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Introduction (Special Supplement 3)


AAH Action Against Hunger
ACF Action Contre la Faim
ALDEF Arid Lands Development Focus
AREN Association pour la Revitalisation de l'Elevage au Niger
AREX Agriculture Research and Extension, of the Zimbabwean Government's Ministry of Agriculture
BPRM Bureau of Populations, Refugees and Migration
CAHW Community Animal Health Worker
CFW Cash for work
Concern WW Concern Worldwide
CRS Catholic Relief Services
CTDT Community Technology Development Trust
DfID Department for International Development
DRC Democratic Republic of Congo
DWLP Damot Weyde Livelihoods Programme
ENN Emergency Nutrition Network
EU European Union
FAC Food Aid Convention
FAO Food and Agricultural Organisation
FEWS Famine Early Warning System
FFR Food for recovery
FFW Food For work
GFAC Global Food Aid Compact
GoK Government of Kenya
GoS Government of Sudan
GTZ Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (German society for technical cooperation)
HAI Help Age International
HBC Home based care
HEA Household Economy Approach
HH Household
HIV/AIDS Human Immuno-Deficiency Virus/Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome
HPG Humanitarian Practice Group
ICRC International Commission of the Red Cross
ICRISAT International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics
IDEB Instituto de Desarrollo Empresarial Bonaerense
IDPs Internally displaced people
IDS Institute of Development Studies
IFRC International Federation of the Red Cross
IGAs Income generating activities
IHL International Humanitarian Law
ILO International Labour Organisation
IRC International Relief Committee
ITDG Intermediate Technology Development Group
JEM Justice and Equality Movement
KFSSG Kenya Food Security Steering Group
LDC Least-developed countries
LTTE Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
MCH Mother and Child Health
MFI Microfinance Institution
MOH Ministry of Health
MT Metric tonne
NEEP National Emergency Employment Programme
NFI Non food item NGO Non-governmental organisation
NPA Norwegian People's Aid
ODI Overseas Development Institute
OECD/DAC Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development/ Development Assistance Committee
Oxfam GB Oxfam Great Britain
PDM Post distribution monitoring
PRA Participatory Rural Appraisal
PSC Pastoral Steering Committee
PSNP Productive Safety Net Programme
RC Red Cross
RRA Rapid Rural Appraisal
RSS Red Sea State
SCUK Save the Children-UK
SDC Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
SLA/M Sudan Liberation Movement
SPANA Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad
UN United Nations
UNDP United Nations Development Programme
UNHCR United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
UNICEF United Nations Children's Fund
UNRWA United Nations Relief and Works Agency
US United States
USAID US Agency for International Development
VAC Vulnerability Assessment Committee
VRC Village Relief Committee
VRRC Village Relief and Rehabilitation Committee
WFP World Food Programme
WHO World Health Organisation
WPPD Wajir Pastoral Development programme
WTO World Trade Organisation
WVI 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.

Show footnotes

1Oxfam GB unless specified otherwise.

2NutritionWorks is a partnership of independent consultants.

3Formerly the Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG).

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Susanne Jaspars (). Introduction (Special Supplement 3). Supplement 3: From food crisis to fair trade, March 2006. p4.



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