Sustainable Livelihood & Environment

Sustainable Livelihood & Environment

Significant changes are taking place in market, food, governance and climate systems. PIN Livelihoods and Environment Programming is working to ensure that the poor and vulnerable benefit from these changes, by supporting sustainable livelihoods development across a range of country contexts globally.

Agriculture is one of the key sectors that PINs livelihoods work focusses on. More than three quarters of people living in extreme poverty are in rural areas and nearly two thirds earn a living from agriculture. The food for feeding the world’s current population is produced by over 500 million farms, the vast majority of them supporting a single family predominantly engaged in subsistence farming. Existing research shows that in many contexts, agriculture is significantly more effective than non-agricultural sectors in reducing poverty among the poorest of the poor. Agriculture also has an excellent – though currently underutilized – potential for reducing global undernutrition. Despite these opportunities, reducing poverty and ensuring adequate food production will not be possible without overcoming the challenges faced by smallholder farmers. Some of these challenges include, for example, lack of access to markets, environmental problems such as soil degradation and climate change, and the significant gap in access to resources between men and women farmers.

Rather than trying to tackle these problems directly, PIN adopts a systems approach focused on first understanding the complex systems we aim to influence through our work, and then working closely to support the relevant market, government and civil society actors to drive inclusive change. This approach is taken to maximise the sustainability and impact of our interventions, and ensure that any changes we contribute to can continue occurring after our projects end. Some examples of our interventions, include:

* increasing poor people’s access to and motivation to use products and services that can positively impact their lives and their local environment (e.g., agricultural inputs such as seeds and veterinary services, financial services, and renewable energy products such as solar lanterns and biodigesters)

* strengthening extension systems to improve agricultural practices and the incomes of poor farming families

* improving access to skills and decent work through vocational training

We use multi-sectoral programming and support synergies with the WASH, Health and Nutrition, Education and Skills, Social Protection and Inclusion, and Governance sectors. Our evidence-based livelihoods and environment programming uses in-depth contextual analysis, formative research and effective behavioural change strategies to make a real difference in the countries where we work. We also use what we learn from these programmes to drive advocacy for impact at both national and global levels. Geographically, improving livelihoods and environment is a programming priority for all PIN’s country offices in Africa, and the vast majority of offices in Asia and post-Soviet countries (further infromation detailed in the map below).

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