From Description to Explanation: Using the Livelihoods as Intimate Government (LIG) Approach
Two decades after their rapid rise to prominence, the place of livelihoods approaches in contemporary development conversations and programming is unclear. This status is in many ways deserved, as such approaches have often failed to deliver rigorous explanations of observed livelihoods decisions and outcomes. However, as development, humanitarian assistance, and climate change organizations refocus their efforts around the concepts of resilience and vulnerability, there is increasing demand for methods with the holism of livelihoods approaches. If livelihoods approaches are to fill this need, they must evolve to embrace explicit theories of livelihoods decision-making, and means of applying this theory to specific research and implementation challenges. This paper presents the Livelihoods as Intimate Government (LIG) approach as one such linking of theory and application. LIG captures a wider range of motivations for observed decisions and behaviors than possible under the more instrumental livelihoods approaches that currently dominate the scene, a critical need if we are to productively address complex questions of vulnerability and resilience. This article lays out the theory behind LIG and connects this theory to practice through a step-by-step manner with reference to livelihoods decisions in Ghana's Central Region, closing with a brief discussion of what LIG, and indeed revitalized livelihoods approaches more generally, can contribute to contemporary development and climate change research, policy, and implementation. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
livelihoods, livelihoods approach, methodology, resilience, vulnerability
Carr, Edward, "From Description to Explanation: Using the Livelihoods as Intimate Government (LIG) Approach" (2014). International Development, Community, and Environment. 91.