Thematic Areas

Reflection-Action Lenses

AoA - Livelihoods analysis

AoA - Livelihoods analysis

Livelihoods Analysis involves understanding people’s livelihood strategies in order to make sense of what they are doing and understand the opportunities for change. It involves looking at what resources are available and what is needed, analysing changing livelihood patterns and exploring women’s livelihood opportunities.   

Participatory tools for livelihoods analysis 

Matrix - A matrix can be used to facilitate livelihoods analysis. The questions will depend on the focus of the analysis - the sample table below would be used to explore changing occupations over time.

Family occupation analysis  -  By drawing a picture of family, the facilitator can generate discussion of the livelihood options of different generations over the period according to the analysis objectives and questions. 

Mobility map - A mobility map could be used to look at how far people have to travel to find work. 

Some key questions for Livelihood Analysis 

  • What were the previous occupations/earning source of the community/family?
  • What are the existing occupations/earning source of the community/family?
  • Has there been any change in livelihood patterns over the period? If so what are the reasons behind the changes?
  • What livelihood options do women have and how have these changed over time? 
  • Have the changes in livelihood options affected the security of the community/family?
  • What opportunities exist for new livelihood options and what capacity building is required for these?
  • What role should service providers play in this regard?



Here you can download some useful resources.

Tools in this toolbox

Access and control matrix

To analyse who has the power to access and control different resources and who is denied this.The Access and Control Matrix encou…

Agricultural map

To show the different crops grown and / or livestock kept in a community.Steps in the processThe group may wish to begin the exer…

Care sharing square

To help identify actors that can support and share an individual's care work.The tool helps to introduce the idea that care is a …

Criteria ranking matrix

To rank different items / issues against a set of criteria.Steps in the processHere we use the example of a criteria ranking of f…

Flow chart

To help make sense of different processes or complex systems - to explore cause, effect and inter-connections.Flow charts can be …

Income and expenditure calendar

To analyse income and expenditure over the year of an individual, household or organisation.Steps in the processIn this example w…

Income and expenditure tree

To analyse income and expenditure of an individual, household or organisation.Steps in the processIn this example we look at hous…


To present local information, problems and opportunities in a clear, visual way. A basic map of a local area can be overlaid with…

Mobility map

To explore where people go, for what reasons, the frequency of their visits, distances covered, and modes of transport used.Steps…

Natural resources map

To identify the natural resources within a community and to discuss changes in the availability and quality of such resources. Na…

Systems diagram

To help make sense of a system, exploring the interdependence of different elements within it.A systems diagram may be used to de…

Transect walk

A transect walk is a systematic walk along a defined path (transect) across a community to explore conditions by observing, askin…