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The research catalogue is an archive of ESRC-funded grants and outputs. Links, files and other content will no longer be maintained or updated after April 2014.

Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy

Grant reference: RES-599-28-0001

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Journal article details

Resilient or vulnerable livelihoods? : assessing livelihood dynamics and trajectories in rural Botswana
In this paper, we explore the resilience and vulnerability of livelihoods within two different social-ecological dryland contexts of Botswana over the last 30 years. We drew on primary field data sources, including oral histories, livelihood surveys, ecological surveys, as well as documented evidence of environmental, socioeconomic, and institutional dynamics to identify a broad range of activities that combine to create a range of different household livelihood outcomes. We used this information as a starting point to assess the ways in which livelihoods have changed over time, and evaluated whether they have become more resilient or more vulnerable, and considered the factors that have contributed to these outcomes. In the context of dynamic dryland social-ecological systems, we applied a livelihood trajectory approach to explore the shocks and stresses that affect livelihoods and to elucidate the characteristics of livelihood strategies that contribute to increased resilience or vulnerability. We used a vulnerability framework as a means of framing discussion about vulnerability and resilience and as a means of identifying broader insights. The research identified "accumulator", "diversifier", and "dependent" households and the ways in which they move between these categories. More resilient livelihood trajectories can be achieved if the important role of formal and informal institutions is recognized.

Primary contributor

Co-author Susannah M. Sallu

Additional contributors

Co-author Chasca Twyman
Co-author Lindsay C. Stringer

Additional details

Resilience Alliance Publications
01 December 2010
Waterloo, ON
Ecology and society