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September 2005

Announcement of a new publication

Do sustainable livelihoods approaches have a positive impact on the rural poor?
A look at twelve case studies

Livelihood Support Programme Working Paper Number 16


General measures of poverty reduction have historically included increases in income or food security; however, a broader definition of poverty reduction also captures elements of enhanced choice, capability and power. The sustainable livelihood (SL) approach, which builds on principles of building assets and a livelihoods focus, also incorporates principles of reduced vulnerability and sustainability as critical to achieving lasting poverty reduction.

The evidence gathered from exploring twelve successful examples suggests that effective incorporation of the good principles of development associated with the SL approach is required to set the stage for reducing poverty. The analysis indicates that the SL principles addressing social inclusivity and environmental sustainability are key. Using a livelihoods perspective along with a good developmental tool kit and appropriate sequencing can enhance the quality of a wide range of approaches to improve the lives of the rural poor.

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