|Operationalizing Household Livelihood Security - A holistic approach for addressing poverty and vulnerability (CARE , 2000, 54 p.)|
ANNEX A: Implementing HLS Across the "Relief-to-Development Continuum"
While a livelihoods approach has generally been associated with long-term development programming, it has been widely applied by CARE in other contexts. In the 1990s, a framework for linking relief to development, the "Relief-to-Development Continuum," has been widely adopted into the thinking and planning of operational agencies. Previously viewed as separate and discrete activities, linking relief to development meant that if relief activities could be tied to developmental objectives, and better-designed development programs could protect people's assets more effectively and reduce the need for relief in response to shocks, then post-emergency recovery time would be reduced and long-term improvements would be more sustainable. The framework also put greater emphasis on intermediate activities as a category of interventions in their own right, particularly rehabilitation. "Protecting livelihoods saves lives," is the theme (Maxwell and Buchanan-Smith, 1994). This means that it is as important to understand livelihood systems in emergencies as in a longer-term development context, and even more so when attempting to protect peoples assets in the face of an impending disaster (mitigation) or assisting in recovery of peoples assets and livelihoods in the aftermath of a disaster (rehabilitation).
Initially, the Relief-to-Development Continuum was depicted as shown in Figure 1. In general, the normative perception was that over time, a program should shift from left to right along the continuum, moving away from relief in the direction of long-term improvements. The continuum concept was based largely on experience with natural disasters, particularly slow-onset disasters such as drought, or where a disaster is a discrete event and does not recur. However, large geographic areas and the populations who inhabit them are increasingly threatened with recurrent disasters or chronic vulnerability. Practical experience with programming under these circumstances is that the Relief-to-Development Continuum is anything but linear, and a program often has to cycle back towards emergency response, or it gets "stuck" in permanent safety nets.
Under conditions of complex emergencies - given the drastically different basic causes of vulnerability - approaches to programming have likewise been very different. Complex emergencies are characterised by: the breakdown or "failure" of state structures; inter-communal violence; disputed legitimacy of authority (whether government or "rebel"); the potential for assistance to be misused or used to prolong or exacerbate the conflict; abuse of human rights; and, the deliberate targeting of civilian populations by military forces (Borton, 1998). The latter is a major threat. The destruction of the livelihoods, assets, and institutions of civilian populations is not an unfortunate side effect of complex emergencies; it is often the military objective.
Because of the differences in the basic causes of vulnerability, the difficult operating environment of chronically vulnerable areas, and the chronic recurrence of emergencies in many of the areas in which CARE works in the East Africa region, CARE has developed a set of principals and guidelines for programming in chronically vulnerable areas.1
1 CARE-East Africa. 1999. "Program Guidelines for Chronically Vulnerable Areas."
The Traditional "Relief to Development" Continuum
Examples of Program:
Examples of Program:
Examples of Program:
· Safety and protection
· Provision of food until harvest
· Small enterprise development/credit
· Food and non-food distribution
· Distribution of seeds and tools
· Agricultural/natural resource development
· Emergency health
· Restocking of livestock herds
· Development of rural services
· Restoration of services
· Restoration of infrastructure
Chronically Vulnerable Areas (CVAs) are primarily defined by recurrent shocks or emergencies of either natural or man-made origins or a combination of the two (droughts, floods and epidemics, as well as conflicts or complex political emergencies). Vulnerability therefore arises from both natural and political causes. Vulnerability is classically defined as exposure to risk and stress, and the lack of ability to cope with the consequences of risk (Chambers 1988, Webb and Harinarayan 1999).
A more complex view of relationships in the Relief-to-Development Continuum is depicted in Figure 2. Even Figure 2 does not capture all the complexity of programming in CVA. For example, several categories depicted are likely to be happening simultaneously. In pre-crisis "normal" times, some amount of emergency preparedness may be part of programs that are mostly aimed at promoting long-term development or improvements in capacities and assets. Promotion and protection of livelihoods may be possible under situations of "chronic" emergencies as well. A mix of all these may be required in the aftermath of a crisis. Dealing with the short-term impacts of crises and reducing long-term vulnerability are the ultimate objectives of a livelihoods approach to programming in chronically vulnerable areas. A major operational issue is timing of the transition between different categories of activities.
