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  1. For today • Past readings. Your thoughts? • Ecological Civilization. Fred Magdoff. Monthly Review. January 2010 • Governing the Commons. • example: OF tigers and men. • Sustainable Livelihoods • Your research: discussion • Assignment: your project. By Friday: questions; begin a blog (wordpress or blogspot) • Next Monday: bring journal or news articles

  2. 2nd unit • Livelihoods: The Sustainable Livelihoods Framework. What are livelihood assets? How do people build livelihoods? What options do people have? We also explore the poverty-environment nexus.

  3. This Unit’s readings • Applying the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework to Impact Assessment in Integrated Natural Resource Management (2001) • Targeting Research for Poverty Reduction in Marginal Areas of Rural Syria (2006) • Empowering Palestinian Community Water Management Capacity: Understanding the Intersection of Community Cultural, Political, Social, and Natural CapitalsStephen Gasteyer; Tahreer Araj Community Development, 1944-7485, Volume 40, Issue 2, 2009, Pages 199 – 219(http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a912472197~frm=titlelink) • (Sustainable Livelihoods Approach - SLA)

  4. What is a livelihood? • What is a Sustainable Livelihood? • What is a Sustainable Livelihood Framework? • But before even that: let’s talk about poverty…

  5. Environment-Poverty Lexus • Sustainability involves more than environment; and wise environmental management needs to be holistic • What else? • If sustainable development can be defined as a development path and pattern in which the choices of the present generation are enlarged without restricting the choices of future generations, the concept implies three issues: • Enlargement of human choices at any point would depend on economic, political, social, institutional and environmental contexts. • The concept of sustainability is a dynamic intergenerational notion. • The abstract concept of sustainable development needs to be operationalised, which requires, among other things, measurable indicators and quantifiable targets, a framework for inter-temporal cost-benefit analysis.

  6. What is needed for sustainability? • Political • Social • Economic • Environmental • Interaction of policies and outcomes

  7. What is needed for sustainability? • Political • Political sustainability encompasses reproducibility of power structures and governance mechanisms, along with the evolution of institutions and the institutional framework that would carry out the tasks ensuring that the present generation maximises its choices but not at the cost of opportunities for future generations. • Social • Social sustainability reflects social norms, values and culture, social structures and social cohesion, which are conducive to ensuring enlargement of choices of all segments of society in an equitable manner. If development is to be sustainable, it has to be owned by the entire society in terms of its philosophy, modus operandi and direction. • Economic • Environmental • Interaction of policies and outcomes

  8. What is needed for sustainability? • Economic • requires building of human capabilities in an equitable manner through universal access to basic social services, equal economic opportunities, fairness in access to productive resources, sustained economic growth, etc. Thus equity, sustained growth and quality of life are three major dimensions of economic sustainability. • Environmental • deals with natural resources — exhaustible and renewable — and ecosystem services and the reproducibility of global ecosystems services and ecological resources. • Interaction of policies and outcomes

  9. 1996: MDG; Goal: 2015 • Human poverty is at the centre • “If the world can halve extreme poverty, adequately feed people, ensure universal access to safe water, reduce child mortality and maternal mortality by two-thirds and three-fourths respectively, can enroll all its children in school, can reverse environmental degradation and the spread of HIV/AIDS, it will ensure sustainable development.” • Obstacles • Legal discrimination? Gender discrimination? Unequal access to to productive resources?

  10. Problematic trends • High inequality • Gender disparity • Social exclusion • - conflict –

  11. Poverty - environment ? • Two-way relationship • Environment -> poverty • Providing sources of livelihoods to poor people • Affecting their health • Influencing their vulnerability • Poverty -> environment • Forcing poor people to degrade the environment • Encouraging countries to promote ‘economic growth’ • Inducing societies to downgrade environmental concerns

  12. IMPACTS OF ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD • Water-related diseases, such as diarrhoea and cholera, kill an estimated 3 million people in developing countries, the majority of whom are children under the age of five. • Vector-borne diseases such as malaria account for 2.5 million deaths a year, and are linked to a wide range of environmental conditions or factors related to water contamination and inadequate sanitation. • One billion people are adversely affected by indoor pollution. • Nearly 3 million people die every year from air pollution; more than 2 million of them from indoor pollution. More than 80% of these deaths are those of women and girls. • Nearly 15 million children in Latin America are affected by lead poisoning. • As many as 25 million agricultural workers – 11 million of them in Africa – may be poisoned each year from fertilisers • More than one billion people are affected by soil erosion and land degradation. Some 250 million people are at risk from slash crop yields. • Desertification already costs the world $42 billion a year in lost income. • Over the last decade,154 million hectares of tropical forests, covering almost three times the land area of France, have been lost. • About 650 million poor people in the developing world live on marginal and ecologically fragile lands. Source : UNDP (2002, 2000 and 1998)

  13. Deconstructing some environment-poverty myths • “Poor people are the principal creators of environmental damage.” • “Population growth leads to environmental degradation.” • “The poverty-environment nexus basically stems from low incomes.”

