Sustainable Livelihoods and Poverty Elimination

Program Objective:
Improved livelihoods & economic status among rights holders.

Under this program, GYT aims to operate through a Needs-Based Approach and to revitalize and improve economic status in targeted communities. The strategy is to help the vulnerable, needy & poor targeted communities to help themselves.

  • - Investing in people’s livelihoods
  • - Rights holders empowered with entrepreneurship skills
    - Rights holders adopt diversified production practices

The program will bring an effective approach to promoting improved, secured, and sustainable livelihood strategies developed, demonstrated, and validated in selected areas, and institutional capacity created so that these strategies can be replicated and scaled up.

The concept of Sustainable Livelihood (SL) is an attempt to go beyond the conventional definitions and approaches to poverty eradication. These had been found to be too narrow because they focused only on certain aspects or manifestations of poverty, such as low income, or did not consider other vital aspects of poverty such as vulnerability and social exclusion. It is now recognized that more attention must be paid to the various factors and processes which either constrain or enhance poor people’s ability to make a living in an economically, ecologically, and socially sustainable manner.

The program shall promote optimum usage of the following forms of capital towards improvement of livelihoods and poverty reduction/ elimination:

  • Natural Capital – Services useful for livelihoods are derived from the natural capital. Resources flow from the land capital. These are natural resource stocks (soil, water, air, etc.) and environmental services (hydrological cycle, pollution sinks, etc.).

  • Economic or Financial Capital – This is vital and enhances strategies towards livelihoods improvement. This includes capital base (cash, savings, economic assets, basic infrastructure, and production equipment and technologies).

  • Human Capital – The skills, knowledge, ability to labour and good health and physical capability are vital for the successful pursuit of different livelihood strategies.
  • Social Capital – The social resources (networks, social claims, social relations, affiliations, associations) upon which people draw when pursuing different livelihood strategies requiring coordinated actions.

DFID’s Core SL Principles
Poverty-focused development activity should be:

People-centred: sustainable poverty elimination will be achieved only if external support focuses on what matters to people, understands the difference between groups of people, and works with them in a way that is congruent with their current livelihood strategies, social environment, and ability to adapt.

  • Responsive and participatory: poor people themselves must be key actors in identifying and addressing livelihood priorities. Outsiders need processes that enable them to listen and respond to the poor.

  • Multi-level: poverty elimination is an enormous challenge that will only be overcome by working at multiple levels, ensuring that micro-level activity informs the development of policy and an effective enabling environment, and that macro-level structures and processes support people to build upon their own strengths.

  • Conducted in partnership: with both the public and the private sector.

  • Sustainable: there are four key dimensions to sustainability – economic, institutional, social and environmental sustainability. All are important – a balance must be found between them.

  • Dynamic: external support must recognize the dynamic nature of livelihood strategies, respond flexibly to changes in people’s situation, and develop longer term commitments.