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Approaches to Sustainable Livelihoods for the Rural Poor

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Carney, Diana
Date: 1999
Agency: Overseas Development Institute, London
Series: ODI Poverty Briefing 2
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/3863
Sector: General & Multiple Resources
Region:
Subject(s): rural development--developing countries
poverty--theory
Abstract: "So-called 'livelihoods approaches' work with people, supporting them to build upon their own strengths and realise their potential, while at the same time acknowledging the effects of policies and institutions, external shocks and trends. The aim is to do away with pre-conceptions about what exactly rural people are seeking and how they are most likely to achieve their goals, and to develop an accurate and dynamic picture of them in their environment. This provides the basis for identifying the constraints to livelihood development and poverty reduction. Such constraints can lie at local level or in the broader economic and policy environment. They may relate to the agricultural sector - long the focus of donor activity in rural areas - or they may be more to do with social conditions, health, education or rural infrastructure. "In their recognition of the complexity of rural life, the new approaches open up a fresh agenda for external support. Whether or not this support can be accurately targeted to reduce poverty depends upon a number of factors, not least the flexibility of development agencies and their partners. These organisations usually operate and allocate resources along sectoral lines; the new approaches stress the need to cross these lines and to be more flexible about the way in which money is spent."

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