STRIVING FOR SECURE AND SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOODS IN WATERSHED PROGRAMME
Livelihoods in rural areas need to be strengthened, secured and sustained. In this regard, it is necessary to assess existing strengths and identify areas for mitigation of weakness. The critical aspects in livelihood promotion strategy are:
Project should keep in mind its total duration. Therefore, it is important to visualize and plan activities that can be completed within a project time. However, it is equally important to think of creating support mechanisms for sustaining livelihood impact in the long term also.
Any activity taken up under livelihood promotion should not be discrete or limited a set of activities. Hence, a precondition for livelihood promotion would be to identify critical gaps in the value chain and define multiple interventions.
In an integrated approach, there is a scope for simultaneous action at different activities/levels and synergizing for multiplier effect. A household can take one or more activities based on their strengths, while simultaneously seeking the support of other community members for other related services or addressing the gaps in the value chain. This may be kept in mind while taking up livelihood promotional activities.
As part of the planning process, it is useful to draw a flowchart on selected activity and examine areas for multiple interventions. Once activities are identified, viability of each of the activity to be assessed based on available experience, people’s capacities, scope in the market and technology.
There should also be strategy for connecting various activities to create combined impact in local economy. Thus, clear plan for facilitating support services should also be thought at the beginning itself.
While targeting livelihood interventions, there should be equal emphasis on very poor households as well as enterprising people to achieve success. In so far as the poor households are concerned, acknowledge the dependence on multiple livelihoods to secure their livelihoods. And they should be involved in diversifying their activities and strengthening subsidiary income generation opportunities.
The relations may be forged with multiple actors i.e., private sector, community based organizations, etc.
So, livelihood interventions should meet the conditions mentioned in the box 1:
• Resilient in the face of external shocks and stresses;
• Not dependent upon external support (or if they are, this support itself should be economically and institutionally sustainable);
• Maintain the long-term productivity of natural resources; and
• Do not undermine the livelihoods of, or compromise the livelihood options open to, others.
In the watershed programme, the following aspects may be considered for facilitation of various livelihood activities to achieve the desired results.
4.MEETINGS / WORKSHOPS
8.HANDS ON EXPERIENCE - PILOTING