Technologies | Resources
What are Sustainable Livelihoods?
While there are many possible definitions of sustainable livelihoods, the Development Alternatives (DA) approach encompasses activities intended to help economically disadvantaged members of society meet their daily subsistence needs in a manner that is dignified, locally appropriate,and environmentally sustainable.
"A job is something you have to do to earn money but a sustainable livelihood is a healthy way of living."
Anand, Textile Engineer, DA Bangalore.
"Sustainable livelihood creation basically translates into the creation of livelihoods that empower individuals to earn enough money to provide for basic amenities such as food, clothing and shelter. It also enables people to lead a life of dignity in a sustainable manner."
Rajiv, Senior Editor, DA Communications Group.
"Development workers, talk about sustainable livelihoods at a very cerebral level, but for the people here it is about survival."
Geeta, Architect at TARAGram.
The Development Alternative's Approach
DA's sustainable livelihoods approach to development incorporates the intergenerational concept that it is important to meet the needs of people today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. It also includes the Gandhian idea of creating self-sustaining village republics whose economies are biomass driven.
The DA approach is not uniform -- it varies by project and by region. It is also not static but is evolving as we expand our understanding of what a sustainable livelihood should constitute. The more time we spend working with local people the more we are learning about what a sustainable livelihood really is.
Generally, Development Alternatives' mandate is to create sustainable livelihoods, particularly for women and the poor, by :
- Designing and disseminating appropriate technologies for alternative income generating activities.
- Promoting sustainable use and regeneration of natural resources using appropriate technologies and management techniques.
Appropriate Technologies encompass:
- Shelter (mud blocks and concrete roofing tiles)
- Textiles (handloom)
- Water (check dams and hand pumps)
- Paper (hand made paper production units)
- Soil (vermicomposting)
- Energy (biogassifiers and smokeless cookstoves)
Regeneration and Sustainable Use of Natural Resources encompasses:
- Drinking water and sanitation
- Watershed development and irrigation
- Soil fertility and moisture conservation
Technologies | Resources