Thousands of surveys on rural livelihoods in developing countries are being done every year. Unfortunately, many suffer from weaknesses in methods and problems in implementation. Quantifying households' dependence on multiple environmental resources (forests, bush, grasslands and rivers) is particularly difficult and often simply ignored in the surveys. The results therefore do not reflect rural realities. In particular, 'the hidden harvest' from natural resources is generally too important to livelihoods for development research, policies and practice to ignore. Fieldwork using state-of-the-art methods, and in particular well-designed household questionnaires, thus becomes an imperative to adequately capture key dimensions of rural welfare.
This book describes how to do a better job when designing and implementing household and village surveys for quantitative assessment of rural livelihoods in developing countries. It covers the entire research process from planning to sharing research results. It draws on the experiences from a large global-comparative project, the Poverty Environment Network (PEN), to develop more robust and validated methods, enriched by numerous practical examples from the field. The book will provide an invaluable guide to methods and a practical handbook for students and professionals.
'This study, led by world renowned scholars and scientists, sets new standards for efforts to understand rural life, poverty dynamics, human-environment interactions, and development outcomes. A key output from the ambitious 'Poverty Environment Network (PEN)', this brilliant collection of analyses will have lasting impact on how scholars and students of poverty and environment conduct research and collect data, manage interdisciplinary collaborative work, and present policy-shaping results.' Arun Agrawal, University of Michigan, USA
'This volume provides an invaluable guide to the relationship between poverty, environment and how people benefit from natural resources. It presents practical advice on how to undertake rigorous field-based investigations and meticulously covers each stage in the research process.' Professor Katrina Brown, University of East Anglia, UK
'Household income surveys traditionally underestimate how much rural families depend on nature to earn their living. This book shows how researchers can do it right and why everyone should care.' David Kaimowitz, Director, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development, Ford Foundation
'This book provides a solid methodological foundation for designing and implementing household and village surveys to quantify rural livelihoods, with an emphasis on environmental income and reliance in developing countries.' Bruce Campbell, Director, Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) of the CGIAR