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									Livelihoods Technical Competency Framework


Livelihoods advisers must be able to demonstrate:

1. Understanding the global context, including the international and regional architecture, of
   agriculture, food & nutrition security, natural resources and climate change.
2. Knowledge and application of rural development policy and delivery in a developing
   country context (including agricultural systems, technology & markets, safety nets)
3. Understanding sources of risk and insecurity, their impacts on livelihoods and application
   to building resilience (to climate and natural resource shocks, food and nutrition
   insecurity, political economy and in fragile contexts)
4. Knowledge and application of natural resource-based livelihoods (including agricultural
   services, value chains, adaptation and mitigation to climate change in agriculture and
   natural resource management)
5. Understanding dynamics of change in and between rural and urban areas and resource-
   based livelihoods and likely trajectories
6. Knowledge and application of analytical tools, ways of working and evidence, innovation
   and learning
7. Plus the shared technical competencies expected for all advisers.

Livelihoods advisers filling specialist positions (e.g. forest, trade, livestock, fisheries, etc) will
be required to have detailed technical knowledge in these specialist areas.

Each competence will be assessed on the following scale: 0= limited or none; 1= basic level ;
2= good level ; 3= advanced level of understanding and application.

Technical competency             Knowledge Required
Understanding of:

The global context,                      International architecture for aid and high-level development
including the international               goals (e.g. MDGs)
and regional architecture,               Roles and functioning of key international (e.g. World Bank, EU,
of agriculture, food &                    G20, key donors such as USAID Feed the Future, CGIAR,
nutrition security, natural               Global Donor Platform for Rural Development, various
resources and climate                     Foundations and NGOs) and regional (e.g. development banks,
change.                                   CAADP, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, etc.) players
                                         International architecture surrounding agriculture, food and
                                          nutrition security and forestry (technology, marketing, trade,
                                          environmental agreements, etc.) and other natural resources
                                         Roles of other UK Government departments in agriculture,
                                          natural resources and private sector support and of domestic
                                         International trade and intellectual property regimes and how
                                          these impact men's and women's livelihoods
                                          Food and nutrition security as a policy and practical objective
                                         International climate and environmental commitments
                                         Climate Science & understanding impact of climate change on
                                          (rural based) livelihoods
                                         Poverty reduction strategies and how they impact on, for
                                          example, the agricultural sector, food and nutrition security, etc.
                                         Public financial management
                                         Governance as a key factor in securing effective development

                                 Enabling advisers to:
                                     Understand their role within the broader system and identify
                                        opportunities for linkages and collaboration
                                     Work as part of multi-institutional teams to achieve common
                                        goals (Managing for Development Results) and develop an
Livelihoods Technical Competency Framework

                        effective policy environment for livelihood improvement
                       Work with other cadres and contribute to high-level debates
                       Work with and influence partners to develop effective policy
                        environment for livelihood improvement
                       Ensure that on-the-ground work is aligned with and informs
                        higher-level debate

Livelihoods Technical Competency Framework

Rural development policy             History, impact and degree of success of rural development
and delivery in a                     interventions (including participation, agricultural services
developing country context            reform, land policy, food and nutrition security (FNS), and
                                      diversification) in meeting the needs of the poor and extreme
                                     Impact of public sector reforms (e.g. decentralisation,
                                      privatisation) on livelihoods of men and women
                                     Impact of agriculture on poverty reduction, FNS and its differing
                                      impact on men and women
                                     The role of the private sector in development and growth and the
                                      enabling environment for private sector trade/making markets
                                      work for the poor
                                     The importance of technology to growth (especially agricultural
                                      technology but also opportunities for applications of new
                                      communications and low carbon technologies in rural areas) and
                                      possible trade-offs with FNS and poverty reduction
                                     Social and economic links between rural and urban areas
                                     Political economy factors including power
                                     Social protection as a tool for securing livelihoods

                               Enabling advisers to:
                                   Design, lead and contribute to evidence-based analysis of the
                                      context of rural and urban livelihoods
                                   Introduce livelihoods perspective into policy and programming
                                   Identify best practice and new opportunities in programme
                                   Design programmes that work for the poorest and for particular
                                      groups (e.g. women, migrants, etc.)
                                   Ensure that current work builds on lessons of the past

Sources of risk and                  Climate risk and the impact of climate shocks
insecurity, their impacts on         Resource scarcity
livelihoods and application          Political economy and the impact of elites on access to
to building resilience                resources
                                     Fragile states and how to tailor work to these environments
                                     Conflict (civil and resource-based)
                                     Predictable hunger, food and nutrition insecurity and crop failure
                                      and interventions that impact on nutritional outcomes
                                     Insecurity of tenure
                                     Gender-based risks
                                     HIV/Aids and other health risks to livelihoods
                                     Food price shocks and related needs to adapt livelihoods
                                      programming to cushion increasing volatility
                                     The links between different risks and the vulnerability of different
                                      social groups, both rural and urban.

