Changing organisations for sustainable livelihoods: a map to guide change

Changing organisations for sustainable livelihoods: a map to guide change

An overview of organisational change and sustainable livelihoods

What outcomes does change for sustainable livelihoods aim to achieve? What paths should be taken during the change process? In this booklet Kath Pasteur draws together insights from research on organisational change in India and Bangladesh published separately, providing an overview of issues arising there, and in case study literature from Indonesia, Philippines, and Zimbabwe.

The case studies show that however large, bureaucratic and ossified they may be, organisations can change.In general, the publication highlights that:

  • Government organisations that aim to support sustainable livelihoods must be people-centred, participatory, have holistic perspectives on the multiple strategies of livelihood profiles, and need to build on existing strengths both internally and externally.
  • Opportunities for change can arise by encouraging internal reflection and dialogue, organisational analysis and by illustrating that viable alternatives exist.Change implementation processes need to involve all organisational levels, and planningprocesses should reflect this.
Some key lessons for donor agencies assisting in change processes are that:
  • Appropriate roles for development agencies include raising awareness of the need for change, suggesting methods for building capacity for change, budgeting for risk taking, and assisting in the management of resistance.
  • Effective support to change in government organisations can be limited by the structure, culture and procedures of development agencies themselves: agencies should reflect on planning and review processes, advisory staff skills, priorities and partner relationships.