Browse by Theme: Livelihoods

This briefing paper highlights key findings from in- depth research on DFID funded Nijera Botlagari Good Governance Initiative in Boltgari Union, North West Bangladesh implemented by Care Bangladesh and Ramnathpur Bahumukhi Nabayan Sangha (RBNS). The initiative facilitates social, economic and political empowerment processes with extremely poor women and men building their capacity to raise their voice and hold the Union Parishad council accountable for protecting and enhancing their rights.

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Coastal communities in Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu in southeastern India suffered lasting effects in the wake of the 2004 tsunami, when more than 2,800 hectares of land were rendered unproductive and more than 6,000 traditional fishing boats were destroyed. The ramifications of the tsunami’s destruction were particularly devastating for women in coastal areas engaged in backwater fishing. Women from scheduled caste fishing communities faced a strong gender bias before the disaster, which restricted their participation in the fishing value chain to post-catch processing. This innovation brief talks about CARE's success in using market-based interventions to develop the crab value chain in traditional fishing communities which provided new employment opportunities in the crab farming sector, increased incomes and food security, and empowered highly marginalized women.

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Through the Livestock Marketing and Enterprise Project and Livestock Purchusing Fund in Kenya CARE created a sustainable business that could act as a social enterprise and be profitable for the pastoralists long after donor project funding was finished. The enterprise also succeeeded in providing honest and fair cattle prices to the pastoralists by including them in pricing decisions and using forward contracts that would be based on a pre-agreed price per kilogram, and, in addition to the market-based interventions, a social component of encouraging gender equity and providing HIV/AIDS awareness education to the pastoralist communities.

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"Over the last 30 years agricultural production has continued to form the basis of livelihood strategies in rural Zambia.

There are wide variations, and combinations depending on ecological zone, land suitability, cropping pattern, year round water availability, and potential for livestock/poultry production.

All households engage in a range of non-agricultural natural resource use, for example: fishing, forestry and wildlife utilisation.

In addition households are involved in various alternative informal income generating activities. However, these tend to be short term, seasonal and with low rewards, e.g. petty trading, crafts, and casual labour."

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Pastoral communities in the Borana and Shinile zones of Ethiopia have been changing and adapting their livelihoods to changing environmental conditions for centuries. Recurrent droughts have been a major issue throughout history in the Ethiopian lowlands, and strategies to cope with, and adapt to these droughts are embedded in communities’ traditional social structures and resource management systems.

Despite the sense of determination, pastoralists’ ability to adapt is constrained by many factors including increasing land degradation; conflicts over scarce resources, which limit movement and destroy assets that are key for adaptation (especially in Borana); limited access to information (including that on weather, climate change, markets, as well as pest and disease outbreaks); limited education, skills and access to financial services and markets required to diversify their livelihoods; inadequate government policies, capacities and coordination; demographic pressures; and social and gender inequalities and marginalization, which reduce the voice and adaptive capacity of the most vulnerable.

Enhancing the adaptive capacity of pastoralists will require community-based and community-led interventions, but will also require tailored support from NGOs, donors, and governments and this study explores the issues and options facing all stakeholders.

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In 2006, a particularly severe drought hit the Greater Horn of Africa, plunging some 11 million people into crisis. The pastoral areas on the Ethiopia–Kenya–Somalia border were badly affected, with livestock losses of up to 70% and the mass migration of pastoralists out of drought-affected areas. This HPG Policy Brief argues that such catastrophic effects can be averted if pastoralist livelihoods are supported with timely and appropriate livelihoods-based interventions.

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This review recognises that addressing pastoralists’ political marginalisation, adopting appropriate cross-border approaches and improving donors’ policies to drought management is only part of broader efforts to address pastoralists’ vulnerability in the Horn of Africa (HoA), which may include efforts to improve access to markets, support viable economic alternatives, enable sustainable resource management to arrest or limit environmental degradation and so on. However, for the purpose of this analysis, this review is limited to the literature that discusses the above three key focus areas in relation to pastoralists’ vulnerability. In addition, this review recognises that pastoralists are a highly diversified group with widely different needs, backgrounds and levels of vulnerability. While there are pastoralists who are relatively wealthy and still able to profitably engage in pastoralism, in recent years an increasing number of pastoralist groups across the HoA have been confronted with a series of livelihoods shocks and have suffered from the progressive weakening of their livelihood systems and increased levels of vulnerability and food insecurity.

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