Livelihood promotion

One of the biggest challenges facing development practitioners and policy-makers in the world today is how they can assist large numbers of people in the developing world to have a meaningful livelihood which sustains them and ensures they can live with dignity and hope for the future. A livelihood is a set of economic activities, which may include self-employment and/or wage employment, and which enables a person to meet their individual and household requirements.

The core interest of rural finance practitioners is to ensure that rural people, especially poor rural people, have access to financial services. However, a bank account is of little use to someone if they have no means of securing a livelihood. So development oriented financial institutions find they increasingly need to focus on livelihood promotion if they really wish to help the poorest members of society find a way out of poverty.

Livelihood interventions may take a spatial approach, e.g. addressing problems in a degraded watershed, or a segmental approach, e.g. addressing problems of the landless or the disabled, or a sectoral approach, e.g. addressing problems of dairy farmers or cotton growers. A holistic approach involving a range of cross-cutting interventions is more complex but may be essential to address the problems of the poorest or people living in remote areas.

Library Resources

resource title type year resource
Financing Social Protection in Tanzania Report 2018

view page
This resource appears in: Livelihood promotion

This note assesses whether social protection programs are adequately financed in mainland Tanzania. We find that social protection programs are an important component of Government expenditures, and complements other Government social spending, including education and health spending. In recent years, the Government has strengthened social protection by: (i) increasing social protection expenditures; (ii) shifting social assistance from generally inefficient food and in-kind programs to more efficient cash-based programs; (iii) shifting social assistance from relatively untargeted programs to those which are targeted to poor people; and (iv) easing demand side constraints faced by households investing in human capital. Despite these positive developments, challenges to social protection remain: (i) social assistance and employment programs remain underfunded relative to the needs of the population; (ii) development partner financing remains crucial even though they are prone to external risks; (iii) little isknown about which social welfare services and employment programs work well; (iv) many pensionparameters are not in line with best-practice and therefore, sustainability can be improved; (v) generalized subsidies, which are notoriously bad instruments to target poor people, are absorbing Government resources in a tight fiscal environment.

Author Ajwad, Mohamed Ihsan; Abels, Miglena; Novikova, Marina; Mohammed, Muderis Abdulahi
Number of Pages 48 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Africa
Tanzania
Keywords Graduations programmes, Social protection
Related Resources
Realizing the Full Potential of Social Safety Nets in Africa Book 2018

view page
This resource appears in: Livelihood promotion

Poverty has been declining in Sub-Saharan Africa, but millions are still poor or vulnerable. To address this ongoing and complex problem, all countries in the region have now deployed social safety net programs as part of their core development plans. The number of programs has skyrocketed since the mid-2000s, although many interventions are still modest in size. This notable shift in social policy reflects an embrace of the role that social safety nets can play in the fight against poverty and vulnerability, and more generally in building human capital and spurring economic growth. Realizing the Full Potential of Social Safety Nets in Africa provides evidence that positive impacts on equity, resilience, and opportunity are growing, and it is clear that these programs can be good investments. For the potential of social safety nets to be realized, however, they need to expand with smart technical and design choices. Beyond technical considerations, and at least as important, this book argues that a series of decisive shifts needs to occur in three critical spheres: political, institutional, and financial: First, to recognize the role of politics in offering opportunities for expansion and in guiding design and program choice; Second, to anchor safety net programs in strong institutional arrangements that facilitate their expansion and sustainability; And third, to build sustainable financing through greater efficiency, more varied and predictable resources, and shock-responsive resources. Ignoring these spheres may lead to technically sound, but practically impossible, choices and designs. A deliberate focus on these areas is essential if social safety nets are to be brought to scale and sustained at scale. Only then will their full potential and their contribution to the fight against poverty and vulnerability be realized.

Author Beegle, Kathleen; Coudouel, Aline; Monsalve, Emma
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Safety Nets
Related Resources
Diversité des agricultures familiales Paper 2015 French (fr)

view page
This resource appears in: Livelihood promotion

Dans un contexte d’interrogation sur les modèles agricoles et de profondes transformations des agricultures et des marchés, cet ouvrage s’attache à revisiter la diversité des formes familiales de production et leurs mutations de par le monde. Dès lors, l’analyse intègre les liens aux marchés, aux territoires et à l’Ailleurs - par le fait migratoire - les enjeux d’autonomie et de sécurité alimentaire, les stratégies de survie et d’accumulation ainsi que les formes d’action collective et politique. L’ouvrage est construit autour de dix-huit études de cas, menées dans les cinq continents. Elles ont toutes été conduites avec un cadre méthodologique, identique et original, inspiré du Sustainable Rural Livehoods (cadre d’identification des moyens de subsistance durables en milieu rural). Revisitée pour cet ouvrage, cette méthode d’observations et d’analyses permet aux auteurs de préciser finement « ce qui fait famille », d’analyser les adaptations du travail des actifs familiaux et les mettre en perspective avec le contexte territorial et les politiques publiques de chaque pays.

Écrit à plusieurs mains, par un réseau de chercheurs, cet ouvrage contribue autant à l’approfondissement des savoirs scientifiques sur les agricultures familiales dans le monde qu’à la mise à l’épreuve d’un cadre méthodologique d’analyse et d’observations en milieu rural. Il vise un public de chercheurs, d’enseignants et d’étudiants, agronomes, économistes, sociologues et historiens. Les experts du développement agricole et rural y trouveront un grand intérêt. Plus largement, toute personne qui s’intéresse aux agricultures familiales et à leurs évolutions dans divers contextes sociaux trouvera avantage à cette lecture.

