NCCR North-South Dialogue No. 10

Steimann B
Bern, NCCR North-South 2007

People in rural areas of Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) often live under very difficult conditions, with a per capita income among the lowest in the whole country. The terrain is often rugged and impassable, not always suitable for cultivation, and the infrastructure is in rather poor condition. Thus, access to food and public services is very much limited in the region – the more so for women, who are subject to strict social control in many areas. In addition, forests, which are often a key resource for construction and energy supply, are on the decline. 
Under these circumstances, securing livelihoods becomes a true challenge, often demanding other sources of income in addition to farming. The NCCR Pakistan Research Group is focusing on natural resource management in the NWFP. It has conducted research on political structures and local forest use; with the present paper, it fills a gap regarding knowledge about people’s livelihood strategies. A livelihood survey based on DFID’s Sustainable Livelihoods Approach was conducted in selected locations throughout the NWFP, in order to better understand the importance of forest resources for rural people’s livelihoods, and serve as an entry point into the question of the role of gender disparities in, and the impact of trade liberalisation, upon rural livelihoods. The paper ends with an identification of key factors that can make livelihood strategies strong or weak. In addition, it gives recommendations for future research.

Steimann B. 2007. Livelihood Strategies in North-West Pakistan. Results from the Sustainable Livelihood Survey 2004, North-West Frontier Province (Pakistan). NCCR North-South Dialogue No 10. Bern, Switzerland: NCCR North-South.


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