Protection, safety and social cohesion are preconditions for building resilient livelihoods; and quality services are needed to create an environment in which to develop successful livelihoods. Gender inequalities because of culture, religious practices, unequal power relations, and unequal access to assets like land, education, and services, mean we begin by analyzing gender power relations and vulnerabilities as part of any livelihoods programming initiative.

Individual and Household Livelihood Support

We focus on people who face constraints of food insecurity, irregular income, and insecure or inaccessible assets. We aim to help them develop coping mechanisms by acquiring skills, tools, and networks to sustain their own lives and recover from shocks and stresses. We target the most vulnerable households for skills development and income generation, with a specific focus on women and youth.

We stimulate individual entrepreneurship among those eager to adopt specific skills and with access to assets or credit. This often results in spill-over effects to others. Due to contextual and changing needs, we regularly diversify livelihoods initiatives based on local market assessments and analysis.

Community-Level Livelihoods

A community is more than the sum of its individual households. We will focus on community-based, small-scale initiatives and entrepreneurship geared to employing others, improving access to markets, and financial services.

Our aim is to increase capacity to sustain livelihoods and thus, resilience and self-reliance, including in the face of climate and environmental threats.

Increased connectivity, digitalization, and access to a stable, preferably sustainable, power supply based on renewable energies stimulates and promotes economic development in both rural and urban settings, and in turn builds more resilient and environmentally sustainable livelihoods. Wherever possible, renewable energy resources and solutions at community levels are promoted to help reduce any potential negative environmental effects of economic development activities, as well as of climate change itself. Recognizing the power and impact of supporting joint livelihoods initiatives between displaced and host communities will be an integral feature of our efforts.

Such an approach results in increased social cohesion and peaceful co-existence between these communities, with an important element being a clear focus on local leadership and youth. To build up resilience, we support increased access for the people with whom we work to information about core services from key institutions and markets. This includes building capacity through investments in training institutions, the establishment of productive infrastructure, access to financial services, and stronger community-based organizations and local business associations. 

Stimulating Livelihoods at Institutional and Policy Levels

World Service aims to build the capacity of local government and other local actors to take responsibility and ownership for community-based livelihoods initiatives. We will also increase rights-based programming in order to influence favorable policies through advocacy and lobbying on issues of land rights, food sovereignty, labor regulations, and legal protection.

At the local level, we will support communities to defend their right to livelihoods, land, the environment, agricultural extension services, disaster risk reduction and climate adaptation, and protection from natural hazards and climate-induced loss and damage.

We address gender and other inequalities in access to livelihoods by analyzing the context, raising awareness, and jointly developing approaches to challenge patterns upholding inequalities at the individual, family, and community levels.

Specifically, we support gender-sensitive agricultural policies and targeted interventions, such as promoting women’s access to land and inheritance, eliminating discrimination under the law, and widening access to technology, markets, and credits.

Taking this institutional engagement to the national and international spheres, we are active in national coalitions of civil society that aim to ensure transparency and justice in the allocation of key resources to local people. In international forums, LWF works with partners to secure commitments in areas such as climate, land, and gender, which strengthen the economic, cultural, and social rights of people and communities.

What we do

World Service aims to empower and make people and communities more resilient and economically self-reliant through increasing and protecting assets, building capacities, and promoting productive activities to sustain their basic needs and diversify their income.

We also work with both rights-holders and duty-bearers to ensure that the institutional environment enables resilient and sustainable livelihoods.