Particular attention must be paid to all the activities depicted in Figure 1 in Chronically Vulnerable Areas. In addition to emergency preparedness and response, early warning, rehabilitation, mitigation and long-term development, the other critical programming factor is how and when to transition between one activity and another. As a result of these factors, the cost of operation will almost certainly be higher in chronically vulnerable areas, meaning that it is critical to consider the cost issue prior to making a strategic decision about beginning programs in CVAs. Yet increasingly, operational NGOs are pushed to begin programs in these areas, as bi-lateral and multi-lateral lending programs focus on high potential areas where quicker gains can be made from development investments. Each of these activities is briefly covered below.
A. Livelihood Promotion (Sustainable Development)
Livelihood Promotion involves improving the resilience of household livelihoods to meet basic needs on a sustainable basis. Interventions of this type often aim to reduce the structural vulnerability of livelihood systems by focusing on: 1) improving production to stabilise yields through diversification into agro-ecologically appropriate crops, and through soil and water conservation measures (agriculture and natural resource-type measures) (e.g. Honduras, Guatemala, Peru, Haiti, Mozambique, Nepal); 2) creating alternative income generating activities (small enterprise activities) (Tanzania, Bolivia); 3) reinforcing coping strategies that are economically and environmentally sustainable (seasonably appropriate off-farm employment) (Sudan); 4) improving on-farm storage capacity to increase the availability of buffer stocks (Guatemala); and 5) improving common property management through community participation (e.g. Bangladesh, Nepal). Promotion-type interventions can also deal with meso-level development, where the linkages between food surplus areas and food deficit areas could be strengthened through investment in regional infrastructure and market organization (e.g. Sudan, Zimbabwe). Such interventions could help the terms of trade for the poor by improving local access to income, food availability and lowering food prices. In addition, livelihood promotion activities could focus on preventive measure that improve the health and sanitation conditions and population/resource balance to insure that any income and production gains are not lost to disease and unchecked population growth (e.g. Honduras, Guatemala) (Frankenberger 1996). Most of CARE'S work involves promotion type activities.
B. Livelihood Protection (Mitigation)
Mitigation is often linked with rehabilitation in the middle range of the Relief-to-Development Continuum. However, mitigation is any kind of activity which prevents the erosion or destruction of assets in the face of an impending disaster or emergency (whereas rehabilitation is primarily about rebuilding in the aftermath of a disaster or emergency).
To be effective, mitigation must be linked very closely with early warning systems on the one hand, and with emergency preparedness on the other. It is, in effect, the first step of emergency response. A critical factor in the loss of productive assets is the lack of this link, and preventing the loss of assets (the entire range of assets from human and social to economic and physical) is the operational objective of mitigation programming.
While protecting the capacity of vulnerable populations to be self-reliant is also a goal of mitigation, interventions depend on the type of emergency being faced. In complex political emergencies, livelihoods and assets may be deliberately destroyed by warring parties, and thus direct investment in assets would not only be lost, it could actually make people more vulnerable. An analysis of the benefits and harms of any intervention is thus critical. Protecting access to resources, including food but also productive resources, is an important goal, not only for the objective of promoting self-reliance, but also to prevent stress migration, which often totally isolates vulnerable groups and makes them completely dependent on outside aid.
The range of activities considered mitigation includes:
· early warning (including assessment of political vulnerability) (e.g. Ethiopia, Sudan and Somalia)
· protection of productive assets (Ethiopia)
· livestock marketing or movement
· livestock feeding or health
· alternative asset holding schemes (informal savings programs) (Niger)
· distribution of drought resistant seeds (Sudan, Angola)
· protecting/building community capacity (most CARE projects)
· keeping marketing channels open through funnelling assistance through markets (Zimbabwe)
· protecting human health (India)
· preventing stress migration (Sierra Leone)
· employment generation through food-for-work or cash-for-work programs (e.g. Somalia, Bangladesh, Honduras, Ethiopia, Sudan, Malawi)
· use of cash or food as production incentives
· emergency water supply (e.g. Ethiopia, Sudan)
· preventing environmental degradation/protecting access to natural resources (Bangladesh)
C. Livelihood Provisioning (Emergency Response)
Livelihood provisioning is defined as any activities which save human life and protect adequate health and nutritional status, addressing the immediate symptoms of livelihood insecurity.
In an emergency, often the first operational issue revolves around logistics and a supply line to provide necessary life-supporting interventions. This will usually involve a food and/or nutritional security assessment, with appropriate interventions tailored by the assessment. In chronic or long-term emergency settings, over time the programmatic focus may turn to promoting some level of self-reliance.
