Building Livelihoods: A Field Manual for Practitioners in Humanitarian Settings

Published: May 2009

This publication by the Women's Refugee Commission is based on two-and-a-half years of research and 10 field assessments covering all contexts of displacement: refugee, IDP and returnee situations, in camp settings, as well as in rural and urban areas. It is informed by several pilot projects that were funded from one to three years in places such as the refugee camps on the Thai-Burma border; with women at-risk of gender-based violence who have returned to Burundi; and in the slums of Bogota, Colombia, home to a large displaced population.

The field manual has been reviewed and contributed to by experts from the NGO practitioner, UN and academic communities, including those who participated in a three-day intensive workshop at the Rockefeller Foundation's conference center in Bellagio, Italy. This field manual does not provide all the answers, nor does it provide models that can be simply replicated from one context to another. Instead, it provides guidance, ideas, tools and suggestions to assist practitioners and program managers in making strategic choices about their livelihood interventions so that programs can be appropriately designed and have greater impact.

This field manual was produced to assist practitioners who desire to strengthen their skills and enhance their knowledge in order to do better livelihoods and economic recovery programming. The Women's Refugee Commission hopes that the manual helps members of the humanitarian community succeed in our endeavor to do better -- the displaced deserve no less.

Populations Rural, Women

Industries Agriculture/Food Processing

Publishers Women's Refugee Commission (formerly Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children)

Funded by U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, United Kingdom Department for International Development