Workshop on Livelihoods Approaches and Analysis, 8-12 March 2004, Lao PDR

This is the report of the “DLF/NACA-STREAM/FAO National Workshop on Livelihoods Approaches and Analysis” that was conducted in Vientiane, Lao PDR from 8-12 March 2004. The purpose of the workshop was to develop and document mechanisms for training in livelihoods approaches and analysis, and to build national capacity to conduct livelihoods analysis. The workshop in Vientiane was the first STREAM event in Lao PDR, with colleagues coming to participate from Vientiane and many provinces throughout the country. The workshop in Vientiane was the third in a series, the first of which was held in Iloilo City, Philippines, in November 2003 and the second in Ranchi, India, in February, 2004. Subsequent workshops will take place in other countries in the region, including Myanmar and Yunnan, China.

The objectives of the workshop were to:

  • Understand issues of interest to people whose livelihoods include aquatic resources management, especially those with limited resources.
  • Build “(national) livelihoods teams” to do livelihoods analyses and training, and share their experiences with communities and other stakeholders.
  • Share understandings of livelihoods approaches and analysis using participatory methods.
  • Review current NACA-STREAM livelihoods analysis documentation, adapt and supplement, towards the drafting of a Guide for Livelihoods Analysis.
  • Experience the use of participatory tools for livelihoods analysis.
  • Plan activities for carrying out livelihoods analyses.
  • Consider how to build capacity in monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and “significant change”.

The week was spent exploring the complex nature of communities and groups with whom we work and sharing understandings about how best to learn about their livelihoods. Additionally, adaptations of the tools for learning and communicating about livelihoods – first developed in the “SPARK-STREAM Languages and Livelihoods Workshops” were used to help participants understand livelihoods analysis processes.

A central element of the workshop was a visit to the Nam Houm community, where participants carried out activities to learn about the community’s livelihoods. In addition to gaining information about the Nam Houm community itself, participants also gained important insights into how best to conduct livelihoods analyses.

One of the main outputs from the first and second workshops in the Philippines and India (with Nepal) was a draft outline for a Guide for Livelihoods Analysis, which was modified following the Laos PDR workshop and will continue to evolve through the series of “Workshops on Livelihoods Approaches and Analysis” throughout the region. The lessons learnt from the community visit to Nam Houm will also feed into the drafting of this Guide, and participants of this workshop drew on their experiences of the workshop activities to consider what kind of Guide should be developed and what further actions should be taken.

Follow-up actions from this workshop include the dissemination of information about livelihoods analysis and approaches in Lao PDR and continued work on the draft Guide for Livelihoods Analysis.


Publisher: Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific

Rights: Creative Commons Attribution.


Workshop and conference proceedings

NACA frequently organises technical workshops and consultations on aspects of aquaculture. The proceedings of such meetings are made available for free download. Audio and video recordings of technical presentations are also available for some meetings (please see the podcast section).