In complex emergencies, civilian livelihoods and institutions are often targeted, and civilians (particularly refugees and internally displaced) may be used as human shields, which make protection a more crucial issue. The breakdown of state and civil society institutions also compounds problems of response in complex emergencies, and economic chaos is often a deliberate outcome. Lack of humanitarian access to refugee and displaced populations often prevents adequate response. While emergency response under conditions of natural disasters is a fairly well developed practice, complex emergencies still present extremely difficult working environments.
The range of activities considered provisioning includes:
· provision of food and critical non-food items (shelter, blankets, cooking utensils, etc.) (e.g. Rwanda, Sudan)
· physical protection of refugees and internally displaced (e.g. Sudan, Somalia, Sierra Leone)
· provision of emergency water systems (e.g. Rwanda, Sudan)
· provision of emergency health (including reproductive health) (e.g. Rwanda, Angola)
· educational programs and promotion of some level of economic/food self-reliance in the longer term (Sudan)
· many activities listed as mitigation or rehabilitation are often part of emergency response programs; lines between the different activities are blurred.
D. Livelihood Recovery (Rehabilitation)
Rehabilitation overlaps with relief and development. The definition of rehabilitation is "the process of protecting and promoting the livelihoods of people enduring or recovering from emergencies." The purpose of rehabilitation programs is to, "provide short term income transfers, rebuild household and community assets, and rebuild institutions... The key task of rehabilitation is to help reinforce developmental objectives, notably livelihood security, participation, sustainability, gender equity, and local institutional capacity."2
2 CARE East Africa. 1999. "Program Considerations for Rehabilitation." p. 1. Based on definition by P. Harvey, W. Campbell and S. Maxwell, 1997, "Rehabilitation in the Greater Horn of Africa." IDS/Sussex, November 1997.
Rehabilitation was traditionally viewed as a quick transitional step between relief and development, and program activities were traditionally aimed at rebuilding physical infrastructure and replacing lost physical assets. Over recent years, rehabilitation has grown to embrace the rebuilding or recovery of a much broader spectrum of assets destroyed by both natural disaster and war, including de-mining, psycho-social counselling of victims of war and rape, the demobilization and re-integration of combatants, and large-scale support to the recovery of macro-economic indicators. It has also come to embrace programmatic interventions that address more basic causes of emergencies themselves, including conflict resolution, democratization, human rights promotion, and building the institutional capacity of indigenous organizations.
While natural disasters usually come to an end, increasingly complex emergencies can drag on for many years. While occasionally complex emergencies have a distinct ending point, many end up in an "uneasy peace," or a protracted, low-grade conflict. There are rarely clear and unambiguous signals to operational agencies that it is time to switch modes of programmatic interventions. All of this makes rehabilitation a problematic concept operationally. The switch from emergency operations to rehabilitation often requires major changes in procedures, skills, and institutional culture. Promoting sustainability and participation are major challenges. While rehabilitation interventions are often long-term in nature, donors often do not have a separate funding category and programs must often be financed on the time-frames of emergency operations.
The range of activities considered rehabilitation is now much broader:
· transportation home for refugees and IDPs (e.g. Angola, Rwanda)
· protection of returnees (e.g. Sudan, Rwanda)
· provision of food until harvest (e.g. Ethiopia, Angola)
· distribution of seeds and tools (e.g. Sudan, Somalia, Angola, Sierra Leone)
· provision of other inputs including building materials, fertiliser, or production inputs (e.g. Angola, Somalia, Rwanda, India)
· restocking of livestock herds (Rwanda)
· guarantees of access to land and natural resources
· restoration of services (health, water, and education) (Rwanda)
· restoration of physical infrastructure, especially housing but also including basic human services, transportation, necessary government and community buildings (Tajikistan)
· labor intensive works employment both for rehabilitation of infrastructure and as a safety net (e.g. Honduras, Afghanistan)
· restoration of market access, financial services and transportation (Sudan)
· rehabilitation of institutional capacity, including local non-governmental and community-based organizations, and sometimes local government (Somalia)
· reforestation or rehabilitation of other crisis-related environmental damage (Rwanda)
· removal of land mines, unexploded ordnance, and other war materiel that present a hazard (Angola)
· psycho-social counselling for victims of trauma or rape (Rwanda)
· special reproductive health programs for victims of rape (Rwanda)
· leadership training and civic education (Bangladesh)
· peace education and conflict resolution training (Sierra Leone)
· macro-economic reforms aimed at improving overall economic recovery
ANNEX B: Using a Livelihood Framework to Inform Policy
CARE defines advocacy as the deliberate process of influencing those who make policy decisions. CARE'S use of advocacy will always attempt to improve the livelihood of a significant number of people, target policy makers and implementers at levels above the household, and be rooted in CARE'S field experience and core values (Beckwith 2000). Advocacy is an approach that CARE uses to complement its efforts to strengthen capacity for self help, provide economic opportunities, deliver relief in emergencies, and address discrimination in all of its forms (Beckwith 2000).
