Livelihoods are the means by which households secure basic needs such as food, shelter, health care, education and income.

‘Livelihood approaches’ and analyses are an important tool for organizations and community groups to take a holistic view of the situation, needs and opportunities of households in different population groups. They recognize that different households gain their livelihoods in different ways (e.g. from wage employment, agricultural production, trading, and in many other ways), and that many households depend on several different activities at the same time, or at different times of year. They also recognize that the different activities can be affected in different ways by economic policies, social policies, or natural events.

What “Transforming our World – Agenda 2030” says about livlihoods …

Agenda 2030 says quite a lot about employment, jobs, activities (such as agriculture), and social protection that can all contribute to assuring livelihoods, and it emphasizes that the SDGs are all interlinked.

The only explicit reference to livelihoods is under SDG #15 which focuses on protecting ecosystems. Target 15c is “Enhance global support for efforts to combat poaching and trafficking of protected species, including by increasing the capacity of local communities to pursue sustainable livelihood opportunities”.

Share your experience and ideas:

  • What livelihood patterns exist within your own community and in other communities in your country?
  • What determines whether a livelihood is sustainable or not?
  • How important are sustainable livelihoods to achieving the SDGs in general and the well-being of people and the planet?