Lynne Rienner Publishers Logo

Sustainable Livelihoods: Building on the Wealth of the Poor

Kristin Helmore and Naresh Singh
Sustainable Livelihoods: Building on the Wealth of the Poor
ISBN: 978-1-56549-132-8
2001/128 pages/LC: 2001037689
A Kumarian Press Book

"It is heartwarming to see the emphasis on the grassroots participation of local women and men as they become empowered agents of change and transformation within their communities through a multi-sectoral approach. Helmore and Singh have created what should be considered a primer for eradicating poverty and enhancing sustainable development."—Mildred Robbins Leet, Trickle Up Program

"The term 'sustainable livelihoods' represents one of those rare integrative concepts that shines a clear light on what societies must do to make the world a better place for all to live in, now and in the future. The authors have managed to collect and present the cutting edge of both its theory and praxis in this volume. It is a most valuable contribution."—Ashok Khosla, Development Alternatives

"This slim volume is packed with practical approaches to empowering people in their own communities. The reader may agree or disagree with its positions, but will be challenged to think seriously about key development issues."—Margaret Snyder, UNIFEM


Kristin Helmore and Naresh Singh present the details of the widely tested Participatory Assessment and Planning for Sustainable Livelihoods methodology, or PAPSL, a holistic approach to poverty eradication that empowers the poor to analyze their circumstances, identify their priorities, and launch their own development initiatives.


Kristin Helmore has written on development issues for numerous magazines, including The Christian Science Monitor and African Farmer. Naresh Singh is principal adviser on poverty and sustainable livelihoods for the UNDP's Bureau of Development Policy.


  • Introduction.
  • Adaptive Strategies and Sustainable Livelihoods.
  • Participation and Empowerment.
  • Science and Technology.
  • Investments and Financial Services.
  • Governance and Policy.
  • Epilogue.
  • Appendix: Sustainable Livelihoods at a Glance.