Advocacy is brought into the HLS analysis in the following ways. First, a livelihood analysis facilitates the identification of a broad hierarchy of causes, including the policy dimensions of the root causes of poverty. Second, advocacy interventions can expand the means and strategies for addressing policy-related root causes and therefore the scope or impact on household livelihood security. Third, the HLS framework helps establish an information base which will enable better positioning and ability to build a credible case for advocacy. Fourth, through the HLS framework, advocacy may improve the support of donors towards investing in a holistic approach to solutions to poverty. Fifth, advocacy should be an integral part of or add value to our ongoing/regular programs, rather than being a project by itself. Through good problem analysis and program design, advocacy strategies and activities may expand our options for finding solutions. Sixth, all CARE programs are beginning to work on identifying policy issues in assessments and analyzing the policy environment in relation to planned programs (Beckwith 2000).
There is a strong link between a rights-based approach to development and advocacy. First, a rights-based approach requires us to view the people we serve as rights-bearers. This implies a commitment on CARE'S part to respect the people we work with and to help them in their efforts to realize their rights. CARE strives to raise people's awareness of their rights and to build and support their capacities to participate in decision-making processes that affect their lives. Second, a rights approach recognizes that governments are legally accountable for respecting, protecting, facilitating and fulfilling the rights of their citizens. Advocacy is a means for holding governments (at all levels) and other institutions accountable. Third, a rights-based approach affirms the importance of systematic identification of the root causes of livelihood insecurity and of a commitment to confront such causes in our work through advocacy whenever possible. Fourth, a rights approach upholds the principle of non-discrimination. Throughout the program cycle, it requires that we assess and seek to address the unequal treatment of marginalized individuals and groups. The HLS framework can help CARE to better understand differentiation and discrimination between individuals and between groups to target advocacy efforts. Fifth, broadening our understanding of livelihood security, a rights-based approach helps CARE identify the minimum conditions (civil, political, economic social and cultural) for living with dignity. Advocacy can be used to redress violations of dignity (Beckwith 2000).
Advocacy initiatives are also closely tied to CARE'S efforts aimed at strengthening civil society. Through analysis of the dynamics between the state, the private sector and civil society, power relationships can be identified between the sectors to help inform advocacy efforts (Beckwith 2000).
Figure 3 depicts the internal and external relations that influence Household Livelihood Security.3 While the initial intent of the HLS approach was to understand these constraints and take them into account in program design and implementation, increasingly CARE'S program is being expanded to include advocacy and attempts to directly influence or change the way in which external relations influence Household Livelihood Security. In the private sector, this primarily affects the way programs are influenced by the market. In the civil society sector, this primarily affects partnership relations and the way CARE participates in NGO coalitions to influence policies. In the governmental sector, this has traditionally meant attempting to address or shape policy in areas where the HLS framework suggests a constraint.
3 This figure builds on the work of Kirsten Johnson, CARE Bolivia.
Figure 3 - Internal and External Relations that Influence Household Livelihood Security
Increasingly, the HLS framework has driven advocacy into the realms of political constraints. Two examples, one technical and one political, illustrate the ways in which HLS has both pushed CARE in the direction of policy advocacy, and given it the credibility to address such issues.
Nicaragua: Pesticide Policy. During the 1980s, CARE was involved in a project designed to reduce pesticide poisoning among agricultural laborers working on cotton estates in Nicaragua. It eventually became one of the first successful programs at promoting integrated pest management (IPM). Along the way, project staff began to assist the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health to collect, analyze and publicize data about the extent of pesticide poisoning. The study found that the problem was much more prevalent than previously thought, and in fact was as serious a problem as many infectious diseases such as malaria. CARE Nicaragua decided that one technical intervention was not an adequate response to the problem. CARE staff led an effort by a number of agencies in the country to work with legislators to draft new legislation governing the registration and use of pesticides nationwide. CARE also helped to design a regional program, under the auspices of the Pan American Health Organization, which replicated the methodology of its own Nicaraguan IPM project. This experience also had a strong influence on CARE'S own adoption of a worldwide policy on pesticide usage.4
4 See J. Stuckey. 1999. "Raising the Issue of Pesticide Poisoning to a National Health Priority." CARE-USA Advocacy Series, Case #1. Atlanta: CARE-USA.
