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Livelihoods, services and conflict: what does the evidence tell us?

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17 December 2012
Livelihoods, services and conflict: what does the evidence tell us?

The full series of SLRC's inception phase working papers is now on-line and available to download. The series reviews the evidence on livelihoods, basic services and social protection in conflict-affected situations, and comprises two global syntheses - one on growth and livelihoods, one on social protection and basic services - as well as seven country-focused reviews (Afghanistan, DRC, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Sudan, Uganda). The papers assess the extent and quality of the evidence base, identify key findings, and highlight knowledge gaps. They have also been central to the development of SLRC's research agenda.

Growth and Livelihoods

The full working paper – “Growth and livelihoods in fragile and conflict-affected situations” – maps out the evidence base, identifies key messages and findings, and pinpoints gaps and weaknesses in the literature. 

Basic Services and Social Protection

The full working paper – "Social protection and basic services in fragile and conflict-affected situations" – reviews the evidence on social protection and basic services (health, education, water). The paper seeks to establish what we do and do not know about provision, delivery and access, draw out lessons and common themes, and identify areas for potential future research.

Livelihoods, basic services and social protection in conflict affected situations: Country-focused working papers

Livelihoods, basic services and social protection in South Sudan by Daniel Maxwell, Kirsten Gelsdorf and Martina Santschi - highlights the fact that although there is a clear need for social protection programmes, they have not yet taken off. There is also a low availability of evidence for use in policy and programme formulation, and numerous questions around the nature of return and reintegration of those displaced by conflict remain.

Livelihoods, basic services and social protection in Afghanistan by Adam Pain - emphasises the need to build a better understanding of the existing political and economic market-places at multiple levels in Afghanistan, highlighting the centrality of the behaviour of elites and the norms and values that underlie their behaviour. Such an understanding can then help us make sense of the types of incentives that might drive changes in elite behaviour to help widen access to both political and economic resources and bring more formality to the informal systems which currently exist.

Livelihoods, basic services and social protection in Democratic Republic of the Congo by Bart Weijs, Dorothea Hilhorst and Adriaan Ferf - focuses on the multitude of formal and informal (or customary) institutions that local populations have to reckon and deal with on a day-to-day basis in order to access basic services, with frequently changing rules which are highly dependent on the moment and persons in power.

Livelihoods, basic services and social protection in Northern Uganda and Karamoja by Kirsten Gelsdorf, Daniel Maxwell and Dyan Mazurana - notes that while progress is being made in the Greater North of Uganda, more targeted livelihood support and basic service and social protection provision are necessary to overcome the effects of nearly 20 years of war, displacement, abduction and the destruction of social fabric.

Livelihoods, basic services and social protection in north-western Pakistan by Babar Shahbaz, Qasim Ali Shah, Abid Q. Suleri, Steve Commins and Akbar Ali Malik - identifies a number of key lessons for policy and programming in terms of: the lack of consistent response to the impacts of conflict and flood displacements; the lack of understanding of local dynamics; and the lack of focus on livelihoods and markets in interventions.

Livelihoods, basic services and social protection in Sri Lanka by Priyanthi Fernando and Sonali Moonesinghe - suggests that Sri Lanka’s conflict has been shaped and driven by perceptions of exclusion and a lack of access to entitlements. At present, it is also unclear how post-war government policies driven primarily by economic development will help address these persisting issues.

Livelihoods, basic services and social protection in Nepal by Bishnu Raj Upreti, Sony KC, Richard Mallett and Babken Babajanian - pays particular attention to the country’s broad range of formal social protection initiatives, finding that although a commendable step forward, access to social protection appears to vary across groups and, even more fundamentally, the impacts of programming remain largely unknown.

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