  14. Revisiting conventional wisdom in the environment-poverty nexus • Downward spiral hypothesis • Environmental Kuznets Curve • Beckerman Hypothesis • Porter Hypothesis

  15. The local agenda 21 mandate “Because so many of the problems and solutions being addressed by Agenda 21 have their roots in local activities, the participation and cooperation of local authorities will be a determining factor in fulfilling its objectives. Local authorities construct, operate, and maintain economic, social, and environmental infrastructure, oversee planning processes, establish local environmental policies and regulations, and assist in implementing national and sub-national environmental policies. As the level of governance closest to the people, they play a vital role in educating, mobilizing, and responding to the public to promote sustainable development.” (chapter 28)

  16. What is a livelihood? • The capabilities, assets (both material and social) and activities required for a means of living • Sustainable when: • it can cope with and recover from stresses and shocks and • maintain or enhance its capabilities and assets both now and in the future, • while not undermining their natural resource base

  17. Basic Definitions 1 .Livelihoods are the ways people make a living, including how they distribute their productive resources and the types of activities in which they are engaged 2. Sustainable Livelihood • The Brundtland Commission in 1987:Intrdoduced SL in terms of resources ownership, access to basic needs and livelihood security • The definition used by the UK's (DFID): A livelihood comprises the capabilities, assets & activities required for a means of living .

  18. Basic definitions (Cont.): • Resilience – The capacity of a population to adapt to environmental change such as extreme climatic events and climate variability. • Adaptation: is the ability to respond and adjust to actual or potential impacts of changing climate conditions in ways that moderates harm or takes advantage of positive opportunities • Coping Strategies – The short-term responses to periodic stress, such as the use of famine foods in drought. • Adaptive Strategies –Strategies that require people to reorganize their livelihood systems in response to long-term changes and challenges. • Security: The state of a community that can provide safeguards for itself against social, economic and environmental change

  19. Livelihood assessment: Livelihood assessment is a way of looking at how an individual, a household or a community behaves under specific frame conditions. • How to understand livelihood systems? Through analysis of the impacts of coping and adaptive strategies pursued by individuals and communities as a response to external shocks and stresses such as drought, civil strife and policy failures

  20. So what is the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework? • Putting people at the center of development; A different way of thinking about development • Useful also in assessing the effectiveness of existing efforts to reduce poverty • Useful to stimulate debate and reflection

  21. Why all the noise about SL? • We’re getting serious about poverty • What we have done in the past has not been too successful: a search for something more effective • Initially: “direct impact on the poor” • Later: a more analytical understanding • of the complexity of poverty • of the factors that affect poverty

  22. Defining poverty Not just income / GDP but human development • Not just the means to survive • but the capability to thrive TIP Think people, not national statistics

  23. Not being poor means that people ... • can sustain the capabilities, assets, and activities required for a means of living, • have the ability to cope with stresses and shocks, • and can maintain and enhance those capabilities and assets • without undermining the natural resource base TIP These are the characteristics of a ‘Livelihood’ (Chambers & Conway, 1992)

  24. If we put people at the centre of development, we need ... • to be more holistic and people-centered - poor people lead complex lives • to be dynamic - like the threats and opportunities the poor face • to build on their inherent potential - rather than what they have not got; build on strengths rather than needs • to consider macro-micro links - because people are affected by policies • to mainstream sustainability - environmental, economic, social, institutional

  25. And in particular ... We need to incorporate people’s own definition of desirable outcomes

  26. The ‘Sustainable Livelihoods Approach’is simply about putting these principles into practice

  27. Sounds obvious ? But it’s not what we’ve been doing

  28. What we did before (1)…[Taken from an analysis of livestock-sector projects] • Supply of Technology, Inputs & Services • often ‘production’ orientated • missed the poor: • not targeted towards the poor / inappropriate to the needs of the poor • captured by the wealthy • could not be sustained • Move to ‘capacity-building’ in sector organisations instead

  29. What we did before (2)… • ‘Organisational Development’ • equipped people and organisations with the skills and resources to do a better job • but, on the whole, little has changed • new skills are not used • the new-look organisation is not financially viable • still tended to be ‘sector-specific’ and supply-driven • because the ‘rules of the game’ never really changed

  30. So we now think about ... • Policies and Institutions as well • creating the enabling environment for a better way of doing things by ‘changing the rules of the game’: • locally • nationally • internationally

  31. The SL Framework (1) Is simply a tool to help: • plan new development initiatives • assess the contribution to livelihood sustainability made by existing activities It: • provides a checklist of issues • highlights what influences what • emphasises the multiple interactions that affect people’s livelihoods

  32. The SL Framework (2) Helps us think holistically about: • The things that the poor might be very vulnerable to • The assets and resources that help them thrive and survive • The policies and institutions that impact on their livelihoods • How the poor respond to threats and opportunities • What sort of outcomes the poor aspire to