Although this example took place before CARE officially adopted the HLS as its program framework, strong field experience and a cross-sectoral, holistic problem analysis (in the agriculture and health sectors) led CARE into an advocacy initiative. The initiative was neither particularly planned, nor incorporated into subsequent project re-design, but this initiative had a direct and significant impact both nationally and regionally.
Sudan: Promoting the Cease-Fire and the Peace Process. CARE has worked in Sudan for 20 years, in both the Northern and Southern parts of the country. Sudan is a country that has been wracked by a civil war between North and South for 33 of the last 44 years. An estimated 2 million people have lost their lives in this conflict - far more to disease and starvation than to battlefield deaths. Given the circumstances in the country, CARE'S programs have mostly been in the areas of emergency response, rehabilitation, and mitigation, and have been almost exclusively limited to on-the-ground, practical interventions. A regional body, the Inter-Government Authority of Development (I GAD) has been brokering peace talks among the various parties in the conflict, but without the strong support of major international players, including some of the governments from whom CARE receives funding for humanitarian assistance in Sudan.
When a major famine recurred in Bahr el-Ghazal in 1998, CARE was one of the few organizations able to respond both in SPLA-held territory and Government of Sudan-held territory, and the interventions were credited with saving thousands of lives. However, CARE and several other humanitarian agencies in Sudan began asking how many times they would have to "save" the same people's lives during the war. In partnership with three other major NGOs (Oxfam-UK/Ireland, Save the Children Fund-UK, and Medecins sans Frontiere), CARE devoted significant resources and staff time toward advocacy at the United Nations and the United States Government to support the IGAD peace process, to bring about a just and mutually agreeable solution to the Sudan civil war, and to use their influence with the actors to extend the cease-fire in Bahr el Ghazal to continue to permit humanitarian assistance to reach vulnerable groups in the short term.5
5 See J. Stuckey. 1999. "CARE International Advocacy for Peace in Sudan." CARE-USA Advocacy Series, Case #3. Atlanta: CARE-USA.
This advocacy initiative was deliberately planned and had been incorporated into on-going efforts in the country and the region, as well as at the international level. But the initiative was grounded in solid information and experience on the ground working with the civilian population on both sides whose lives and livelihoods have been devastated by a decade and a half of war. The impact of such an initiative is difficult to measure; the cease-fire was extended, but it is difficult to attribute causal factors to the extension. The civil war in Sudan continues, as do CARE'S efforts to raise awareness of and generate support for the peace process.
Both the Sudan advocacy initiative and the benefits-harms tools described in earlier sections are examples of the way in which a livelihoods approach has begun to interface with a rights-based approach to programming. Defining this livelihoods/rights interface, and exploring the ways in which the two approaches can benefit from the other, is a major challenge ahead in the operationalization of the livelihoods approach.
One of the major concerns of Country Offices as they move into advocacy activities is that the staff may not have the necessary skills or time to adequately engage in policy dialogue. Senior management acknowledges that workloads of staff could increase significantly as they get more involved in policy issues. There are no guidelines that currently exist as to how Country Offices are to proceed on these initiatives. The context will determine the approach to be used, recognizing that each Country in which CARE works is different.
ANNEX C: Diagnostic Sequencing and Methods
While the exact sequencing of assessment and diagnosis will vary depending on the objectives and information requirements, the sequence of a full-blown Livelihood Security Assessment includes:6
6 These are laid out in much greater detail in several other resources. See: 1) T. Frankenberger and K. McCaston. 1999. "Rapid Food and Livelihood Security Assessments: A comprehensive Approach for Diagnosing Nutritional Security" in T. Marchione (Ed.) Scaling Up Scaling Down: Overcoming Malnutrition in Developing Countries. (Amsterdam: Overseas Publishers Association); 2) D. Maxwell and R. Rutahakana. 1997. "Dar es Salaam Urban Livelihood Security Assessment: Design, Background, Strategy Data Collection and Analysis Methodology." Dar es Salaam: CARE-Tanzania; and, 3) M. Pareja. 1997. "Preparing for a Rapid Livelihood Security Assessment." Nairobi: CARE - East Africa.
· Objective setting Clear objectives are fundamental to keeping the entire diagnosis process on track.
