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Further information about the LSP

The Livelihood Support Programme (LSP) works through the following sub-programmes:

Improving people’s 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.

Institutional learning

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.

Capacity building

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 world’s 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 peoplecentred approaches into both new and existing programmes and activities.

For further information on the Livelihood Support Programme,

contact the programme coordinator:

Email: [email protected]


Baumann P., (July 2002) Improving Access to Natural Resources for the Rural Poor: A critical analysis of central concepts and emerging trends from a sustainable livelihoods perspective. FAO, LSP WP 1, Access to Natural Resources Sub-Programme.

Cotula L., (August 2002) Improving Access to Natural Resources for the Rural Poor: The experience of FAO and of other key organisations from a sustainable livelihoods perspective. FAO, LSP WP 2, Access to Natural Resources Sub-Programme.

Karl M., (August 2002) Participatory Policy Reform from a Sustainable Livelihoods Perspective: Review of concepts and practical experiences. FAO, LSP WP 3, Participation, Policy and Local Governance Sub-Programme.( Available in french and spanish also)

Warren P., (December 2002) Livelihoods Diversification and Enterprise Development: An initial exploration of Concepts and Issues. FAO, LSP WP 5, Livelihoods Diversification and Enterprise Development Sub-Programme

Cleary D., with contributions from Pari Baumann, Marta Bruno, Ximena Flores and Patrizio Warren (September 2003) People-Centred Approaches: A brief literature review and comparison of types. FAO, LSP WP 5, People-Centered Approaches in Different Cultural Contexts Sub- Programme (Available in french and spanish also)

Seshia S. with Scoones I., Environment Group, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK (November 2003) Understanding Access to Seeds and Plant Genetic Resources. What Can a Livelihoods Perspective Offer? FAO, LSP WP 6, Access to Natural Resources Sub-Programme.

Biggs S. D., and Messerschmidt D., (December 2003) The Culture of Access to Mountain Natural Resources: Policy, Processes and Practices. FAO, LSP WP 7, Access to Natural Resources Sub-Programme.

Evrard O., (Janvier 2004) La mise en oeuvre de la réforme foncière au Laos : Impacts sociaux et effets sur les conditions de vie en milieu rural (with summary in English). FAO, LSP WP 8, Access to Natural Resources Sub-Programme.

Ellis F., Allison E., Overseas Development Group, University of Anglia, UK ( January 2004) Livelihood Diversification and Natural Resource Access. FAO, LSP WP 9, Access to Natural Resources Sub-Programme, Livelihood Diversification and Enterprise Development Sub-Programme.

Hodgson S., (March 2004) Land and Water – the rights interface. FAO, LSP WP 10, Access to Natural Resources sub-programme.

Mitchell R. and Hanstad T., Rural Development Institue (RDI), USA, (March 2004) Small homegarden plots and sustainable livelihoods for the poor. FAO LSP WP 11, Access to Natural Resources sub-programme.

Hanstad T., Nielsen R., Brown J., Rural Development Institute (RDI), USA, (May 2004) Land and Livelihoods: Making land rights real for India’s rural poor. FAO LSP WP 12, Access to Natural Resources sub-programme.

Fisher R.J., Schmidt K., Steenhof B. and Akenshaev N., (May 2004) Poverty and forestry : A case study of Kyrgystan with reference to other countries in West and Central Asia. FAO LSP WP 13, Access to Natural Resources Sub-Programme

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