Sommaire:

  • Les logiques non marchandes, un "archaïsme" à revisiter
  • L'ancrage local et la migration comme les deux faces d'une même pièce
  • Aux limites de l'agriculture familiale, des formes patronales de production ?
  • Diversification des activités entre les stratégies de survie et d'accumulation
  • L'organisation familiale entre atout collectif et limitation des stratégies individuelles

Au-delà de l'agriculture familiale, des enjeux politiques et territoriaux déterminants"

Diversité des agricultures familiales  -  French (fr)

Cracking the Nut Africa: Improving Rural Livelihoods and Food Security Report 2014

view page
This resource appears in: Livelihood promotion

The Cracking the Nut Africa: Improving Rural Livelihoods and Food Security conference publication outlines some of the key lessons learned during the 2014 conference in Kigali, Rwanda.

Author AZMJ
Publisher AZMJ
Number of Pages 46 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Credit Risk, Agriculture And Rural Livelihoods, Agricultural Development
Related Resources
Definición de la agricultura familiar para Colombia Paper 2014

view page
This resource appears in: Livelihood promotion

El documento resume los puntos más importantes de la agricultura familiar en el Plan Nacional de Desarrollo. El documento recalca la necesidadl de establecer políticas públicas que garanticen el desarrollo rural integral e incluyan políticas específicas para la agricultura familiar atendiendo integralmente las familias agricultoras a través de la reducción de la pobreza rural, mejorando su calidad de vida e ingresos, ampliando su inclusión a la oferta de tierra, bienes y servicios del Estado, apoyando proyectos integrales de producción, transformación, financiamiento y comercialización, valorando y respetando su aporte a la seguridad alimentaria, la protección ambiental y la construcción sociocultural que contribuyen al afianzamiento y estabilidad de la población en el territorio.

Author Comité Nacional de Impulso Colombia
Publisher Comité Nacional de Impulso Colombia
Number of Pages 23
Primary Language Spanish (es)
Region / Country Global, South America
Colombia
Keywords Agricultura familiar, Colombia
Related Resources
Thinking systematically about scaling up: developing guidance for scaling up World Bank-supported agriculture and rural development operations Report 2012 English (en)

view page
This resource appears in: Livelihood promotion

The objective of this report is to assess the usefulness of providing guidance for scaling up good practices in core ARD business lines, and to test the prospects for doing so. The output of the document is a guide for a systematic discussion on scaling up of Competitive Grant Schemes (CGSs) for agricultural research and extension at key decision points during the life of an ARD project. This report addresses the other end of the state-of-practice spectrum - good practices and beyond. The preparation of this report entailed five main activities: An overview of scaling up concepts and approaches; the selection of a particular sub-area within one of ARD’s core business lines - scaling up CGS for agricultural research and extension; application of the IFAD/Brookings framing questions to five World Bank projects that were identified as addressing that business line - using information provided by the project's task team leaders (TTLs) or other member of the project team; the development of sub-area specific guidance for a systematic discussion on scaling up based on the findings from a series of five case studies; and validation of the scaling up guidance for CGSs for agricultural research and extension by World Bank practitioners and other internal consultations.

Thinking systematically about scaling up  -  English (en)

Author Jonasova, Marketa; Cooke, Sanjiva
Publisher The World Bank
Washington, DC; USA
Number of Pages 53 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Related Resources
2011 Rural Poverty Report Report 2011

view page
This resource appears in: Livelihood promotion

The report looks at who the poor rural people are, what they do and how their livelihoods are changing. It explores the challenges that make it so difficult for rural people to overcome poverty, and identifies opportunities and pathways that could lead towards greater prosperity – now and in the future.

The report calls for the need to improve the overall environment of rural areas, including infrastructure, utilities, services and governance, to enable poor rural people to manage risk and to reduce the level of risk that they face. It also argues  that it is fundamental to invest in education to enable women, men, young people and children to develop the skills they need to take advantage of new economic opportunities as well as to strengthen the collective capabilities of rural people, particularly through their membership-based organizations.

Finally, it highlights policies and actions that governments and development practitioners can take to support the efforts of rural people.

Author IFAD
Publisher IFAD
Number of Pages 322 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Livelihood Promotion, Livelihood Strategy, Rural Poverty
Related Resources
The Role of Women in Agriculture Report 2011 English (en)

view page
This resource appears in: Livelihood promotion

Agriculture can be an important engine of growth and poverty reduction. But the sector is underperforming in many countries in part because women, who are often a crucial resource in agriculture and the rural economy, face constraints that reduce their productivity. In this paper we draw on the available empirical evidence to study in which areas and to what degree women participate in agriculture. Aggregate data shows that women comprise about 43 percent of the agricultural labour force globally and in developing countries. But this figure masks considerable variation across regions and within countries according to age and social class. Time use surveys, which are more comprehensive but typically not nationally representative, add further insight into the substantial heterogeneity among countries and within countries in women’s contribution to agriculture. They show that female time-use in agriculture varies also by crop, production cycle, age and ethnic group. A few time-use surveys have data by activity and these show that in general weeding and harvesting were predominantly female activities. Overall the labour burden of rural women exceeds that of men, and includes a higher proportion of unpaid household responsibilities related to preparing food and collecting fuel and water. The contribution of women to agricultural and food production is significant but it is impossible to verify empirically the share produced by women. Women’s participation in rural labour markets varies considerably across regions, but invariably women are over represented in unpaid, seasonal and part-time work, and the available evidence suggests that women are often paid less than men, for the same work. Available data on rural and agricultural feminization shows that this is not a general trend but mainly a sub-Saharan Africa phenomena, as well as observed in some sectors such as unskilled labour in the fruit, vegetable and cut-flower export sector. This paper re-affirms that women make essential contributions to agriculture and rural enterprises across the developing world. But there is much diversity in women’s roles and over-generalization undermines policy relevance and planning. The context is important and policies must be based on sound data and gender analysis.