· Review of existing information A comprehensive review of existing information and an assessment of its validity, reliability, and comprehensiveness sets the parameters for primary information collection.7
7 See K. McCaston. 1998. "Tips for Collecting, Reviewing, and Analyzing Secondary Data." Atlanta: CARE-USA.
· Identification of major issues for field data collection Where there are gaps in existing information, tools for gathering this information have to be designed.
· Stakeholder validation of conclusions from secondary information and gaps Prior to investing staff time and financial resources in field data collection, experience shows that it is useful to validate the conclusions reached on the basis of secondary information. Stakeholders here include representatives of communities in which programs may take place, partner organizations that may be involved in diagnosis, design and implementation, local authorities, and other organizations or research institutes that may have experience or information.
· Site selection Locations for field data collection must reasonably represent locations where programs will be implemented, but can rarely be statistically representative due to resource restrictions. Therefore careful thought must go into purposive selection of sites, and the number of sites must be adequate to capture the breadth of variation in livelihood systems, constraints and sources of vulnerability.
· Community preparation The quality of information gathered is only as good as the quality of response from groups participating in the information collection, so good communication with communities is the sites selected is critical. Likewise it is important to inform communities that projects or "aid" may not necessarily follow immediately (or ever).
· Field team training Often field teams include staff from partner organizations or local government, representing a multi-disciplinary viewpoints and expertise. Incorporating HLS concepts and rigorous field methods into a mixed team is a challenge that is often allocated inadequate amounts of time.
· Field data collection/entry/analysis iteration Capturing information, organizing it and making it retrievable, and beginning to synthesize findings, is all part of fieldwork. In general at least a day for these activities is required for every day of actual information collection, and is best built into an iterative process, rather than lumping information collection and entry/analysis into separate activities and timeframes.
· Analysis and design workshops Further refinement of information, identification of problems and opportunities, and selection of strategically focused interventions, usually occur in design workshops that follow the field exercise. Often times, multiple stakeholders including community representatives are involved in this process. Once a set of intervention themes have been identified, these are subjected to a series of screens to determine the key leverage points for design follow-up. These selected themes are reviewed with the community to determine if they are valid community priorities.
Another example of a sequenced approach for participatory livelihood assessments is the one used in Malawi.
Table 1: Malawi Participatory Livelihood Assessment, July 1998: Methods Used And Key Information Collected
Level Of analysis
Key Information Collected
Community level environmental and economic analysis
i) Resource mapping and focus group discussions around resource
· Infrastructure, key services,
land use, farming systems, land tenure, natural resource base, availability,
access, quality, historical changes.
Household level social analysis
i) Identification of livelihood indicators
· Economic, social, and
environmental criteria used for classifying households by well being.
Problem prioritisation, analysis and opportunity identification (synthesis)
i) Problem identification analysis.
· Prioritised problems by
LSA methodology grows out of RRA/PRA methods, but are focused specifically on the multi-dimensional issues of livelihoods and vulnerability. Field methods for qualitative and participatory information collection have been adequately described in greater detail elsewhere.8 However, they broadly consist of focus and large group key informant interviews, used together with participatory techniques such as maps, timelines, calendars, and venn diagramming, as well as more analytical participatory techniques such as problem tree analysis and concept mapping. These may be combined with quantitative household survey interviews and anthropometric/health surveys.
8 Maxwell and Rutahakana, (op. cit.), Drinkwater, 1998, Frankenberger and McCaston, 1999.
In general, qualitative methods allow for greater flexibility, and greater exploratory power, and result in information that permits logical inference. Quantitative methods allow greater confirmatory power and result in information that permits statistical inference, and each has implications for sample selection. Use of multiple methods permits triangulation (cross-checking and confirming findings), and each adds some perspective that another cannot. The use of multiple methods is an iterative process, and the sequencing usually depends on how much information is already known.
Annex D Developing Focused Project Strategies: the Malawi Case Study
Malawi's Central Region Program
In Malawi, CARE is in the process of establishing a program in the Central Region area around Lilongwe. The start-up of this program had four major phases. First, since CARE had no existing program in Malawi, a month-long exploratory exercise, or probe, was conducted in May 1997. Stakeholders were met across the country, and visits made to each of the three major regions: south, central and north. Following this exercise, it was agreed, with government and donor concurrence, that the best area in terms of unmet need for CARE to commence programming was in the densely populated Central Region area around Lilongwe (Lilongwe, Dedza and Dowa Districts). In July 1998, an intensive two-week assessment was then implemented, following which the synthesis, and cause-effect diagram was generated (see Figure 4). The assessment activities included secondary data review - much conducted the previous year, but added to more specifically for the Central Region - a participatory livelihood assessment in three field areas, and marketing study. At the conclusion of these exercises, the combined team developed the cause-effect diagram as representative of the major issues affecting livelihoods, and a hypothetical rendering of the linkages between these issues.
