The Sustainable Livelihoods
to the SL approach is the recognition that people pursue multiple
activities in their daily lives. Most households - especially poor
households - do not simply think in terms of 'jobs' and 'employment'
but draw on a range of assets to create opportunities to improve
their situation. The SL approach recognises a range of assets physical,
social, natural, financial and human to which poor people need to
have access in order to survive. The extent to which they do in
fact have access is constrained or supported by the way their rights
and entitlements are recognised and respected. On this point, issues
of equity, especially gender equity are central - for example women's
rights are respected in law, but often denied in practice within
communities and at the household level.
ability to achieve a positive and sustainable livelihood outcome
for their families also depends on their ability to cope with shocks
and trends that often suddenly damage one aspect of their strategy.
This, of course, is very relevant in Jordan where the asset base
is fragile and vulnerable to external shocks. The recent regional
political conflict has clearly damaged the economic strategies of
a whole range of people in Jordan - from the richest merchants to
the poorest of the poor - and they are having to develop coping
strategies to protect themselves from falling incomes.
The SL approach identifies which
strategies are more likely to be sustainable - and which short-term
measures may in fact end up making things worse by further eroding
existing assets. The SL approach recognises that poor people - whose
lives are lived at the local (micro) level are often constrained
by the actions of institutions at a national and international level.
For example policies intended to promote development at the national
(macro) level can often impact significantly at the local level.
There needs to be a channel of information between the micro and
macro levels so that these linkages can be made clear. Policy makers
need to know about the daily lives of poor people and their struggle
to survive in these difficult times. Poor people need to be able
to voice their concerns and to feel that they are being listened
to. s The SL approach involves people in the analysis of their situation
and helps identify policy recommendations for change