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Evidence and Questions about Livelihoods and Conflict Erwin Bulte Wageningen University Tilburg University DIME Workshop, Dubai June 1, 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "Evidence and Questions about Livelihoods and Conflict Erwin Bulte Wageningen University Tilburg University DIME Workshop, Dubai June 1, 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 Evidence and Questions about Livelihoods and Conflict Erwin Bulte Wageningen University Tilburg University DIME Workshop, Dubai June 1, 2010

2 Outline of Presentation  Concepts and Definitions  Livelihood and income  Sustainable Livelihood Framework  Conflict and livelihoods  Conflict and behavior  Conflict and assets  Conflict and preferences  Unanswered Questions and Implications

3 Livelihoods and income Livelihood: A livelihood comprises the assets, the activities and the access to these (mediated by institutions and social relations) that together determine the living gained by the individual or household. Income is the most direct and measurable outcome of the livelihood process Income: Income comprises both cash and in-kind contributions to the material welfare of the individual or household deriving from the set of livelihood activities in which household members are engaged.  Farm income, non-farm income, off-farm income  Rural survival strategies in poor countries characterised by highly diverse portfolio of activities (that is continuously adapted to changing circumstances)

4 Livelihood and income Diversification Rural livelihood diversification is the process by which rural households construct an increasingly diverse portfolio of activities and assets in order to survive and to improve their standard of living. Figure 1: ‘ Average ’ livelihood portfolio for a rural household in Sub-Saharan Africa (based on Reardon, 1997)

5 Sustainable livelihoods framework AssetsMediating External processesfactors Natural capital Physical capitalPoliciesTrends Livelihood Human capitalInstitutionsShocks strategies Financial capitalProcesses Social capital

6 SLF Cont’d: Assets Assets: Stocks of capital that can be utilised directly or indirectly to generate the means of survival of the household or to sustain its material well-being at different levels above survival Fundamental feature:  They exist as a stock giving rise to a flow of output (e.g. forests), or  They are brought into being as investments in future productive capacity, financed out savings (e.g. agricultural machines)

7 SLF Cont’d: assets Natural capital:  E.g., land, water and biological resources  Management matters (productivity) Physical capital:  Goods produced through economic production, used to create a flow of outputs into the future  Includes (rural) infrastructure such as roads, electricity, piped water Human capital:  The labour available to the household: Its education, skills and health  Increased by (public or private) investments in education and health Financial capital:  The stock of money to which the household has access (savings, credit)  Savings can also be held in cattle, goats, gold, jewellery, food stocks,.. Social capital:  Community and wider social claims on which households can draw by virtue of their belonging to social groups  Safety network, trust, investment, reciprocity  Social capital building processes are complex and may create ‘social exclusion’ (of poor?)

8 SLF Cont’d: assets Assets pentagon: Shows relative asset status of a particular group (as compared to the maximum level of each asset for the community in question) Figure 2: Example of an assets Pentagon

9 So…….. Human capital labour capacity no education limited skills Natural capital landless access to common property resources Financial capital low wages no access to credit Physical capital poor water supply poor housing poor communications Social capital low social status descrimination against women strong links with family & friends traditions of reciprocal exchange = an extremely reduced “livelihood pentagon” Landless female agricultural labourer Financial Capital Social Capital Physical Capital Human Capital Natural Capital

10 Policies, institutions, processes… (~ IFAD style) Policies- (levels of) government, - NGO - international bodies Institutions- political, legislative, judicial - civil society, membership - commercial enterprise, etc Processes- rules of the game - social norms, customs - gender, caste, class

11 SLF Cont’d: Shocks Mediating processes: P. I. P. are critical mediating factors for livelihoods because they can inhibit or facilitate the productive use of assets and choices by individuals and households Exogenous factors and shocks:  Trends: Population growth, technical change, international trends, macro policies, … Affect assets as well as mediating factors  Shocks: Droughts, floods, pests, diseases, civil wars, … Result in ‘ erosion ’ of assets. (But see below)

12 SLF Cont’d: Livelihoods strategies Livelihood strategies (= set of activities that generates the means of household survival) Various classifications possible, e.g.:  Natural resource based activities (cropping, livestock, NFP, …)  Non-natural resource based activities (trade, manufacturing, …) Alternative classification (e.g., Scoones 1998):  Agricultural intensification  Agricultural extensification  Livelihood diversification  Migration Depends on purpose of analysis

13 The SL framework in full Policies Institutions Processes N S F P H Vulnerability Context Shocks Seasonality Trends Changes influence Livelihood Strategies Livelihood Outcomes Non-linear feedback effects…

14 Livelihood outcomes… Poverty - a “poor” livelihood outcome: based on a fragile or unbalanced set of livelihood assets unable to sustain to shocks, changes or trends not supported, or actively obstructed by policies, institutions and processes that do not allow assets to be used as they might livehood options combined in a “bad” or unsustainable strategy Outcomes: food security, well-being, sustainable resource management, etc: these are the ultimate variables of interest for an impact assessment.

15 Conflict and livelihoods Conflict is a shock (part of the vulnerability context):  Direct effect through asset loss.  Conflict may not affect all assets or activities …  Hence: Substitution possibilities amongst assets and activities are crucial for secure livelihoods  Assets substitutability depends in part on the existence and functioning of asset markets  Indirect effect through the P.I.P. Context  Direct and indirect effects matter for livelihood strategies.

16 Conflict and assets  Conflict destroys assets. Theft. Crops and infrastructure (hard and soft).  Substitution towards subsistence (both to cope, and to reduce exposure to violence) ▪ Example: Deininger on Uganda ▪ Limited scope for accumulation, dynamic implications.  Effects are context-specific.

17 Conflict and assets  Does conflict affect social capital? Evidence suggests that it might (+).  Bellows & Miguel, Blattman.  Our own evidence in Burundi: ▪ Villages exposed to violence (by army or rebels) have more (bonding) social capital.  As an aside: conflict-villages tend to have better local institutions (tenure security, quality of decision makers). Causal effect.

18 Conflict and preferences  Georgia: children exposed to bombing (war with Russia) behave more pro-socially in sharing experiments.  Burundi: conflict affects preferences (or at least: play “in artefactual field experiments”)  More risk seeking  More patient  More altruistic  All of these effects will have an impact on livelihood strategies and outcomes.

19 Livelihood interventions  Interventions aimed at rebuilding assets (direct support):  NR conservation, health training, literacy training, etc.  Interventions aimed at improving P.I.P. (indirect support)  Improve policies, institutions, local organisations, so as to improve access to assets and provide incentives for productive investments

20 Livelihoods interventions  A lot of uncertainty (governance structures, micro-macro linkages, and so on).  Own projects in Sierra Leone and Liberia, collaborating with NGOs.  Trial and error; “looking for clues…”  Until now: not enough efforts to learn from the past

21 Issues and questions  Impact of conflict on assets and P.I.P.  Heterogeneous impact? Conditioning factors?  How can we make households more resilient? ▪ Which assets/PIP matter most (and when?); how to build them?  Impact on livelihood strategies and outcomes  Dynamic implications for growth and development?  Feedback effects on vulnerability for conflict

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