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The Potential of Using Sustainable Livelihoods Approaches in Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers

Working papers

Written by Andrew Norton

This paper addresses the question of whether sustainable livelihood approaches have value at the level of overall policy on poverty reduction, and specifically addresses to what extent the approach might be used in support of poverty reduction strategy papers.

The paper also considers which specific policy issues addressed by a typical PRSP process might especially benefit from a SL framework. It identifies opportunities to extend analysis in this direction at every level from macro policy through taxation, expenditure, and regulatory changes. However, to be most useful, the tools need to be further developed to take the SL analysis beyond description towards a richer capacity to look at the implications and behavioral responses to alternative policy prescriptions. This will require some further methodological development beyond the material which we have become aware of in this short piece of work. A fruitful area for further development might be modifications to traditional economic appraisal methodologies to incorporate more realistic behavioral assumptions, especially as regards risk and vulnerability.

Andy Norton and Mick Foster