1. This paper aims to capture the range of livelihood interventions that have been supported by OFDA over time, around the world, and in a wide variety of disaster settings. These interventions are not judged for their success or failure.
2. One goal of this paper is to demonstrate different types of livelihood classifications that can be used to report on interventions that support livelihoods. The second goal is to raise awareness among OFDA staff of the breadth of approaches the office has pursued in meeting the needs of disaster-affected populations.
3. There are important conceptual distinctions between livelihoods and PMP (prevention, mitigation, and preparedness) and developmental relief. Simply defined, livelihoods are the sum of means by which people get by over time. “Livelihoods” refer to a household own relationship to risk, vulnerability, and disasters. In contrast, PMP and developmental relief refer to external interventions that are designed to address disaster risks and hazards.
4. This paper uses a modified livelihood model to analyze OFDA interventions. This framework distinguishes between interventions that seek to protect the assets a household controls and interventions that seek to support or enhance the processes, institutions, and policies that influence livelihood strategies and outcomes.
5. A household’s collection of assets (human, financial, physical, natural and social) determines both the livelihood strategies pursued and the household’s vulnerability to disaster. Household resilience is usually greater when they have a broad and diverse endowment of assets. However, the possession of assets can increase vulnerability under certain conditions (such as in conflicts marked by raiding and looting, or when discrimination against ethnic groups occurs due to their historical access to power or resources).
6. Processes, institutions and policies (PIPs) enable or hinder livelihood strategies and, in turn, either promote or reduce vulnerabilities. Livelihood interventions may influence the informal practices that shape livelihoods (e.g., gender roles, customs of inheritance) or may focus on formal institutions (e.g., trade mechanisms, legal codes, conflict negotiations, and systems for disaster preparedness and response).
7. The analysis in this paper highlights a number of areas for further investigation, including the utility of examining the relationship between OFDA and DOD and between OFDA and DOS; continued analysis of the political economy of conflict to further understanding of the relationships between assets and vulnerability; continued (and perhaps expanded) investments in program monitoring and evaluation; and efforts to ensure clarity between OFDA and its implementing partners with respect to livelihoods.