The Livelihood Support Programme (LSP) works through the following sub-programmes:
Improving peoples access to natural resources
Access of the poor to natural assets is essential for sustainable poverty reduction. The livelihoods of rural people with limited or no access to natural resources are vulnerable because they have difficulty in obtaining food, accumulating assets, and recuperating after shocks or misfortunes.
Participation, Policy and Local Governance
Local people, especially the poor, often have weak or indirect influence on policies that affect their livelihoods. Policies developed at the central level are often not responsive to local needs and may not enable access of the rural poor to needed assets and services.
Livelihoods diversification and enterprise development
Diversification can assist households to insulate themselves from environmental and economic shocks, trends and seasonality - in effect, to be less vulnerable. Livelihoods diversification is complex, and strategies can include enterprise development.
Natural resource conflict management
Resource conflicts are often about access to and control over natural assets that are fundamental to the livelihoods of many poor people. Therefore, the shocks caused by these conflicts can increase the vulnerability of the poor.
The institutional learning sub-programme has been set up to ensure that lessons learned from cross-departmental, cross-sectoral team work, and the application of sustainable livelihoods approaches, are identified, analysed and evaluated for feedback into the programme.
The capacity building sub-programme functions as a service-provider to the overall programme, by building a training programme that responds to the emerging needs and priorities identified through the work of the other sub-programmes.
People-centred approaches in different cultural contexts
A critical review and comparison of different recent development approaches used in different development contexts is being conducted, drawing on experience at the strategic and field levels in different sectors and regions.
Mainstreaming sustainable livelihoods approaches in the field
FAO designs resource management projects worth more than US$1.5 billion per year. Since smallholder agriculture continues to be the main livelihood source for most of the worlds poor, if some of these projects could be improved, the potential impact could be substantial.
Sustainable Livelihoods Referral and Response Facility
A Referral and Response Facility has been established to respond to the increasing number of requests from within FAO for assistance on integrating sustainable livelihood and people-centred approaches into both new and existing programmes and activities.
For further information on the Livelihood Support Programme,
contact the programme coordinator: