Site Meter

NCCR North-South - Research Partnerships for Sustainable Development

Thank you for visiting the website of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) North-South. The NCCR North-South programme formally ended in June 2014.

Please note that the content of this website will no longer be updated.

Livelihoods & Globalisation


Livelihood Options and Globalisation

Globalisation has a profound effect on the world’s poor. For some, it creates new economic opportunities. For many others it only adds new obstacles in the constant search for a sustainable livelihood.

Many of the causes of poverty are rooted not in a lack of available resources, but in institutional and territorial barriers that impede access to them. Economic programs based on market liberalisation, privatisation and reduced government controls often benefit only those who already have a fixed place in the economy. For those on the outside, poverty itself limits access to state-run programs for the promotion of livelihood opportunities. The most common result is the rise of “informal” survival strategies that only increase the economic, social and political vulnerability of the poor.

Research conducted by the NCCR North-South is concerned with the changing economic, social and political structures that determine the livelihood options available to the poor. Particular attention is paid to the possibilities for changing institutional structures and government policies to render them more responsive to the needs of the poor. Case studies aim at identifying strategies for the poor to take better advantage of existing opportunities and to enhance their ability to adapt to the constantly changing conditions of the globalised market economy.


    Livelihood Concepts and Contexts
    What are the options open to the poor for gaining a livelihood? What new paths are being opened through globalisation? What are the obstacles that need to be overcome? Research into these questions focuses on issues of access to available assets and the implications of spatial dynamics for the livelihood strategies of individuals and families in a variety of socio-environmental contexts.  >>more

    Livelihood Strategies and Poverty
    How do the poor adapt to changing circumstances? What are the strategies they follow in the quest for sustainable livelihoods? What means can be used for improving livelihood security?  >>more

    Livelihoods and Territory
    More and more of the fundamental assumptions on which both rural and urban livelihood strategies traditionally relied are being rendered obsolete by the effects of globalisation. How does the logic of survival influence and react to this continued transformation of social and spatial circumstances?  >>more



Research 2001-2009

Related Content

in the world:

The NCCR North-South is hosted by the University of Bern
and funded jointly by the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation