Saving lives and livelihoods: the fundamentals of a livelihoods strategy

Saving lives and livelihoods: the fundamentals of a livelihoods strategy

Eight principles of self-sufficiency and productivity

Paper presents set of principles as the basis of a livelihoods strategy for complex emergencies and suggests appropriate actions to implement measures.Principles and actions suggested include:

  • rigorous assessment - prepare relief workers to act strategically, move beyond distributing free relief, formulate country strategies
  • aggressive capacity building - capacity assessments, avoid creating dependency, assess the pros and cons of capacity building, rethink neutrality
  • appropriate market support - monitor markets, protect the poorest, strengthen key infrastructure
  • protecting essential assets - estimate order of asset depletion and re-accumulation, keep markets open andcompetitive, facilitate the acquisition of highly mobile assets
  • easing vulnerables’ burdens - view people not as victims but as proactive survivors, avoid burdening the vulnerable, strengthen women's capacities
  • timely interventions - use social, political and economic early warning indicators, develop sub-national early warning systems, monitor and evaluate prevention, mitigation and preparednessinterventions
  • limiting harmful population displacement - determine if migration is harmful, understand urban migration, counter dependency of forcibly displaced populations
  • establishing sustainable systems - meet emergency needs, ensure a return to pre-crisis intervention level of services


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