Figure 4 - Malawi IMAP Diagram
The third phase of the Malawi program development was then a design phase. From the cause-effect diagram and additional information form the various studies, an initial program logframe was developed. This identified four major inter-linked program components, outlined below, from which three major projects have so far been developed and funded.
Goal: To improve the food and livelihood security of households in selected areas in the Central Region.
1. Develop and strengthen organizational capacities and partnerships.
2. Raise agricultural productivity (through crop diversification and improved farming systems).
3. Improve water availability and utilization, and related natural resource management.
4. Increase income opportunities and earnings.
It should be stressed that although these objectives might seem predictable, what the analysis achieves is an understanding developed through the participatory process of the linkages between the elements. In most instances, development agencies would address the above themes as discrete, unrelated elements. CARE'S aim is to overcome the inherent weaknesses and inefficiencies in this. In Malawi, a range of livelihood protection to promotion activities is included in the three proposals. The whole institutional framework for the program is provided by the local level institution building activities, which includes the evolution of local structures, which are acceptable to the local traditional leadership, but more democratic in form, through which outside agencies can operate. Cash-for-work activities are based around rural infrastructure maintenance - one project specifically deals with rural road maintenance, and the other two more with small dams activities. Participants in the cash-for-work activities will then be linked into savings groups, so that their earnings can be used both for future investment and safety net purposes. Other activities deal more with the intensification of agriculture in key resource areas, such as home fields and wetland areas, and with the development of improved marketing linkages. A final project area dealing with reproductive health will be developed during 2000.
In developing this Central Region program, CARE has had several intentions. The first is that all the programs together should have a synergistic effect, complementing each other and, taken across the region, have a combined impact on livelihoods. All the activities have been designed as pilots at this point, being implemented over a two to three year period, so their combined experiences will also be learned from in pulling together the initial experiences to develop the next operational phase of the program.
The second aim of CARE in the design is to work with and complement existing agencies and activities operating in the region as much as possible. A detailed stakeholder analysis was conducted during the exploratory probe, and developed further, particularly with regard to market linkages, during the assessment phase. Developing actual operational linkages at programmatic level has proven to be a slow process, but nevertheless during the start-up phase the new program staff are seeking to build these linkages as opportunities allow.
Finally, in its development of the overall Central Region food and livelihood security program, CARE is also seeking to pilot new models for broader replication in the country. After a lengthy period in the 1990s, when donor programs have been largely of a livelihood provisioning nature - essentially emergency provisioning of food, followed up by seeds and tools activities - CARE'S aim is to build the programming bridge between consumption provisioning, asset protection, and the broader promotion of livelihood improvement. In this sense, CARE'S first wave of programs have been largely negotiated with donors as providing experimental activities, which will contribute to the development of more far-seeking developmental activities. This is especially pertinent given that the World Bank is developing a $30 million annual social safety net program for the country, which could have disastrous consequences for longer-term efforts to rebuild human and resource capacity, if not developed in an adequately creative way.
The current phase of the Malawi activities is now that of program start-up. Key to this is the development of a common program approach across the different project activities. Here, adherence to a basic set of core programming principles is essential. These include common community institutional capacity building strategies, adherence to participatory methodologies, common training approaches, allowing materials to be reused, or adapted across projects, common indicators and monitoring methodologies and an overall programmatic baseline.
ANNEX E: Reflective Practice: the Zambia Case Study
The Livingstone Food Security Project
The Livingstone Food Security Project provides a very good example of reflective practice. This project was developed following the Southern African droughts of the early 1990s, and had as an early principal aim the improvement of food security through the introduction of drought tolerant, early maturing varieties. Local village management committees were established which allowed the project to spread rapidly, reaching some 9600 farmers in two years, and by the capacity building of these committees and their eventual federation into area management committees, allowed the project to diversify the scope of its activities. Monitoring after the second season showed the project to have been extraordinarily successful in increasing household level food stocks in many villages by an average of up to five months.
