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Sustainable Livelihood approach for assessing community


... for Climate Change Adaptation in North and East African' ... Encroachment by other tribes into the project area. Pressures on rangelands by intruding nomads ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Sustainable Livelihood approach for assessing community

Sustainable Livelihood approach for assessing
communitys resilience to climate variability and
change /A case study from Sudan
Second International Conference on Climate
Impacts Assessment (SICCIA) June 28-July 2,
2004 Grainau, Germany
  • By
  • Dr.Balgis Osman Elasha
  • PI AIACC-AF 14 Project
  • The Higher Council for Environment Natural
  • (HCENR) Sudan Stockholm Environment Institute
  • Boston Center (SEI_B)

  • Why SL?
  • Sustainable livelihood (SL)
  • conceptual framework
  • Basic definitions
  • SL assessment
  • Connection to adaptation
  • SL and Environmental management measures
  • An example from Sudan case studies conducted by
    AIACC AF14 project.

Why talk about Sustainable Livelihoods?
  • Urgent adaptation needs of most vulnerable groups
  • Existence of local coping strategies
  • Hard-won lessons from other (non-climate)
    disciplines (e.g. disaster mitigation, natural
    resource management)
  • No-regrets options
  • Lack of connection between community needs and
    the policy process

Basic Definitions
1.Livelihoods are the ways people make a living,
including how they distribute their productive
resources and the types of activities in which
they are engaged
  • 2. Sustainable Livelihood
  • The Brundtland Commission in 1987Intrdoduced SL
    in terms of resources ownership, access to basic
    needs and livelihood security
  • The IISD SL concerned with people's capacities
    to generate maintain their means of living,
    enhance their well- being, and that of future
  • The definition used by the UK's (DFID) A
    livelihood comprises the capabilities, assets
    activities required for a means of living .

Basic definitions (Cont.)
  • Resilience The capacity of a population to
    adapt to environmental change such as extreme
    climatic events and climate variability.
  • Adaptation is the ability to respond and adjust
    to actual or potential impacts of changing
    climate conditions in ways that moderates harm or
    takes advantage of positive opportunities
  • Coping Strategies The short-term responses to
    periodic stress, such as the use of famine foods
    in drought.
  • Adaptive Strategies Strategies that require
    people to reorganize their livelihood systems in
    response to long-term changes and challenges.
  • Security The state of a community that can
    provide safeguards for itself against social,
    economic and environmental change

Livelihood assessment
  • Livelihood assessment is a way of looking at how
    an individual, a household or a community behaves
    under specific frame conditions.
  • How to understand livelihood systems?
  • Through analysis of the impacts of coping and
    adaptive strategies pursued by individuals and
    communities as a response to external shocks and
    stresses such as drought, civil strife and policy

Connection to Adaptation-How?
  • The SL approach helps researchers to
  • Focus on most vulnerable people
  • Assess their vulnerabilities and strengths
  • Tap existing knowledge ongoing efforts to
    determine what works
  • Enable community-driven strategies and actions
    ensure buy-in and longevity
  • Ultimately fortify against future
    climate-related shocks

What types of measures are we considering?
  • SL/Environmental Management Measures (SL/EM)
    like rangelands management, micro-catchments
    restoration, soil management, etc., each of which
    involves an array of specific measures (e.g.,
    water harvesting, intercropping, livestock
    diversification, windbreak construction,

Sudans Project
  • Sudan AIACC Project Environmental Strategies for
    Increasing Human Resilience in Sudan Lessons for
    Climate Change Adaptation in North and East
  • Goal
  • to prove that certain SL/EM measures increase the
    resilience of communities to climate related
  • establish that these measures are effective and
    should be considered as climate change adaptation
    options that could be included in the planning of
    national adaptation strategies.
  • to explore what enables them to be effective
    i.e., what factors (participatory implementation,
    local governance, macro-economic policies, etc.)
    made it possible for the measures to be

  • Case Studies were employed to explore example
    where local knowledge (e.g. traditional,
    indigenous autonomous and informal) and/ or
    external knowledge (formal, technical, directed)
    has been applied within a target community in the
    form of SL/NRM strategy to enable the community
    to cope with or adapt to climaterelated stress.
    Each Case study will also provide an assessment
    of the local and national policies and conditions
    that support or inhibit the measures

Sources of information
  • community groups,
  • local, regional and international NGOs
  • government agencies
  • university departments and
  • bilateral and multilateral development agencies,

Pilot Case study
  • Pilot case study
  • To demonstrate the use of sustainable livelihood
    framework for measuring the adaptive capacity of
    local communities to climate change impacts the
    following pilot case study was being conducted
    under the umbrella of Sudan - AIACC AF14 project
  • Community-Based Rangeland Rehabilitation for
    Carbon Sequestration and Biodiversity.

