© 2013

Sustainable Livelihood Approach

A Critique of Theory and Practice


  • Provides a critical review of the sustainable livelihood approach

  • Looks at SLA in practice and not just in theory

  • Explores some of the central challenges of putting SLA into practice

  • Suggests how SLA can be modified to make it more relevant to all places on the globe; from sustainable livelihood to sustainable lifestyle


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Stephen Morse, Nora McNamara
    Pages 1-13
  3. Stephen Morse, Nora McNamara
    Pages 15-60
  4. Stephen Morse, Nora McNamara
    Pages 61-99
  5. Stephen Morse, Nora McNamara
    Pages 101-154
  6. Stephen Morse, Nora McNamara
    Pages 155-173
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 175-190

About this book



We all view the ubiquitous term ‘sustainability’ as a worthwhile goal. But how can we apply the principles of sustainability in the real world, at the sharp end of communities in developing nations where income insecurity is the troubled norm? This volume provides some practical answers, explaining the precepts of the ‘sustainable livelihood approach’ (SLA) through the case study of a microfinance scheme in Africa.


The case study, centered around the work of the Catholic Church’s Diocesan Development Services organization, involved an SLA implemented over two years designed in part to help enhance its existing microfinance operation through closer links between local communities and international donors. The book’s central conclusion is that we must move beyond the concept of sustainable livelihood itself, with its in-built polarities between developed and developing nations, and embrace a more global notion of ‘sustainable lifestyle’; a more nuanced and inclusive approach that encompasses not just how we make a sustainable living, but how we can live sustainable lives.


Communities in developing nations Developed and developing nations Development interventions Human capital Income insecurity Microfinance scheme in Africa Natural capital North-South polarity Principles of sustainability SLA Social capital Sustainable Livelihood Approach Sustainable livestyle

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1., Centre for Environmental StrategyUniversity of SurreyGuilfordUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Missionary Sisters of the Holy RosaryDublin 5Ireland

Bibliographic information