Document  -  English (en)

Author SOFA Team and Cheryl Doss
Publisher Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Rome, Italy
Number of Pages 48 pp.
Volume / Issue# No. 11-02
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Gender, Agricultural Credit Markets, Employment
Related Resources
Estimating the Number of Microfinance Clients Who Crossed $1/day in 1990–2006: An Example Using Survey Data for Grameen Bank and BRAC Article 2011

view page
This resource appears in: Livelihood promotion

This article presents a practical methodology to monitor poverty changes among microfinance clients using available household panel data. As an example, it presents an estimation of the net number of people that rose above the $1/day poverty line while members of Grameen Bank and BRAC during 1990 to 2006. The proposed method contributes to on-going efforts from microfinance practitioners to verify whether their clients are moving out of poverty and validate management strategies aiming to target new poor clients, and increase their share of poor clients over time. Estimates show that about 6.6 million people rose above the $1/day poverty line in 1990-2006 while members of Grameen or BRAC. This represents about 40 percent of the total number of poor people that crossed this poverty line during the same time period at the national level, which validates targeting strategies to reach the poor.

Author Hernandez, E., Schreiner, M.
Publisher South Asian Journal of Evaluation in Practice
Number of Pages 8 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global, Asia, Southern Asia
Bangladesh
Keywords Poverty Reduction, Poverty Reduction Strategies
Related Resources
Gender and rural microfinance: Reaching and empowering women Study Guide 2009

view page
This resource appears in: Livelihood promotion

This guide is intended as an overview of gender issues for rural finance practitioners. It highlights the questions that need to be asked and addressed in gender mainstreaming. It will also be useful to gender experts wishing to increase their understanding of specific gender issues in rural finance.

The guide’s intended users include IFAD’s country programme managers and staff, technical partners and microfinance institutions, gender practitioners working in rural microfinance, and academic researchers in the fields of gender and microfinance.

Gender in Agriculture - sourcebook Book 2008 English (en)

view page
This resource appears in: Livelihood promotion

The purpose of the Sourcebook is to act as a guide for practitioners and technical staff in addressing gender issues and integrating gender-responsive actions in the design and implementation of agricultural projects and programs. It speaks not with gender specialists on how to improve their skills but rather reaches out to technical experts to guide them in thinking through how to integrate gender dimensions into their operations. The Sourcebook aims to deliver practical advice, guidelines, principles, and descriptions and illustrations of approaches that have worked so far to achieve the goal of effective gender mainstreaming in the agricultural operations of development agencies. It captures and expands the main messages of theWorld DevelopmentReport 2008: Agriculture for Development and is considered an important tool to facilitate the operationalization and implementation of the report’s key principles on gender equality and women’s empowerment.

The Sourcebook focuses on agricultural livelihoods, with agriculture defined broadly as “agriculture, forestry, fisheries, livestock, land and water, agro-industries, and environment,”following the FAO definition. The Sourcebook is grounded in the notion of agriculture’s central role in providing rural livelihoods, food security, and broad-based poverty reduction. Although the Sourcebook focuses on the agriculture sector, it is also aware of the fluctuations of agricultural livelihoods so that poverty reduction and rural development require a holistic approach. Both nonagriculture-specific sectors, such as rural finance, rural infrastructure, and rural labor with a reference to agriculture-driven activities, and social protection policies are addressed in the Sourcebook..

The Sourcebook is targeted to key actors within international and regional development agencies and national governments, specifically, operational staff who design and implement lending projects and technical officers who design thematic programs and technical assistance packages. The Sourcebook can also be an important resource to the research community and nongovernmental organizations.

sourcebook  -  English (en)

Microentrepreneurs and Their Money: Three Anomalies Paper 2007

view page
This resource appears in: Livelihood promotion

This is an interesting paper relating to some ongoing research being undertaken primarily in India. The authors are interested in how microfinance clients manage their cash and what drives and constrains their investment behaviour. In this paper they discuss three observations from the field which they believe should affect product design in financial institutions and also lead to a number of non-credit interventions.

The first observation concerns the persistence of borrowing cycles. Given the high cost of borrowing, it is striking that many individuals find themselves in perpetual debt. Surveys conducted among microentrepreneurs such as vegetable vendors in both India and the Philippines showed that the majority used high interest short term loans to finance daily working capital. Very few reported attempting to substitute borrowing with savings. This is what puzzled the researchers – why do vendors not put aside some profits and borrow less? Their calculations showed the following: "Saving 10 Rupees a day, a vendor would have 1000 Rupees saved for working capital in only 28 days. Saving 5 Rupees a day, it would take a vendor 33 days. Saving just 1 Rupee a day, it would take 50 days. She then saves one hundred rupee a day in interest expense, which is roughly $2 a day, enough to raise the person above the poverty level." The researchers examine a number of possible explanations for this and conclude that improving mental accounting and financial planning, plus access to a savings lock box may help people to switch from a debt cycle to a savings cycle.

The second observation is the lack of joint production ventures. Many MFI models are built on a foundation of group solidarity. This being the case, the researchers wonder why there are not more instances of profitable joint production. If social collateral is powerful enough to overcome information asymmetries in the credit markets for formal sector lenders, why haven’t poor individuals come together for years to engage in more profitable production ventures when there are economies of scale to small operations? Even activities that rely on minimal cooperation such as joint purchase of items which benefit from bulk discounts are not commonly observed. Extrapolating this back to groups used by MFIs, they conclude that joint liability groups may significantly discourage people from using these services.

The final observation concerns the consequences of labour and rental market failures on the decisions of microentrepreneurs. The researchers suggest that perhaps more investment should be made in businesses that provide employment or rent out capital equipment. Currently MFIs over-emphasize entrepreneurship.

Author Ananth, B.; Karlan, D.; Mullainathan, S.
Number of Pages 18 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Microenterprise, Financial Management, Investment Decisions
Related Resources
A Long Roe to Hoe – Family Farming and Rural Poverty in Developing Countries Paper 2006

view page
This resource appears in: Livelihood promotion

This report, commissioned by Oxfam GB, aims to examine the proposition that enhancing the productivity of family farms is the most effective way to reduce rural poverty in the developing world. It is analysed from a number of angles including agro-ecological and socio-economic diversity, the re-structuring of the agri-food system, agricultural research, rising fertiliser prices, climate change, and the assumption that young people will be content to live in rural areas and construct their livelihoods around agriculture.

