referral and Response Facility has been established to respond to the increasing number of requests from within FAO for assistance on integrating sustainable livelihood and people-centred approaches into both new and existing programmes and activities. For further information on the Livelihood Support Programme, contact the programme coordinator: Email: 52
  • 58. LSP WORKING PAPERS to December 2004 Baumann P., (July 2002) Improving Access to Natural Resources for the Rural Poor: A critical analysis of central concepts and emerging trends from a sustainable livelihoods perspective. FAO, LSP WP 1, Access to Natural Resources Sub-Programme. Cotula L., (August 2002) Improving Access to Natural Resources for the Rural Poor: The experience of FAO and of other key organisations from a sustainable livelihoods perspective. FAO, LSP WP 2, Access to Natural Resources Sub-Programme. Karl M., (August 2002) Participatory Policy Reform from a Sustainable Livelihoods Perspective: Review of concepts and practical experiences. FAO, LSP WP 3, Participation, Policy and Local Governance Sub-Programme. Also available in Spanish and French. Warren P., (December 2002) Livelihoods Diversification and Enterprise Development: An initial exploration of Concepts and Issues. FAO, LSP WP 4, Livelihoods Diversification and Enterprise Development Sub-Programme. Cleary D., with contributions from Pari Baumann, Marta Bruno, Ximena Flores and Patrizio Warren (September 2003) People-Centred Approaches: A brief literature review and comparison of types. FAO, LSP WP 5, People-Centered Approaches in Different Cultural Contexts Sub-Programme. Also available in Spanish and French. Seshia S. with Scoones I., Environment Group, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK (November 2003) Understanding Access to Seeds and Plant Genetic Resources. What Can a Livelihoods Perspective Offer? FAO, LSP WP 6, Access to Natural Resources Sub-Programme. Biggs S. D., and Messerschmidt D., (December 2003) The Culture of Access to Mountain Natural Resources: Policy, Processes and Practices. FAO, LSP WP 7, Access to Natural Resources Sub-Programme. Evrard O., (Janvier 2004) La mise en oeuvre de la réforme foncière au Laos : Impacts sociaux et effets sur les conditions de vie en milieu rural (with summary in English). FAO, LSP WP 8, Access to Natural Resources Sub-Programme. Ellis F., Allison E., Overseas Development Group, University of Anglia, UK ( January 2004) Livelihood Diversification and Natural Resource Access. FAO, LSP WP 9, Access to Natural Resources Sub-Programme, Livelihood Diversification and Enterprise Development Sub-Programme. Hodgson S., (March 2004) Land and Water – the rights interface. FAO, LSP WP 10, Access to Natural Resources Sub-Programme. Mitchell R. and Hanstad T., Rural Development Institute (RDI), USA, (March 2004) Small homegarden plots and sustainable livelihoods for the poor. FAO LSP WP 11, Access to Natural Resources Sub-Programme. Hanstad T., Nielsen R., Brown J., Rural Development Institute (RDI), USA, (May 2004) Land and Livelihoods: Making land rights real for India’s rural poor. FAO LSP WP 12, Access to Natural Resources Sub-Programme. Fisher R.J., Schmidt K., Steenhof B. and Akenshaev N., (May 2004) Poverty and forestry : A case study of Kyrgyzstan with reference to other countries in West and Central Asia. FAO LSP WP 13, Access to Natural Resources Sub-Programme. Cotula L., and Toulmin, C. with van Vlaenderen, H., Tall, S.M., Gaye, G., Saunders, J., Ahiadeke, C. and Anarfi, J.K, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), UK (July 2004) Till to tiller: Linkages between international remittances and access to land in West Africa. FAO LSP WP 14, Access to Natural Resources Sub-Programme. Baumann P., Bruno M., Cleary D., Dubois O. and Flores X., with contributions from Warren P., Maffei T. and Johnson J. (March 2004) Applying people centred development approaches within FAO: some practical lessons. FAO LSP WP 15, People Centred Approaches in Different Development Contexts Sub-Programme. Also available in Spanish and French. Neely C., Sutherland K., and Johnson J. (October 2004) Do sustainable livelihoods approaches have a positive impact on the rural poor? – A look at twelve case studies. FAO LSP WP 16, Institutional Learning Sub-Programme. Norfolk S. (2004) Examining access to natural resources and linkages to sustainable livelihoods: A case study of Mozambique. FAO LSP WP 17, Access to Natural Resources Sub-Programme. Unruh J. (2004). Post-conflict land tenure: using a sustainable livelihoods approach. FAO LSP WP 18, Access to Natural Resources Sub-Programme. 53