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  Sustainable Livelihoods Framework The sustainable livelihoods framework seeks to take a more comprehensive and integrated approach to poverty than traditional interpretations, which largely considered poverty in relation to a narrow set of indicators (such as income and productivity). Building upon prior work by organizations such as the Institute for Development Studies at the University of Sussex 1  and Oxfam, 2  The British Department for International Development (DFID) Sustainable Livelihoods Framework was developed in order to organize an d improve organizations’ efforts to eliminate poverty. The framework aims to present these primary factors, their significance, and the nature of their interactions. 3  It consists of five major components that are related through sequential relationships and feedback. These include: 1 Vulnerability context     Overview The vulnerability context describes the external uncontrollable factors that influence people’s assets and livelihood opportunities. Broadly, these factors are classified as:    Shocks   (e.g. environmental, conflict-related);    Trends   (e.g. resources, technology);    Seasonality   (e.g. price fluctuations, employment opportunities)    How to influence In the short- to medium-term, there is little that people can do to affect the vulnerability context itself. However, humanitarian and development agencies can play a critical role in promoting resilience to these factors by increasing access to insurance, improving institutional response capacity, and implementing other resiliency-promotion programs. 4   2 Livelihood assets    Overview The DFID framework outlines assets in terms of five categories necessary for the pursuit of positive livelihood outcomes: 1.   Human capital  (i.e. the amount and quality of knowledge and labor available in a household) 2.   Natural capital  (i.e. the quality and quantity of natural resources, ranging from fisheries to air quality) 3.   Financial capital   (i.e. savings and regular inflows of money)  4.   Physical capital   (i.e. the infrastructure, tools, and equipment used for increasing productivity) 5.   Social capital   (i.e. social resources, including networks for cooperation, mutual trust, and support) How  to influence:   This element of the framework utilizes a pentagon to describe livelihood assets, with each point assigned to a particular type of asset so that the shape of the pentagon changes as stores of certain types increase. When addressing this component of the framework, humanitarian and development agencies should pay attention to two considerations in particular: the sequence in which certain assets contribute most effectively to the attainment of others, and instances when certain types of assets can be substituted for other types (e.g. human capital for financial). As people acquire more assets, they will become more empowered to influence the next component of the framework, the structures and processes that affect them. 3. Transforming structures and processes      Overview:    Here, “structures” refer to the organizations that create and enforce legislation, provide the necessary requirements for acquiring and capitalizing upon assets (e.g. private suppliers of materials for building shelters), manage natural resources, and provide other services crucial for gaining  access to assets, exchanging them, and benefiting from their use. Meanwhile, “processes” determine the interactions between the structures and individuals. Examples of processes include policies, legislation, power relations, norms, market stability, and general rule of law. 5      How to influence:   Structures must be accompanied by appropriate policies if they are to have any impact on the poor, while policies must be implemented by competent structures if they are to be carried out in the intended manner. Still, humanitarian and development organizations can take steps to improve structures and processes individually. Organizations should focus on building institutions’ capacity to represent interests of the poor, provide training so as to reduce the market gap in goods and services, and bring together different organizations and interests through joint forums. Likewise, they should support participatory models of policy formulation, increase the accountability and transparency of institutions, support the expansion of social safety net policies, and direct other efforts toward elevating the voice of the poor in policies, legislation, and institutions. 6  4. Livelihood strategies
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