  33. Livelihood Outcomes + Sustainable use of NR base + Income + Well-being - Vulnerability + Food security Livelihood Capital Assets Human Natural Social Physical Financial The SL Framework • Policies & Institutions (Transforming Structures & Processes) • Structures • Government • Private Sector • Processes • Laws • Policies • Culture • Institutions Livelihood Strategies Vulnerability Context Shocks Trends Seasons

  34. Livelihood Capital Assets Human Natural Social Physical Financial Livelihood Outcomes + Sustainable use of NR base + Income + Well-being Reduced vulnerability + Food security • Policies & Institutions (Transforming Structures & Processes) • Structures • Government • Private Sector • Processes • Laws • Policies • Culture • Institutions Livelihood Strategies Vulnerability Context Shocks Trends Seasons

  35. Vulnerability Context The external environment in which people exist • Trends - population, resources, economic, governance, technology • Shocks • can be the result of human health, natural events, economic uncertainty, conflict and crop/livestock health. • - illness, natural disaster, economic, conflict, crop / livestock pests & diseases • Seasons - prices, production, health, employment

  36. Vulnerability context • Outside people’s control • Not objective “risk” that matters – but also people’s subjective assessments of things that make them vulnerable. • Both perceived & actual vulnerability can influence people’s decisions and thus their livelihood strategies

  37. Livelihood Capital Assets Human Natural Social Physical Financial Livelihood Outcomes + Sustainable use of NR base + Income + Well-being Reduced vulnerability + Food security • Policies & Institutions (Transforming Structures & Processes) • Structures • Government • Private Sector • Processes • Laws • Policies • Culture • Institutions Livelihood Strategies Vulnerability Context Shocks Trends Seasons

  38. What are these ‘assets’? • Human capital- skills, knowledge & info., ability to work, health ; local knowledge key • Natural capital - land, water, wildlife, biodiversity, environment • May be private property or common property • Financial capital - savings, credit, remittances, pensions; can be looked at as cash, credit, and inflows • Physical capital - transport, shelter, clean water, energy, sanitation, technology, communications;…. • Social capital - networks, groups, trust, access to wider institutions; informal safety nets • Political capital (suggested by some): citizenship, enfranchisement, membership in political parities

  39. It’s all about pushing out the ‘area’ of these assets Human Capital Natural Capital Social Capital TIP But it’s also about the sustainability of those assets Physical Capital Financial Capital

  40. With your neighbour(s) ... Consider one form [H, N, F, P, S] of capital asset • Why is this form of capital asset important? • What could we do to build this form of capital asset • directly • indirectly

  41. Livelihood Capital Assets Human Natural Social Physical Financial Livelihood Outcomes + Sustainable use of NR base + Income + Well-being Reduced vulnerability + Food security • Policies & Institutions (Transforming Structures & Processes) • Structures • Government • Private Sector • Processes • Laws • Policies • Culture • Institutions Livelihood Strategies Vulnerability Context Shocks Trends Seasons

  42. People’s access to livelihood assets is affected by policies & institutions Or ‘transforming structures and processes’ • Structures: • organizations, levels of government, private sector behavior • Processes: • policies, laws, institutional ‘rules of the game’, incentives TIP Think micro, think macro, link micro to macro

  43. What are institutions? • Regularized practices structured by rules and norms of society which have persistent and widespread use • May be both formal and informal • Usually subject to multiple interpretations by different actors • May occur on multiple levels: from household to community, nation, and global level

  44. Livelihood Capital Assets Human Natural Social Physical Financial Livelihood Outcomes + Sustainable use of NR base + Income + Well-being Reduced vulnerability + Food security • Policies & Institutions (Transforming Structures & Processes) • Structures • Government • Private Sector • Processes • Laws • Policies • Culture • Institutions Livelihood Strategies Vulnerability Context Shocks Trends Seasons

  45. Livelihood Strategies- what do (rural) people do? Choices people employ in pursuit of income, security, well being… • Agricultural intensification / extensification • May combine access to natural capital (land) w economic capital (credit); or • Social capital (networks associated w/ drought) may be significant • Livelihood diversification • Migration

  46. Livelihood strategies Unraveling the connection: key part • Agricultural intensification / extensification • - between capital-led and labor-led intensification • Livelihood diversification • Between an active choice to invest in diversification for accumulation and reinvestment and diversification to cope with adversity • Migration • Between voluntary and involuntary movement, effects, and movement pattern

  47. Livelihood strategies: scale A key issue: scale at which an assessment takes place • Can be described at individual, household and village, and regional/national levels Differences evident between scale levels • Also: time scales. Over seasons and between years; over several generations

  48. Our interventions must recognize that people have different strategies to achieve different ends • How important is “our” concern to people’s livelihoods? • And whose livelihoods in particular? • What else is important to people, and what conflicts might there be?