ALTHOUGH I TEACH I HARDLY LECTURE. AFTER ALL, STUDENTS WANT TO LEARN.
Livelihood system dynamics in rural development
Farmers in precarious conditions – notably those living in the drylands – have a remarkable capacity for survival. This survival behavior is reflected in the agricultural technologies they use, the way they relate to neighbors and communities, and how they form political opinions about agriculture and food. These livelihood factors, though sometimes difficult for researchers to parse, greatly influence their transition readiness. In other words, livelihood circumstances affect disadvantaged people in managing change to improve their well-being.
What resources constitute the material, human and social foundation for survival? How can farmers and those depending on off-farm income be supported in improving well-being? How might a development intervention become workable for people in precarious living conditions, especially when considering risks and uncertainties that dominate human choices? This course focuses on the latest thinking on these questions, bringing together insights from system theory, biology, social sciences, and practical experiences in rural development.