In the face of decades of attempts to promote development, developing countries are turning to a new model to reduce and alleviate poverty without compromising the natural assets of the country. These new methods are collectively termed Sustainable Livelihoods. A livelihood includes the capabilities, assets (including both material and social resources) and activities required for a means of living. A livelihood is sustainable when it can cope with and recover from stresses and shocks while maintaining or enhancing its capabilities and assets and not undermining the natural resource base.
Vulnerability plays a significant role in sustainable livelihoods. If the factors contributing to a livelihood are susceptible to degradation or damage from adverse factors or influences, they can be seen as vulnerable and therefore less sustainable.
The diagram below outlines a commonly used framework for implementing a sustainable livelihoods approach developed by the UK Department for International Development (DFID 1999).
A framework for implementing the sustainable livelihoods approach.
Source: DFID 1999
( click to enlarge )