The paper begins by setting out the background and rationale for such a study and summarising the key stages and changes in the development agenda over time. It then discusses the emerging consensus on family farming referring to the “near universal (i.e. across time and space) links between rising agricultural productivity and economic transition.” The paper also reasons the limitations to this consensus before concluding with a policy and action agenda.

The conclusion here is that while increasing the productivity of family farms in Africa can play an important role, poverty reduction on a mass scale, particularly in Africa, will require a more comprehensive and integrated approach. The final section explores five likely strategies for rural people, depending on the context in which they live, their situation, and their interests. These strategies are:

  1. Agricultural intensification
  2. Agricultural intensification with support
  3. Continuing to farm primarily for own consumption
  4. Seeking income in other parts of the rural economy
  5. Migration
Comanagement of Natural Resources: Local Learning for Poverty Reduction Book 2006 English (en) Spanish (es) French (fr)

view page
This resource appears in: Livelihood promotion

The developing world’s poorest people live in marginal, often harsh rural environments. The natural resource base tends to be fragile and highly vulnerable to over exploitation. Yet these rural people depend directly on access to the food, forage, fuel, fibre, water, medicines, and building materials provided by local ecosystems. What types of natural resource management (NRM) can improve the livelihoods of these poor people while protecting or enhancing the natural resource base they depend on? New approaches to NRM are needed – ones that move beyond the earlier narrow focus on productivity (such as crop yields), to include social, institutional, and policy considerations.

One such approach – comanagement – is presented in this book. It can be defined as collaborative arrangements in which the community of local resource users, local and senior governments, and other stakeholders share responsibility and authority for managing a specified natural resource or resources. This book draws on more than a decade of research across the developing world and presents case studies from Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Ecuador, Lebanon, and Viet Nam.

The Book  -  English (en)

El Libro  -  Spanish (es)

Le Livre  -  French (fr)

Author Tyler S.
Publisher Centre de recherches pour le développement international
Number of Pages 120 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Livelihood Strategies, Natural Resource Management
Related Resources
From Microfinance to Macro Changes: Integrating Health Education and Microfinance to Empower Women and Reduce Poverty Document 2006

view page
This resource appears in: Livelihood promotion

This advocacy booklet calls for integration of reproductive health education with microfinance services in developing countries. It presents individual stories, case studies and dramatic findings to show the impact this combination can have on reducing poverty and improving individual lives. The booklet also offers eight concrete recommendations for action. The first section reviews the links between poverty, poor health and inequality. The next explores the effectiveness of microfinance as a poverty reduction strategy. The third section shows how combining microfinance with reproductive health education can yield greater benefits. The final section offers recommendations for promoting and expanding this strategic combination.

Author Watson, A, Dunford, C, Toure, A, Iskikawa, K, Daley-Harris, S and Awimbo, A
Publisher Microcredit Summit Campaign
Number of Pages 16 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Agricultural Microfinance, Health, Poverty, Inequality
Related Resources
The Marginal Cost of Integrating Microfinance with Education Using the Unified Approach Paper 2006

view page
This resource appears in: Livelihood promotion

Credit with Education is a methodology that integrates two services: financial and non-financial - where the fundamental purpose is to achieve a greater socioeconomic impact on its clients. This paper contends that credit is a very important resource to address obstacles related to poverty and an optimal instrument to achieve sustainability in any microfinance institution. However, the paper also notes, it is not sufficient – it argues that low income people, who are socially isolated, lack self esteem, have limited business experience, and have deficient health and nutritional conditions, need more than financial services. The living conditions of these people not only limit their possibility to become good clients, but also prevent them from developing the knowledge and skills to address their condition.

The paper suggests that while credit can make an institution sustainable, training consolidates its sustainability. Several experiences have demonstrated that non-financial services are closely related to satisfaction, loyalty, and indexes of client default. It is noted that the organizations that work with the Credit with Education services have demonstrated that through this integrated service, it is possible to render efficient educational services during the group borrower meetings. In this way, not only is the efficient use of resources achieved, but also the consolidation of an institution with social objectives.

In this paper, cost analysis and the results obtained from the credit with education service are examined. To this purpose, the successful experience of CRECER—a Bolivian institution that works with the unified service approach and has consolidated this service—is used. In the first part of the document, an analysis of the different forms of integrating education with financial services is presented. The second part consists of a description of the methodology used by CRECER, which allows a detailed understanding of the procedures used by the institution to provide the service. The third part presents a cost survey of the educational component - this survey was conducted by CRECER – and also sets out the method used for the cost estimate and the results achieved.

Finally, a series of conclusions are presented that go beyond the cost analysis. These include the author’s reflections and arguments related not only to the investments of financial services, but also to the results and impacts generated by them.

Author Isabel Rueda Fernández
Publisher CRECER, Bolivia
Number of Pages 24 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Education, Non-Financial Services, Agricultural Microfinance
Related Resources
Strengthening the Role of AIDS-Affected MSEs in Productive Markets Paper 2005

view page
This resource appears in: Livelihood promotion

This paper notes at the outset that with 39.4 million people HIV-positive or living with AIDS around the world, it is not surprising that AIDS is having an economic impact on households, businesses, and even national economies. It notes further that micro and small enterprises (MSEs) are particularly at risk because they comprise more than 90% of all enterprises in the world and already face constraints to market access. The additional burden of HIV/AIDS on MSEs could be sufficient to push many of these firms out of the markets in which they are currently active.

This paper looks at the important issue of sustaining the role of MSEs in productive economic activity when MSEs are directly affected by HIV/AIDS. It identifies the constraints that are specific to HIV/AIDS-affected MSEs and presents promising approaches to address these constraints and mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS on MSEs.

The paper begins by introducing the value chain concept. It states that even before the appearance of HIV/AIDS, MSE participation in value chains was constrained by numerous factors – limited resources with which to serve the market, high transaction costs for both MSEs and their commercial partners, significant risks within value chain relationships, and lack of market information, understanding, and access. The paper then moves onto an overview of HIV/AIDS in the world today before presenting in brief what is known of the impact of HIV/AIDS on the macroeconomy, sectors, businesses, and households.

The paper identifies four major constraints specific to HIV/AIDS-affected MSEs participating in value chains:

  • Resource Constraints – HIV/AIDS results in further declines in MSE resources, often in unexpected and therefore hard-to-resolve ways;
  • Transaction Costs – MSEs coping with AIDS face additional hurdles in producing the quantity or quality demanded by buyers, which further increase transaction costs;
  • Risk for MSEs and Large Firms – HIV/AIDS reintroduces a significant level of uncertainty and change into already delicate risk equations;
  • Lack of Market Orientation – In and AIDS-affected MSE, key employees may have less contact with business associates because of illness or care giving. In addition, MSEs often have increased numbers of employees from vulnerable groups – women, children, and the elderly – who have more difficulty accessing market information

Finally, the paper examines a “small but growing” set of strategies now in use to reduce these constraints and keep MSEs actively connected to markets, even under the stress of HIV/AIDS:

  • Asset Protection via Financial Services
  • Asset Protection via Legal Services
  • Workplace Policies and Programs
  • Labour-Saving Technologies and Production Inputs
  • Inter-Firm Cooperation
  • Vertical Linkages

The paper is primarily targeted at development practitioners striving to enhance the economic livelihoods of the poor and working in geographic areas with a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS. It is also set out to be relevant for health professionals – it provides insight and suggestions for programming to mitigate the economic impact of AIDS and thus strengthen access to healthcare and nutritional status at the household level and beyond.

Rural Extension and Microenterprise Credit: Strategies that Work for Low Income Indigenous Women and Their Families in Rural Latin America Paper 2005

view page
This resource appears in: Livelihood promotion

This paper examines issues pertaining to rural Latin American development, and in particular it considers the situations of poor indigenous women in Bolivia. After examining rural development and women in development (WID), a literature review is provided. Two main areas in the literature are covered. One refers to the breadth of topics related to the themes mentioned here. (This ‘breadth of the literature’ is expanded upon in Appendix B of this paper.) The other literature reflects the depth of a narrower but perhaps more relevant literature. (Both literatures are placed in chronological order in order to show some development of thought over time).

Following these reviews, the paper’s analysis utilizes the information revealed in the literature and recommendations are made. A specific site in rural Bolivia is used as a case study. Gender analysis is included, and a sample gender survey of existing conditions is presented in Appendix A.

This paper focuses on Latin American rural development strategy that features the needs of low income indigenous women and their roles in rural extension and microenterprise credit. The concept of extension may be broad, including research, farm visits, model farms, demonstration projects, and marketing assistance; and the notion of microenterprise credit entails lending to small enterprises or entrepreneurs. The specific case of an Agriculture-Medical Center at a college in Bolivia is examined; and a set of guidelines is generated to assure a strategy that works for low income indigenous women and their families. But first, the paper argues that it is important to recognize a fundamental problem that exists in rural development, which is that women’s roles in rural extension and credit have traditionally been ignored by research and policy.

Author Dr. Jackie Murray Brux
Publisher University of Wisconsin-River Falls
Number of Pages 75 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Agricultural Microfinance, Agricultural Development, Women And Development
Related Resources
Microfinance and Forest-Based Small-Scale Enterprises Book 2005

view page
This resource appears in: Livelihood promotion

This publication examines microfinance needs and constraints of small-scale forest-based enterprises. It analyses the different types of microfinance institutions, the role that they can play in the forest sector given the characteristics of small enterprises and forest communities and their impact on local livelihoods and environment. Additionally, it includes four case studies of various places in the world, to look at different institutions providing microfinance services to small-scale forest enterprises.

It is hoped that this book will be a useful reference point for national and international institutions involved in designing policies and projects for the development of forest communities. It should also be of interest to institutions providing financial services to small enterprises in rural areas.

Author FAO
Publisher Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Number of Pages 104 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Agricultural Microfinance, Forestry, Enterprise, Communication
Related Resources
Agriculture and Pro-Poor Growth Paper 2005

view page
This resource appears in: Livelihood promotion

This paper was prepared as part of the USAID/DAI/BIDE project on Pro-Poor Growth Strategies. Parts of earlier versions were delivered as the Keynote Address at the Workshop on Institutional Innovation for Pro-Poor Agricultural Growth: A Case Study in South Africa, held at the University of Ghent, Belgium, December 6, 2002, and at the USAID/ANE Workshop on “Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security,” September 30-October 4, 2002. More generally, these ideas have evolved over three decades as a scholar-practitioner, with special interests in East and Southeast Asia. This experience has highlighted the importance of an historical perspective for understanding long-term patterns of economic development and how agriculture’s role changes quite radically by the time a country emerges into postindustrial modernity. This changing role has immediate implications for income distribution, the pace of poverty reduction, expansion of agricultural trade, and the political economy of rural-urban relations. “Agriculture and Pro-Poor Growth” attempts to pull together the lessons learned from research that addresses these issues.

Author Timmer, P.
Publisher USAID
Number of Pages 46 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Agriculture And Rural Livelihoods
Related Resources
Agricultural Diversification for the Poor - guidelines for the practitioners Paper 2004

view page
This resource appears in: Livelihood promotion

This study treats diversification as a differentiated form of agricultural development and recognizes its role to spur sustainable growth in the rural sector. The principle purpose of this study is to outline practical ways for implementing diversification activities.

After briefly outlining the changes in the external environment that influence the process of diversification and reviewing background literature on the rationale and process of diversification, a six-point structure for describing key operational guidelines for practitioners is established: 1) feasibility, 2) policy, 3) infrastructure and markets, 4) research, extension, and training 5) private sector and supply chains, and 6) natural resources.