The project had also ensured that the crops women wanted were included in the program, and that women were represented on the village committees. Nevertheless, one of the field officers was given the specific remit to look more closely at gender issues and as part of this she held a series of village level meetings with men and women to discuss the subject. At one of these meetings, remarks by men that women were 'stealing' crops in the field, opened up a much more in-depth discussion on how different household members were benefiting from the seed provisioning and multiplication program. The gist of this debate was that since men controlled food granaries, any proceeds from the sale of the increased crop production were being reinvested in cattle, lost earlier largely through disease and emergency sales during the droughts. This made wives more rather than less vulnerable, since with increased assets it was easier for a husband to return to her parents a wife that disagreed with him. Accordingly some women were selling some of the crop before it reached the granary, in order to gain more direct benefit from the income. In general, this whole issue acted as a disincentive to women to continue to contribute to the increase of crop production, a factor men acknowledged.
As one response to this, the same fieldworker was eventually appointed a marketing and business development co-ordinator, and began to develop a 'personal empowerment' training methodology for the improvement of specific income generating activities in a given area. The first topic covered was that of traditional beer brewing in a workshop held in one village with women and the village management committee representatives. The latter group included men who were supportive of a process that would assist women to improve their own income generating activities. When the resources used in the beer brewing were analyzed against the monetary income, it became apparent that women were making de facto losses when the value of the grain and labor was calculated, so that the activity served more as a mechanism for converting some grain to cash in areas where there was a limited cash economy. The group's analysis of the potential revenue being lost showed that this was largely because of the huge amounts of beer that was being given away 'free' - for tasting, to husbands and their friends, to those helping in production, and to the chief. The training then focused on how these quantities could be reduced, and the whole enterprise turned into more of a business, with attention also on the customer service aspects - improving the taste, ensuring clean surroundings, and dressing neatly during selling. After the training, a record book of the costs and sales of beer brews in the village was then kept by one of the women. Profits went up immediately. Before long some profits of up to K55,000 ($25) were being recorded per brew. With the additional income, the women were able to improve their food security by purchasing or bartering for additional grain, enrolling their children into schools, improving their homes, buying small stock and poultry, purchasing blankets (it was winter), and establishing other small businesses by bulk buying and reselling (in smaller quantities) commodities like sugar and salt (Sitambuli 1999, Drinkwater and Rusinow 1999).
There are three main points to be emphasized about this case. One is the way in which the women were investing far more directly in improving household livelihood security than had been the men (another outbreak of livestock disease was in fact wiping out once again many of the increases in stock levels that had taken place since the beginning of the program). This led to a second interesting point: within a very short time the process of treating beer brewing much more as a business had spread from the original village where the training had been conducted to a further 16 surrounding villages - and the spread was by the husband beer drinkers, impressed by the extra revenue their wives could earn. This support of men was facilitated initially by the effort the project had placed in community institution building and leadership development. The involvement of men and their support for the process from the outset was critical.
The third point relevant to this topic is that without the active exploration of the benefits to different genders of the project activities, and without the internal management mechanisms for this information to be accepted and used to make appropriate, timely changes to the project strategy would not have occurred.
It was this latter understanding in particular that led to the inclusion of 'reflective practice' as part of the program design framework at the CARE Zambia HLS + gender workshop. During the workshop, a series of issues were identified with respect to the use of HLS and gender in the Country Office's project, which on the last morning were prioritized. This is a useful list, since the issues are of generic relevance across CARE'S programs.
Priority issues related to HLS:
· Need to explore more integration between projects in the same geographical area (9 votes)
· In needs assessments, look at household as a unit of analysis, and as a unit of monitoring and evaluation, but in implementation we do not have a strong focus on the household (8)
· Need improved integration of different sectoral or 'line of action' components in implementation (4)
· Difficulty in showing improvements at livelihood level of health interventions (3)
Priority issues related to gender:
· Unit of analysis is usually the household, but we miss out on the disaggregation below - how benefits are disproportionately experienced by different members (5)
· We do not have a holistic framework for measuring gender in our work (5)
· Do we need more gender specialists, or simply more appropriate programming frameworks? (5)
· Lack of effective tools in tackling culture (3)
· How do we bring in equity at the household level in terms of resource control? (3)
· Encouraging women in community activities or IGAs: Are we giving them more responsibilities without addressing how they should deal with their home-based functions (adding to their burden, not lightening it)?
One of the conclusions reached in the discussion on this prioritization was that a 'reflection' process entailed monitoring outside the framework of the logframe. If the project monitored only in terms of its specific Objectively Verifiable Indicators (OVIs), then it might not identify some of these issues of unintended consequences, particularly with regard to the disaggregated effects of activities on different wealth groups, and different members of the household. This then becomes an issue programs need to design more effectively into their learning frameworks in the future.