Territorial Approach for Sustainable Livelihoods - Main Users / Purpose

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The territorial approach for sustainable livelihoods is to be applied in the context of Development-Oriented Emergency and Transitional Aid in a post-disaster / post-conflict setting. The concept uses the key element of the sustainable livelihoods namely the premise that individuals must empower themselves but any such effort must take advantage of local assets and strengths (whether entailed in knowledge systems or strategies for coping with or adapt to changing conditions). The capacity to cope with stress and shocks, however, cannot succeed without access to supplementary resources from outside the local context or community. The concept is the means by which households obtain and maintain access to essential resources to ensure their immediate and long-term survival.

The territorial approach for sustainable livelihoods is intended to assist the people in creating a livelihood for themselves and their households. The intention is to assist the people in their efforts to improve:

  • Food nutrition status (accessibility, availability use and utilisation);
  • Access to basic social and production infrastructure;
  • Access to and better management of their production resources (including natural resources);
  • Policy and institutional environment that supports multiple livelihood strategies and promotes equitable access to competitive markets within a largely conflict free-environment.


The approach combines short, medium and long-term development activities in a coordinated process. Short to medium-term cash-for-work or food-for-work activities are used in order rehabilitate production infrastructure in a post-conflict / post-disaster period. At the same time medium to long-term investments are undertaken in order to generate income and employment opportunities.

The developmental objective is to provide communities with a guaranteed source of employment and income as part of the labour intensive rehabilitation and construction work as part of the territorial approach. At the same time investments take place in other income and employment opportunities. Once the backbone projects are completed the other investments should sustain the livelihoods (compare figure 4).

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