Drawing from past diversification initiatives especially in the Bank, lessons and functional guidance for future initiatives are described. These typically relate to a multicomponent approach involving specific investment areas (for example, irrigation, infrastructure, and research systems) that are discussed within the six-point structure. Throughout the paper, emphasis is particularly on how the diversification process can be made pro-poor with minimum risk involved. The paper closes with a list of key investment areas to assist diversification.

Author S. Barghouti; S. Kane; S.Sorby; M. Ali.
Publisher The World Bank
Number of Pages 52 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Agricultural Development, Diversification, Sustainability
Related Resources
A framework for analyzing livelihood intervention choices Book Chapter 2004

view page
This resource appears in: Livelihood promotion

While making livelihood interventions, professionals and practitioners involved in designing and formulating them, are continuously engaged in making choices. These choices include decisions on the objectives they wish to achieve, the communities, groups or individuals they seek to help, the sector they work in, the scale of impact they desire, how to organize the livelihood activity and so on. This module is the third from the book “A Resource Book for Livelihood Promotion”. It proposes a framework which helps professionals to think analytically and systematically about those choices and to help design a livelihood strategy.

The module defines the elements of a livelihood intervention: objective, nature, and design of the activity. These elements are influenced by the context in which the activity will be developed. The module examines two perspectives that affect the intervention: the internal context, including the features of the target group, and the intervening agency, and the external context, including resources, demand, and industry and institutional conditions.

Readers discover how to frame the objectives of the intervention e.g. enhancing income, creating assets, increasing food security. They also learn how to analyze the nature of the intervention throughout the sector, and specific activities to participate in, as well as an intervention strategy. Finally, readers are shown how to design a livelihood activity, taking into account factors such as the prime actor, e.g. self-employed entrepreneurs or entrepreneurs who generate employment for others, plus issues of ownership, management, size and funding.

The key teaching of this module is that, whatever the constraints, an organisation can chart the path it will walk in promoting or supporting livelihoods. This module is not a planning or evaluation tool, but can be used as an example to encourage professionals and practitioners to be more conscious and thoughtful about the choices they make.

Author Datta, S.; Mahajan, V.; Thakur, G.
Publisher BASIX India and New Economics Foundation
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Livelihoods, Development Intervention
Related Resources
Support for Microenterprise as Asset-Building: Concepts, Good Practices, and Measurement Paper 2004 English (en)

view page
This resource appears in: Livelihood promotion

This paper proposes that building assets—be they human, financial, or social—plays a fundamental role on the development of microenterprise, that is, very small businesses owned by people of modest means. This new view expands beyond the current focus on training and loans to include savings services and networks of social capital. This is useful because most new ventures depend more on savings than on loans and because social networks are key—if invisible—business assets that people of modest means often lack. The outputs of microenterprise-support programs and the intermediate and final outcomes of self-employment can also be seen (and measured) in terms of asset building.

The first section considers the definition of a microenterprise and why the asset-building perspective is useful. The next section describes concepts and “good practices” in microenterprise-support programs as seen through the lens of asset-building. The following section describes the benefits of microenterprise development, again in terms of assets. The final section outlines an asset-based framework for measuring progress and performance.

Document  -  English (en)

Author Schreiner, M
Publisher Centre for Social Development, Washington University in Saint Louis
Number of Pages 39 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Assets, Savings, Microenterprise, Support Program
Related Resources
An Introduction to Livelihood Promotion Book Chapter 2004

view page
This resource appears in: Livelihood promotion

Traditionally the solution to the problems of poverty was conceived as an increase in income levels through the generation of employment. However this vision has changed in the last two decades. This publication shows how it is possible to promote livelihoods as a means for poverty reduction. A livelihood is a set of economic activities that involve self-employment and/or wage-employment. A livelihood is not only for generating income, it also encompasses empowerment and the dignity of people’s lives. Therefore, according to the authors, livelihood promotion is not only based on the principles of economic growth, but also on equity and human rights.

This module is the introductory section of “A Resource Book for Livelihood Promotion”. This publication is very useful for anyone interested in livelihood promotion, you could be an NGO or a MFI practitioner, a policy maker, an adviser, or a professional from any governmental agency. This module is especially informative for those interested in formulating and developing livelihood interventions. It provides a brief and modest, but useful, conceptual framework of livelihood interventions based on one country’s experience. It also permits the readers to consider some of the options of scaling up, or of building on a self-reliant local economy.

Emerging from the Indian experience of promoting livelihoods, this module shows a list of examples of livelihoods interventions, ranging from a government irrigation program, through integrated rural development programs, employment and self-employment promotion programs, to various microfinance interventions. The module also presents an overview of livelihood promotion strategies in India, from the first methods of human and institutional development, through integrated sectoral strategies (such as the Green Revolution), strategies focused on the vulnerable segments of the population, minimalist credit, and the contingency approach to livelihood promotion.

The module also defines how these interventions can be applied by four different approaches: the spatial, the segmental, the sectoral, and the holistic. It also provides useful guidelines for a better understanding of household dynamics, as well as the kind of strategies and actions necessary to improve livelihoods at the household level. Finally, there is a brief description of livelihood promotion organisations such as MFIs, NGOs, governmental agencies, etc. Their roles in livelihood promotion and the authors' emphasis of networking among them are also explained.

Author Datta, S.; Mahajan, V.; Thakur, G.: (Eds)
Publisher BASIX; New Economics Foundation; Ford Foundation
Number of Pages 39 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Livelihood Promotion, Poverty, Policy-Making
Related Resources
Synergies through Linkages: Who Benefits from Linking Finance and Business Development Services? Paper 2004

view page
This resource appears in: Livelihood promotion

Access to financial and business development services (BDS) is essential for the growth and development of micro and small enterprises (MSEs). Over the past decade, these two types of services have most often been provided separately. This paper explores the synergies derived from linking them.

The central hypothesis is that MSEs in developing countries can benefit from linking finance and BDS. It is recognised, however, that this will only happen if the providers of finance and BDS also benefit from the linkage. The paper considers, therefore, the costs and benefits of linking for three main groups of actors:

  • micro and small enterprises
  • financial service providers
  • business development service providers

The paper reviews over 25 examples of linked provision and distils the main costs and benefits for the actors involved. It finds that there can be major benefits, especially for those MSEs that gain access to additional services that are essential for their growth.

