A framework for analyzing livelihood intervention choices

Topic :

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.

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