  • Twofold
  • a) to sequester carbon through the implementation
    of a sustainable, local-level natural resources
    management system that prevents degradation,
    rehabilitates or improves rangelands and
  • b) to reduce the risks of production failure in
    a drought-prone area by providing alternatives
    for sustainable production, so that out-migration
    will decrease and population will stabilize

Pilot CS Cont.
  • Context Villages in the drought-prone area of
    Western Sudan
  • Approach Community-Based Rangeland
  • Key Actors Villages within Gireigikh rural
    council, pilot project
  • Funding UNDP/GEF

What happened?
  • A group of villages undertook a package of SL
    measures, designed to regenerate and conserve the
    degraded rangelands upon which their community
  • Community Organization
  • Alternative Livestock and Livestock Management
  • Rural Energy Management
  • Replanting
  • Stabilization of sand dunes
  • Creation of windbreaks
  • Micro-lending for supplemental
  • income generation

What are the outcome of the pilot project
(results from evaluation report)
  • Community institutional structure created
  • land-use master plans
  • oversight and mobilization structures
  • Rangeland rehabilitation measures implemented
  • 5 km of sand dunes re-vegetated
  • 195 km of windbreaks sheltering 130 farms
  • Approximately 700 ha improved
  • Livestock restocking
  • Community development underway
  • 2 revolving funds
  • 5 pastoral womens groups focused on livestock
    value-adding activities
  • 5 new irrigated gardens and wells
  • Grain storage and seed credit program

Primary Assessment tool
  • The primary tool employed in this assessment is
    the sustainable livelihood impact assessment
    methods for assessing project impacts on target
  • Objective To measure the impact of the project
    intervention on the community coping/adaptive
    capacity through the employment of a range of
    data collection methods, a combination of
    quantitative and qualitative indicators.
  • Communitys coping and adaptive capacities in the
    face of climatic variability and extremes is used
    as proxy for its level of coping and adaptive
    capacity for future climate change


Methods used
  • Use of DFID SL model and notion of the five
    capitals (natural, physical, human, social and
  • Within the SL framework the project employed the
    Livelihood Assets Tracking (LAST) system to
    measure changes in coping and adaptive capacity.
  • Use of word pictures by household to assess
    their own vulnerability ,coping and adaptive
    capacity to a climate-related impact.
  • Consultation with communities to develop
    indicators of community resilience and construct
    word pictures.
  • Use of stratified sampling methods to ensure
    representation of a range of individuals and
    household circumstances

Sustainable livelihoods capital assets
  • Natural capital
  • Financial capital
  • Physical capital
  • Human capital
  • Social capital

Word pictures
  • are descriptions of HH circumstances developed in
    a participatory manner with the community in
  • -Best case
  • worse case snapshot.

Development of indicators
  • Two types of indicators were identified
  • 1- Short-term indicators include
  • - economic - e.g., crop productivity, livestock
    productivity, local grain reserves
  • - ecological - e.g., biomass, soil water
    balance and
  • Social - e.g., household wealth and dislocation.
  • 2- Longer-term resilience indicators which are
    more qualitative, aimed at capturing intangibles
    such as the level of economic, ecological and
    social stability within a system or community

Preliminary list of generic indicators includes
  • Land degradation (slowed or reversed)
  • Condition of the vegetation cover (stabilized or
  • Soil and/or crop productivity (stabilized or
  • Water supply (stabilized or increased)
  • Average income levels (stabilized or increased)
  • Food stores (stabilized or increased)
  • Out-migration (slowed, stabilized, or reversed)

Outline of qualitative quantitative indicators
for the SL
Natural Assets Rangeland productivity Rangeland carrying capacity Plant species composition Water sources, quality and use Access to Natural resources by marginal community groups ( women, minority tribes, poor)
Productivity of Natural Assets
  • Average production per unit area of rangeland
  • No. of animals per unit area of rangeland Yield
    from main crops
  • Production of vegetables and fruits from women

