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Sustainable Livelihood Approach

A Critique of Theory and Practice

  • Book
  • © 2013


  • 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
  • Includes supplementary material:

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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.

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Table of contents (5 chapters)

Authors and Affiliations

  • , Centre for Environmental Strategy, University of Surrey, Guilford, United Kingdom

    Stephen Morse

  • Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary, Dublin 5, Ireland

    Nora McNamara

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Sustainable Livelihood Approach

  • Book Subtitle: A Critique of Theory and Practice

  • Authors: Stephen Morse, Nora McNamara

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Dordrecht

  • eBook Packages: Humanities, Social Sciences and Law, Social Sciences (R0)

  • Copyright Information: Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. 2013

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-94-007-6267-1Published: 01 March 2013

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-94-007-9280-7Published: 07 March 2015

  • eBook ISBN: 978-94-007-6268-8Published: 13 February 2013

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XVIII, 190

  • Number of Illustrations: 36 b/w illustrations

  • Topics: Human Geography, Sustainable Development, Landscape/Regional and Urban Planning

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