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Rural Livelihoods Monitoring

Founder(s): EC
Status: Completed

“A majority of poor households access most of their grain from the markets or other means, and non-farm labour, rather than agriculture, is their most important source of income.”
AREU’s Rural Livelihoods Monitoring Project involved 18 months of field research to paint a detailed picture of the human, social, financial and natural factors that underpin the lives of rural workers in Afghanistan. Starting in 2002, the project surveyed 390 households in 21 villages across seven provinces in collaboration with seven partner organisations. This body of evidence has
 also provided the baseline for AREU’s ongoing study on Afghan livelihood trajectories.
The study poses a major challenge to the largely untested assumption that the majority of Afghans are dependent on agriculture as their main source of income. It found non-farm labour to be a vital source of income among both rich and poor households, and that such diversity of livelihoods is the norm rather than the exception. These and other findings have helped fill a critical gap in empirical understanding on Afghan rural life, and provide an important basis for the design and monitoring of future development programmes.

Publications from this research project:

Who Owns The Farm? Rural Women’s Access to Land and Livestock

This working paper examines the extent to which rural women in Badakhshan, Bamiyan and Kabul Provinces have access to and ownership of land and livestock, and explores some of the reasons women have staked claims to pursue their rights of Read More

Livelihoods in Afghanistan: A Select Annotated Bibliography

A compiled bibliography of Afghanistan-relevant livelihoods publications.

Rethinking Rural Livelihoods in Afghanistan

This synthesis report presents the findings of the first 18 months of research from AREU’s Rural Livelihoods Monitoring Research Programme. The project gathered village and household information from 390 households across seven provinces with an aim to improve the understanding Read More

Out of Step? Agricultural Policy and Afghan Livelihoods

This paper argues that agricultural and livelihoods policies and programmes would benefit from stepping back and examining how rural Afghans have supported themselves for the last two decades. Farmers weigh a number of risks and are impacted by international and Read More

Wheat Seed and Agricultural Programming in Afghanistan: Its Potential to Impact on Livelihoods

This report outlines the results of one of three combined “special studies” conducted under the auspices of AREU’s livelihoods monitoring research project. Data for this particular study on wheat seed and agricultural programming was collected at the same time as Read More

Understanding Village Institutions: Case Studies on Water Management from Faryab and Sar-i-Pul

This report describes how water is managed within and between villages in two districts in northern Afghanistan, and focuses on the rules that govern the distribution of water and the way in which these rules are or are not enforced.

Gender Roles in Agriculture: Case Studies of Five Villages in Northern Afghanistan

The purpose of this report is to contribute to a greater understanding of the roles women and men play in the different stages of agriculture as well as other production and income-generating activities in Afghanistan.

Three Villages in Alingar, Laghman: A Case Study of Rural Livelihoods

This case study presents village and household data and findings on three villages in Alingar, Laghman Province. This paper is part of AREU’s Rural Livelihoods Monitoring Research Project and aims to stimulate debate over the nature of livelihood strategies in Read More

Addressing Livelihoods in Afghanistan

This study examines the factors influencing Afghan livelihoods in order to ensure that national and international efforts contribute positively to their protection, development and preservation. It also argues that the UK Department for International Development (DFID)’s Sustainable Livelihoods Framework, although Read More