Physical assets
  • Management of water wells Maintenance of water
  • Grain stores (capacity and accessibility)
  • Grain mills (capacity and accessibility)
  • Energy conservation techniques (improved stoves)
  • Effectiveness of management systems applied to
    pasture, water, livestock etcAvailability of
    spare parts

Financial Assets
  • Income generating activities
  • Income levels and stability
  • Revolving funds /amount of credit granted to
  • Savings
  • Accessibility of vulnerable groups to credit
    (women, poor and Kawahla

Human (household) Assets
  • Ownership of assets
  • Skilled labors
  • Housing type
  • Access of marginal groups to education, training
    and extension services

Social Assets indicators
  • Organizational set-up (local village committees)
  • Role of village committees in the decision making
  • Membership to organizations Sharing of

Access to services
  • Extension
  • Health
  • Education
  • Training
  • Veterinary services

Policies and Institutions
  • Government institutions and polices in relation
  • Taxes
  • Market prices
  • Incentives
  • Land tenure
  • Local level institutions
  • NGOs

  • Changing government policies
  • Out-migration by skilled people
  • Encroachment by other tribes into the project
  • Pressures on rangelands by intruding nomads

Development of criteria and indicators around the
capital assets
Collecting data with WPs
  • Approach to survey/interviews
  • Use household circumstances during signal event
    as basis of comparison compare with
    circumstances during recent or hypothetical event
  • Use assessment sheets (one for each capital) as
    basis of interview questions. For example
  • During the signal event (e.g., 1984 drought),
    what level of food stores did you have (in
    months)? Were they sufficient? If not, how
    great was the deficit (in months)?
  • During the recent drought (post-SL activity) ,
    what level of food stores did you have (in
    months)? Were they sufficient? If not, how
    great was the deficit (in months)?
  • On assessment sheet, record number associated
    with interviewee responses to questions
  • From these responses, assemble word pictures for
    each interview

Resulting Word Pictures
A word picture of households access to natural
resources (natural capital)
Pre-SL Activity Post-SL Activity
Little or no land one or two month's food available from own land quality of land is poor, having red soil with low fertility land is located on a slope in such a position that rain water washes away the seed sown and the top soil and hence reduces its fertility use of traditional seeds some have given away land as collateral no source of irrigation no land for growing fodder for livestock owns one or two livestock no milk produced low access to forest produce More of black fertile soil more land grows one's own fodder on one's own land fertile land with more moisture retention power more produce from land grows and sells cash crops grows vegetables grows high yielding variety seeds lends seeds to others irrigation facilities available round the year land is near the forest access to forest produce some have government permit to grow opium has many fruit trees availability of home grown food throughout the year many livestock, high returns from livestock
Adapted from Bond and Mukherjee (2002)
Preparation of a livelihood assets status
Natural Capital
Best case Moderate Worst case Indicators Criteria
Excellent gt90 rehabilitated 90 Degraded ) Area of improved/ rehabilitated rangelands Productivity Rangelands productivity
gt20 AU/ha/year 15 to 20 AU/ha/year 10 to 15 AU/ha/year 5-10 AU/ha/year AU/ha/year Carrying capacity

Productivity Natural capital
Sample of the results in graph form
Financial Capital
Human Capital
Physical Capital
Social Capital
Sustainability Natural Capital

Financial Capital
Human Capital
Physical Capital
Social Capital
  • Chances of marginalized groups (women, poor,
    kawahla tribe) increased significantly
    particularly with regard to
  • access to grazing land
  • access to credit
  • access to social services
  • access to training
  • participation in decision-making

Overall change in the resilience of the five
Policies and institutions
  • The micro-policies in the project area were
    influenced by the following bodies
  • (a) Committees- Sustainability of activities
  • (b) NGOs (SECS CARE International)-Awareness
  • (C) Traditional leaders The Traditional
    administration played major role in natural
    resources management for very long period in
    different parts of Sudan particularly in
    traditional areas (Social security , Nafir etc..)

  • Tapping the SL Approach What can it do for
  • Using this as a tool in adaptation assessment can
    help to
  • Enable national planning processes to effectively
    consider the most vulnerable groups articulate
    unique local vulnerabilities
  • Identify locally-relevant resilience-building
  • Build understanding of micro- and macro-level
    enabling conditions for adaptation
  • Build local adaptation awareness and engage local
    NGOs (potential adaptation project implementers

Thanks for your patience