There is an urgent need to create mechanisms to empower widows in Yavatmal and Vidarbha, and give them the support they need to pick up the pieces of their lives and move forward. However, such initiatives are rare. One of the few such projects for the welfare of the helpless women is run by Watershed Organisation Trust (WOTR) and its sister organization Sampada Trust.
The Community Driven Vulnerability Evaluation – Livelihood Assessment (CoDriVE – LA) framework combines CASDAAT (Climate Adaptive Sustainable Development Assessment and Adjustment Tool) and LM3 (Local Money Multiplier). It helps the community and the intervener:
- Assess Climate Risks
- Measure Climate Risk impact on Livelihood Resources
- Measuring Local Economic Resilience
- Helps in filtering livelihoods and adjusting project activities
CASDAAT is a decision support tool that aims to provide a logical, user-friendly process to help users better understand the links between climate related risks and people’s livelihoods. In doing so, successful adaptation strategies can be developed and better supported at the local level by:
- systematically understanding the links between local livelihoods and climate;
- assessing a project’s impact on livelihood resources vulnerable to climate risk and important to coping;
- devising judgements that improve a project’s impact on livelihood resources central to adaptive capacity.
WOTR’s LM3 Tool is an analytical tool that assesses the flow of money within a local economy and gauges the extent and areas of local spending. It generates a code that indicates the strength of local money flow and highlights the areas of financial leakages. The outputs from these two tools can be used to filter and design local livelihoods which help in plugging financial leaks and thereby strengthening local economic health. Why is it needed? Livelihoods in a changing environment experience varying degrees of vulnerability due to climatic, economic and socio-cultural factors. Most forms of primary livelihoods are dependent on local resources which are getting scarce, and are under pressure from global forces and demographic changes. They are also under threat from variations in climate which manifest as non-normal and extreme weather events. There is an urgent need to understand multi-dimensional, especially resource based, vulnerability, in order to develop bottom-up, climate adaptive livelihoods. Rural Livelihoods in the development context have largely been reduced to Income Generating Activities. These increase the inflow of money, but rarely capture or account for outflow of money from these primary livelihoods. A continuous and high outflow of money and resources from a community leads to little or no local wealth generation. This ends up keeping villages vulnerable to price spikes, to a predatory economic environment and to climate related risks. What is required is for the community and development planners and practitioners to be sensitive and to understand the climatic and economic risks of purely income-generating activities and move towards strengthening livelihoods that will generate and strengthen local wealth. This understanding will help develop livelihoods that build and sustain resilience towards both, Climate Change as well as the Risks of Globalization. WOTR’s approach of Climate Adaptive Livelihoods is geared toward creating income generating opportunities while ensuring local economic health.