In addition, a six-part typology of linked service provision is proposed, based on whether the linkage is voluntary or compulsory for the client and whether delivery is provided through one unified department of an organisation, through parallel departments, or through separate partner organisations. The six resulting linkage types are (i) Unified-Compulsory, (ii) Unified-Voluntary, (iii) Parallel-Compulsory, (iv) Parallel-Voluntary, (v) Partner-Compulsory, and (vi) Partner-Voluntary. Each of these types has implications for the groups of actors involved.

The paper suggests that there is no one best type of linked service delivery, but that the circumstances of local providers and their markets will determine which approach is appropriate. It suggests, however, that voluntary provision is preferable to compulsory approaches, that the ‘unified’ or single department approach should be used sparingly, and that smaller microfinance institutions should attempt to partner instead of adding a parallel department.

This paper should be of value to practitioners and policymakers. It seeks to stimulate a new discussion on MSE growth and employment creation through linked service delivery.

Author Sievers, M and Vandberg, P
Publisher International Labour Organization
Number of Pages 44 pp.
Volume / Issue# No. 64
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Enterprise, Financial Linkages, Business Development
Related Resources
Livelihood Diversification and Natural Resource Access Paper 2004

view page
This resource appears in: Livelihood promotion

This paper provides a synopsis of the livelihoods approach, summarises ideas and recent evidence concerning livelihood diversification, links diversification to natural resource access considerations, considers policy environments pertinent to both diversification and natural resource access, and proposes policy areas that could form the basis of action oriented research initiatives in this area.

The paper takes the view, supported by a considerable literature and much empirical evidence, that livelihood diversification is generally a good thing for rural poverty reduction. It helps to lessen the vulnerability of the poor to food insecurity and livelihood collapse; it can provide the basis for building assets that permit individuals and households to construct their own exit routes out of poverty; and it can improve the quality and sustainability of natural resources that constitute key assets in rural livelihoods.

These effects occur because diversification widens people’s options, reduces reliance on particular natural resources, encourages spatially diverse transactions, increases cash in circulation in rural areas, and enhances human capital by providing those who diversify with new skills and experiences. These beneficial effects of diversification depend upon social attributes of mobility, flexibility, and adaptability, as well as on the ease of engaging in spatially diverse transactions. These attributes are often inhibited by local level policy environments, as well as by poor local governance, which as often as not are characterised by fees, fines, permits, bribes, licenses, roadblocks and other petty barriers to exchange and mobility. The poor find it more difficult to negotiate such barriers than the better off.

The paper proposes five policy topics that could provide the basis for policy oriented research linking livelihood diversification to natural resource access. Gender is a cross-cutting theme that should be central to all the policy topics. These are:

  • land tenure reform
  • rural taxation and business licensing (linked to decentralization)
  • migration and remittances
  • diversification & CBNRMs
  • integration of cross-sectoral thinking in PRSPs

While livelihood diversification is an established fact of rural people’s struggle to improve their lives, and an accumulating body of evidence points to the benefits of this process for both people and sustainable natural resources, poverty reduction policies lag far behind these insights. In particular, a considerable unwillingness to move away from orthodox sectoral thinking is manifested in PRSPs, and in the government expenditure plans that they contain, and almost no thought is given to constructing the elusive “enabling environments” that would make it easier for people to exercise their own initiatives in the quest to move out of poverty.

Author Ellis, F.; Allison, E.
Publisher Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Number of Pages 50 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Livelihoods Strategies, Development Intervention, Diversification
Related Resources
If I were to conduct a village study ... Guideline 2004

view page
This resource appears in: Livelihood promotion

This is an unusual guideline but it is brilliant and should be required reading for any who presume to be involved in development and who go information-gathering in villages. It may not read like a typical guideline or checklist, being written as though Deep Joshi were just musing aloud to himself, but if we all behaved like this and thought like this when "doing an appraisal", participatory or otherwise, the quality of our insight into the lives of those we try to help would improve dramatically.

Here is a taste: "I know I would travel around the village ... walk, walk, and walk. I would listen and talk to people, as they are, where they are. I would keep my eyes open to see; I would keep my mind open and alert so that I observe what I see; I would turn in my mind what I have observed so that I reflect upon what I observed. I would discuss with my colleagues, others around me ... And in the end, if I have uncovered my own ignorance, may be it has been a worthwhile exercise..." Read it!

Taken from "A Resource Book for Livelihood Promotion" by S. Datta, V.Mahajan and G.Thakur.

Rural Finance and Microfinance Development in Transition Countries in Southeast and East Asia Paper 2003

view page
This resource appears in: Livelihood promotion

Microfinance is an emerging important financial sub-sector in Asian transition countries. Its role is to improve financial access of the poor and small economic players and thus help them to build assets, thereby contribute to poverty alleviation. This paper provides an overview of rural finance and microfinance development in transition countries in Southeast and East Asia—Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Mongolia—, focusing on the institutional evolution and the inter-relation between policies and institutions. We find diverse potentials that formal and semi-formal financial institution—agricultural banks, microfinance banks, microfinance NGOs, financial cooperatives and other indigenous financial systems—have to reach out to the rural poor of respective nations. Any monolithic view that expects a single type of microfinance institutions to dominate the rural financial markets is to be denied. To develop effective rural financial systems, some policy implications are drawn, such as reforms of agricultural banks, adoption of market-based policy framework, development of retail capacities of microfinance institutions, progressive establishment of legal and regulatory framework for microfinance, improvement in governance of indigenous financial systems, and the importance of savings mobilization.

This paper was prepared for the International Workshop on Rural Finance and Credit Infrastructure in China, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Paris, France, October 13-14, 2003.