                               Enabling advisers to:
                                      Ensure that programmes and policies meet current and future
                                      needs and are not derailed by predictable threats
                                      Help people manage risk more effectively
                                      Build resilience amongst people living in poverty
                                      Incorporate principles of disaster risk reduction (DRR)
                                  strategies into programming

Livelihoods Technical Competency Framework

Natural resource-based          Agricultural services policy and delivery (research, extension,
livelihoods                     inputs)
                                Resource management regimes, institutions and options and
                                ways of building capacity within these
                               Supply and value chains for agricultural/forest/livestock/fishery
                                inputs and products
                               Water resources management and urban/rural water issues in
                                the context of diminishing supply
                               Adaptation and building resilience to climate change in
                                agriculture, FNS and for the sustainable management of natural
                               Resource-based mitigation of climate change
                               Access to financial services, including credit, savings and

                         Enabling advisers to:
                             Design, manage and monitor livelihoods programmes in a range
                                of country and resource contexts
                             Identify and address capacity-building requirements and make
                                linkages between different levels of government and non-
                                governmental institutions
                             Identify opportunities for people living in poverty to engage more
                                fully in markets (including in new markets for low-carbon
                                products or for carbon sequestration services)
                             Identify and address major constraints to livelihood improvement
                                and work with others to overcome these

Dynamics of change             Major changes taking place in rural areas, their sources and
                                likely trajectories (especially migration, urbanisation, changes in
                                gender roles or composition, movement in and out of resource-
                                based livelihoods, impact of political changes, awareness of
                                differing dynamics in middle income and low income countries )
                               Urban livelihoods and linkages between urban and rural areas

                         Enabling advisers to:
                             Ensure that programmes and policies cater to real needs of
                                dynamic populations and do not lose their relevance
                             Capitalise upon positive trends and help facilitate changes that
                                improve livelihoods

Livelihoods Technical Competency Framework

Knowledge and application                 Key tools and methodologies (including Livelihoods
of analytical tools, ways of              Frameworks, Drivers of Change, Making Markets Work for the
working and evidence,                     Poor, Disaster Risk Reduction, Climate Change Adaptation,
innovation and learning                   Environmental Impact Analysis, Poverty and Social Impact
                                          Analysis, methods for valuing natural capital, ways of
                                          disaggregating populations)
                                          Ways of developing and maintaining partnerships (skill
                                          requirements, capacity development, consensus building,
                                          stakeholder analysis)
                                         Special approaches for working in fragile or conflict areas
                                         Delivery mechanisms and how to effect change
                                         Ways of identifying lessons and feeding learning back
                                         Current thinking on ways of increasing effectiveness
                                          (approaches such as Managing for Development Results, DFID
                                          management tools such as logframes, indicators & results
                                          frameworks, impact assessments, systematic reviews etc.)
                                         Value for money as a key tool for maximising impact
                                         Professional networks and sources of support

                                      Enabling advisers to:
                                      Ensure that methodologies in use incorporate best practice and
                                        quality evidence from livelihoods area
                                      Make effective contributions and develop lasting partnerships
                                      Be highly literate, able to engage in research and judge quality
                                        of evidence
                                      Lead the design of livelihoods interventions that draw on
                                        international experience, research, quality evidence and best
                                      Monitor and assess expenditures and value for money,
                                        development outcomes and impact, including progress towards
                                        higher-level goals
                                      Analyse programme weaknesses and revise accordingly


There are four areas of knowledge and skills are common to all advisory groups. These are
intended to add value to DFID’s professional advisory skill base and the ability of advisers to
meet business needs.

Knowledge and                           The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and international
understanding of                         architecture for aid and development the UN, European Union,
international aid                        G20, International Finance Institutions, regional institutions and
                                        Aid instruments and how they are deployed – project financing,
                                         sector-wide approaches, budget support, technical assistance,
                                         results based aid, and global funds
                                        The changing aid landscape and the role of new players – e.g.
                                         emerging economies, BRICS, private foundations, business
                                         and think tanks
                                        The UK international policy framework and its implications for
                                         international development – e.g. trade, security, fragility and

Livelihoods Technical Competency Framework

                                   climate change

Collating, analysing and   Able to access, critically appraise and use evidence, demonstrating skills
presenting                 in the following areas:
evidence/research                Understand a range of qualitative and quantitative research
using statistical and                methodologies including the application of basic statistical
wider analytical skills              methods
                                 Critically appraise* and assess the quality of published research
                                     and other potential sources of evidence
                                 Interpretation, use and presentation of data and evidence in
                                     defining policy and practice
                                    Comprehension of key concepts from social and cultural analysis
                                     and basic understanding of the use and application of political
                                     economy analysis
                           *Critical appraisal is the process of carefully and systematically examining
                           research to judge its trustworthiness and its value and relevance in a
                           particular context

Economic concepts,                Familiarity with key economic concepts
appraisal and value for           Good level of general numeracy
money                             Understanding economic approaches to project appraisal and
                                   evaluation, including different ways of measuring efficiency,
                                   equity and impact
                                  High quality professional input to programme design and
                                   evaluation in line with assessing value for money and results

Evaluation and results            Competent (level II or above in DFID’s evaluation competencies)
                                   in applying best practice in evaluation design, using a range of
                                   rigorous methods, and ensuring high standards of independence
                                   and quality
                                  Ability to design, commission and manage evaluations including
                                   rigorous impact evaluations, with appropriate technical support, in
                                   line with DFID standards
                                  Familiarity with the core concepts underpinning DFID's approach
                                   to results


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