Surveying livelihoods, service delivery and governance: baseline evidence from Pakistan

Surveying livelihoods, service delivery and governance: baseline evidence from Pakistan

To contribute towards a better understanding of what processes of livelihood recovery and state building look like following periods of conflict and how positive outcomes are achieved. Understanding socioeconomic change of this nature is possible only when appropriate evidence exists. This study is designed to produce information on people’s livelihoods, their access to services and their relationships with governance processes and practices. The survey was conducted in Swat and Lower Dir districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Both of these districts were severely affected by violent conflicts.

The main findings are;

Livelihoods and wellbeing

  • farming is the most prevalent livelihood activity, followed by labour. However, overseas labour (remittances) is the primary income source for the majority of households, an increase in overseas migration and farming after the conflict was reported;
  • about 50% of households depend on a single livelihood source, a positive correlation between the number of income sources per household and food security. This implies that donor interventions and public policy should facilitate diversification;
  • households with higher average education tend both to be less food insecure and to own more assets;
  • having experienced a crime has a positive and significant relationship with asset ownership and a negative and significant relationship with food insecurity;
  • experience of shocks is positively correlated with asset ownership, but the number of shocks is significantly and positively associated with food insecurity;
  • a positive correlation between access to livelihood assistance and both asset ownership and greater food security.

Basic services, social protection and livelihoods assistance

  • relatively high levels of access to and satisfaction with some basic services, particularly for health and education;
  • there seems to be a link between journey times to the health centre or school and greater satisfaction with the service as well as between greater assets and greater satisfaction with the service;
  • 25% of households receive a social protection;
  • some indication that people’s specific personal experiences with services being heavily influences their overall level of satisfaction.

Perceptions of governance

  • a household’s livelihood situation seems to have a consistent if weak impact on perceptions of government;
  • security seems to matter but only for perceptions of local government. Respondents who feel safe have greater trust in local government;
  • counter-intuitive and confusing results around the shocks experienced by households. The more shocks a household has experienced, the more likely the respondent feels government decisions largely or always reflect their priorities;
  • patterns linking better access to some services to more positive perceptions of government;
  • the way services are being run – and having grievance processes and consultations in place – seems to matter, especially for perceptions of central government. 
  1. How good is this research?

    Assessing the quality of research can be a tricky business. This blog from our editor offers some tools and tips.