Author Ryu Fukui and Gilberto Llanto
Publisher Philippine Institute for Development Studies
Makati City, Philippines
Number of Pages 15 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Rural Finance, Agricultural Microfinance, Policy Framework
Related Resources
Agriculture and micro enterprise in Malawi's rural south Paper 2002 English (en)

view page
This resource appears in: Livelihood promotion

This paper reviews and interprets changes in rural livelihoods in southern Malawi following market liberalisation. It argues that, by reducing household maize production, market liberalisation has increased the need for resource-poor smallholders to develop market strategies that provide them with income security. Whereas previous scenarios for poverty elimination in Malawi were based either on green revolution technology or burley tobacco, the emerging scenario in the rural south is one where smallholders seek market niches that do not threaten household food supply. The potential of this market-based scenario for poverty elimination requires a greater understanding of the links between agriculture and micro enterprise, two livelihood strategies that usually receive separate treatment in the development literature.

Research findings

  • The 1990s witnessed a growth in area planted to crops that are highly marketable but do not reduce household maize production. Evidence from national surveys suggests there was a surge in micro-enterprise activity during the 1990s, but that most enterprises were short-lived and did not develop into stable or growth businesses
  • Although we lack firm evidence from national income expenditure surveys, evidence from micro studies suggests that the net effect of market liberalisation on household income has been positive.
  • Specialisation in high-value cash crops and micro enterprise is limited by the need to secure household food supply. This reflects market failure since rural households lack confidence in the market to provide them with maize when and where they need it and at a price they can afford.
  • Rather than specialise and maximise income, households are optimising income by diversifying their livelihood strategies, in particular by combining minor cash crops with micro enterprise, in order to increase their income security.

Policy implications

  • The Green Revolution and Burley Tobacco scenarios for poverty alleviation overlook regional dimensions of poverty. We argue that a more relevant scenario for the rural south is a Market Niche scenario that links smallholders with markets for micro enterprise and minor cash crops, promotes a competitive food processing industry, and focuses on production of agricultural tradeables.
  • Government’s approach to the problem of market failure is to insulate households by increasing own-maize production through welfare measures such as Starter Packs. More emphasis is needed on tackling market failure directly through measures that increase entitlements to buy maize, and the availability of maize by improving the efficiency of domestic and regional markets.
    • (Author's Abstract)
Document  -  English (en)

Author Orr, A.; Orr, S.
Publisher Overseas Development Institute
Number of Pages 20 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global, Africa
Malawi
Keywords Livelihood Strategies, Microenterprise, Market Niches
Related Resources
The Positive Path – Using Appreciative Inquiry in Rural Indian Communities Document 2001

view page
This resource appears in: Livelihood promotion

Appreciative inquiry is explained here as a strategy for purposeful change that identifies the best of “what is” to pursue dreams and possibilities of “what could be.” The methodology is based on 4 stages that form a continuous cycle – Discovery, Dream, Design Delivery. By using questions to discover the strengths and successes that exist in every individual and community, a sense of hope is generated through which people begin to anticipate a better future. Further, it is argued, they have a better understanding of the relevance of new initiatives to their long-term goals. Buoyed by the confidence of their past successes, and inspired by a vision of a better future, people are able to take up the many challenges that they face in their day-to-day lives.

This field guide was produced to share the results of previous projects and to assist other organisations in the use of appreciative inquiry. The experiences upon which this approach is based are with small groups that participated in exercises that took between two and five days to complete. The guide itself is divided into three sections:

  • Section 1 – presents a summary of the project including its objectives, strategy, participants and outputs.
  • Section 2 – presents the rationale for an appreciative approach, a step-by-step outline of the four stages of appreciative inquiry, including the exercises that were found to be particularly useful, and illustrations of their results. In addition, possible applications and limitations of appreciative inquiry are explored as well as its relations to “participatory rural appraisal” (PRA).
  • Section 3 – provides a summary of the theory behind appreciative inquiry and a selection of resources the reader may find useful.

A link is also attached below, which directs you to a selection of MYRADA’s films that can be viewed online or downloaded. These include a video on appreciative inquiry.

Author Ashford, G and Patkar, S
Publisher IISD, MYRADA, DFID
Number of Pages 50 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Appreciative Inquiry, Participatory Rural Appraisal, Livelihoods
Related Resources
Livelihoods Connect Website English (en)

view page
This resource appears in: Livelihood promotion
eldis  -  English (en)

Community-based tree and forest enterprises Website English (en)

view page
This resource appears in: Livelihood promotion

Community-based tree and forest product enterprises are designed with the help of participatory methodologies such as Market Analysis and Development (MA&D) and operate within the framework of participatory forestry mechanisms that enable those people who have a direct stake in forest resources, to be part of decision-making in all aspects of forest management.

MA&D aims at identifying and encouraging micro and small-scale tree and forest product enterprises in order to strengthen peoples' livelihood strategies in rural communities, while at the same time ensuring sustainable use of natural resources. The MA&D process is based on one preliminary planning phase and three successive main phases:

  1. Identifying potential enterprises; making inventories of existing resources and products; identifying products that are already providing income for local people; and, eliminating non-viable products. Financial objectives are determined by the people who are interested in developing enterprises.
  2. Selecting the most promising products, identifying potential markets and discussing the means to commercialise the products.
  3. Preparing the enterprise strategy and business plans. Future entrepreneurs are guided through a pilot phase and training, learning to monitor their progress and to adapt when change is needed.

This website provide links to the MA&D materials which are all downloadable. These are:

  • Users' guide to the field manual
  • Introduction: Defining where you want to end up
  • Phase 1: Assess the existing situation
  • Phase 2: Identify products, markets and means of marketing
  • Phase 3: Plan enterprises for sustainable development
  • Case Study: Designing tree, forest and home garden product enterprises for sustainable development
  • Map of process
Community-based tree and forest enterprises  -  English (en)

Publisher Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Forest Enterprises
Related Resources
Keysheets for Sustainable Livelihoods Website English (en)

view page
This resource appears in: Livelihood promotion
Keysheets  -  English (en)

Search Library Resources