Baseline Analysis

Baseline Livelihood Analysis generates the reference understanding of livelihood assets and strategies of people, including description, quantities, trends and key issues. This basic understanding of livelihoods is the starting point and foundation from which FSNAU analyses food security and vulnerability (See FSNAU's Food Security and Livelihoods Analysis System).  FSNAU's unique contribution to Baseline Livelihood Analysis is the explicit definition, clarification, and refinement of livelihood assets and livelihood strategies as a defining framework for this analysis.

A Livelihood is simply how people live, where livelihoods comprise the capabilities, assets, activities and strategies required and pursued by households and individuals for a means of living.  Conceptually, FSNAU divides livelihood analysis into two key components, livelihood assets and livelihood strategies.

Livelihood Strategies are the behavioral strategies and choices adopted by people to make a living, i.e. how people access food, how they earn income, the way they allocate labor, land and resources, patterns of expenditure, the way in which they manage and preserve assets, and how the respond to shocks and the coping strategies they adopt.

Livelihood Assets define the context which influences and to a large degree defines the options and constraints available to households and individuals in their livelihood strategies.  Livelihood assets are either controlled directly by households/individuals, or include publicly owned assets and more intangible assets related to social and cultural relations. Livelihood assets are defined within five distinct asset categories: Physical, Financial, Human, Social, and Natural Capital.

FSNAU employs a number of different methods for collecting baseline information. These include traditional methods of primary and secondary data collection (i.e. surveys, collation and triangulation of secondary information, etc.), as well as rapid rural appraisal (RRA) and participatory rural appraisal (PRA) methods.

Key Questions Baseline Livelihoods Analysis Address:-

  • In a normal year, how do people feed their families and earn a living and how does this vary over time and across different regions?
  • What are the basic physical, natural, financial, social and human characteristics that define the livelihood options available to people living in a specific area?
  • What are the basic livelihood patterns of people living in a specific area?

FSNAU Outputs from Baseline Livelihoods Analysis:-

  1. Map of Livelihood Zones (PDF, 1.29MB) - Digital maps of the various Livelihood Zones in relation to district and regional boundaries.
  2. Livelihood Baseline Profiles - Individual descriptive baseline profiles for each Livelihood Zone.
  3. Making Ends Meet (FSNAU, forthcoming) - A book that presents the Baseline   Livelihoods Analysis in Somalia presented in a non-technical form.