Introduction (Special Supplement 3)
||Action Against Hunger
|| Action Contre la Faim
|| Arid Lands Development Focus
|| Association pour la Revitalisation de l'Elevage au Niger
|| Agriculture Research and Extension, of the Zimbabwean Government's Ministry of Agriculture
||Bureau of Populations, Refugees and Migration
|| Community Animal Health Worker
|| Cash for work
||Catholic Relief Services
|| Community Technology Development Trust
||Department for International Development
||Democratic Republic of Congo
||Damot Weyde Livelihoods Programme
|| Emergency Nutrition Network
||Food Aid Convention
||Food and Agricultural Organisation
|| Famine Early Warning System
||Food for recovery
|| Food For work
|| Global Food Aid Compact
|| Government of Kenya
|| Government of Sudan
|| Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (German society for technical cooperation)
|| Help Age International
|| Home based care
|| Household Economy Approach
|| Human Immuno-Deficiency Virus/Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome
||Humanitarian Practice Group
|| International Commission of the Red Cross
||International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics
||Instituto de Desarrollo Empresarial Bonaerense
|| Internally displaced people
|| Institute of Development Studies
||International Federation of the Red Cross
|| Income generating activities
||International Humanitarian Law
||International Labour Organisation
||International Relief Committee
|| Intermediate Technology Development Group
|| Justice and Equality Movement
|| Kenya Food Security Steering Group
|| Least-developed countries
||Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
||Mother and Child Health
|| Microfinance Institution
||Ministry of Health
|| Metric tonne
||National Emergency Employment Programme
|| Non food item NGO Non-governmental organisation
|| Norwegian People's Aid
|| Overseas Development Institute
||Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development/ Development Assistance Committee
|| Oxfam Great Britain
||Post distribution monitoring
|| Participatory Rural Appraisal
||Pastoral Steering Committee
||Productive Safety Net Programme
|| Rapid Rural Appraisal
|| Red Sea State
|| Save the Children-UK
||Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
||Sudan Liberation Movement
||Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad
|| United Nations
|| United Nations Development Programme
|| United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
||United Nations Children's Fund
|| United Nations Relief and Works Agency
|| United States
|| US Agency for International Development
|| Vulnerability Assessment Committee
|| Village Relief Committee
||Village Relief and Rehabilitation Committee
||World Food Programme
|| World Health Organisation
|| Wajir Pastoral Development programme
|| World Trade Organisation
||World Vision International
Post tsunami CFW beneficiaries in Matara, Sri Lanka
Without the help and support of a number of individuals, it would not have been possible to write this supplement. In Oxfam, I would like to thank, in particular, Chris Leather, Lili Mohiddin and Ann Witteveen who always provided timely and useful comments. Thanks also to Nick Roseveare for allowing me to write this as a consultant, when this had been in my work plan for at least two years as an Oxfam staff member. Many thanks also to the three reviewers, Helen Young, Paul Harvey and Hannah Mattinen, whose suggested changes and additions considerably strengthened the document. Thanks to all who contributed pictures to the supplement. Finally, thanks to Jeremy Shoham and Marie McGrath from the ENN for their editing.
Introduction and Scope
Palm oil for sale at an IDP market, Bunia, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo
This supplement aims to collate and analyse recent experiences of livelihoods programming in emergencies. The document provides guidance on livelihoods programming, includes practical examples from the field and summarises recent thinking. It provides an overview of what livelihoods programming is and examples of the range of interventions that are possible in emergencies. Different types of livelihoods programmes are then described in more detail with an analysis of when these programmes are appropriate. Information from existing guidelines as well as case studies provides guidance on how to carry out the different interventions.
Although the focus of the supplement is emergency livelihoods programming, the supplement also draws upon developmental approaches to livelihoods work.
Livelihoods can be defined as follows:
"A livelihood comprises the capabilities, assets and activities required for a means of living. A livelihood is sustainable when it can cope with and recover from shocks, maintain itself over time, and provide the same or better opportunities for all, now and in the future" (Oxfam GB).
In emergencies, livelihoods programmes are generally aimed at livelihood protection, for example, assisting people in maintaining or recovering their assets and supporting their livelihoods strategies. Many emergency interventions can both save lives and support livelihoods at the same time, for example, emergency cash transfers provides support both to meet immediate needs (save lives) and help people maintain or recover their assets (support livelihoods).
The main focus of livelihood support programming in emergencies has been food security. Food security is one outcome of sustainable livelihoods. The interventions described in this supplement have been grouped around the Sphere minimum standards for disaster response in food security - income and employment support, market access, and production support. Food aid is covered in a separate chapter. Specific Sphere standards and indicators are referred to in the relevant sections.
In writing this supplement, it has not always been easy to maintain the distinctions between income, market and production support. All commodity distributions are, essentially, a form of income support, as they release income that would otherwise be spent on the distributed commodities. Income support, or cash transfers, can be used to purchase seeds or livestock and are therefore also production support. Cash transfers are also a form of market support as they create demand and therefore stimulate markets. Vouchers can provide income, market and production support, as agreements are made with traders to bring in the required commodities and they are often used to provide seeds. All livelihoods interventions require a market analysis. Furthermore, a livelihoods response rarely consists of a single intervention but is often a combination of different forms of income, market and production support. Finally, many of the interventions have an impact (intended or unintended) beyond food security, for example, in meeting essential nonfood needs and on broader aspects of livelihoods, such as education, health, etc.
An Oxfam community identified CFW project to build a protection wall for erosion of irrigation ditches
This supplement originates in work carried out by Oxfam1 on response to food crisis. In 2001-02, NutritionWorks2 conducted a review on responses to food crises that considered both Oxfam's work and the external environment (Jaspars et al, 2002, August). This review has helped inform important elements of the supplement. The supplement also draws upon more recent work carried out by Oxfam and others. The text draws heavily on Oxfam's guidelines for cash transfer programming in emergencies (Creti and Jaspars, Eds, 2006), its draft guidelines for emergency livestock programming (Simpkin, 2004), and an internal review of Oxfam's seeds and tools programming (Creti, 2004, August). The supplement also incorporates experience from other agencies. Action Contre le Faim (ACF), Save the Children-UK (SC-UK), Concern Worldwide (Concern WW), Practical Action-Sudan3, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), CARE-US, the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC), World Vision International (WVI), Mercy Corps, the American Red Cross, and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) were all invited to contribute materials to the supplement.
It has been difficult to locate both published and unpublished materials that document the implementation of emergency livelihoods programmes and lessons learnt. Consequently, a lot of the case study material has been written especially for this supplement. Much use has also been made of the work of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) in London, UK and Tufts University in Boston, USA.
The supplement mainly describes the experience of European agencies. This almost certainly reflects the author's contacts rather than a greater focus on livelihoods by European agencies. The ENN invites agencies that have not been able to contribute to this supplement, to contribute their experiences in future issues of Field Exchange.
The supplement begins with an overview of what livelihoods programming in emergencies is (Chapter 2). This includes a discussion of the sustainable livelihoods framework and livelihoods principles and an overview of types of interventions. This is followed by a chapter on livelihoods analysis and identifying appropriate interventions. Chapter 4 covers food aid and considers under what circumstances food aid supports or undermines livelihoods. Chapter 5 addresses income and employment support, which mainly deals with cash grants, cash for work (CFW) and micro-finance, as well as a discussion on social safety nets. Chapter 6 is on market access, and includes a discussion of market analysis, voucher programmes and a general overview of market interventions. This is followed by Chapter 7 on production support, which is limited to agriculture and livestock support and has a particular emphasis on seed fairs. Chapter 8 draws together and discusses the key issues and recurring themes in livelihoods programming in emergencies. In particular, the institutional constraints in moving away from food aid as the overwhelming emergency response and the challenges of working in chronic livelihoods crises are addressed. Chapter 9 attempts to draw together findings on progress made over the last five years or so, and highlight certain key issues and challenges for the next decade.
Case studies are used throughout the text. These provide details of programme implementation with a view to providing insights into the practicalities of these types of interventions for those agencies with limited livelihoods programming experience.
1Oxfam GB unless specified otherwise.
2NutritionWorks is a partnership of independent consultants.
3Formerly the Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG).
Taken from Field Exchange Issue 103, March 2006