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Newsletter No 1: June 2001 - About SARPN... and Map, Omega and the Compact

4. Poverty and Livelihood in Lesotho, 2000
 
This report on poverty and livelihoods in Lesotho is based on 12 months of research carried out in 1999 and 2000 on behalf of the Government of Lesotho and various international agencies. As this is the third study of poverty in Lesotho in a decade it has been possible to explore trends over time using a wide range of indicators dealing not only with income but also with human development in its broadest sense. As was the case with previous studies, the report provides a series of detailed maps indicating which parts of the country are the poorest or most deprived of essential services. Unlike earlier reports this one places greater emphasis on the political and macro-economic environments that impact directly on the lives of the poor. Equally important, more detailed consideration has been given to the multiple livelihood strategies of rural and urban households and the ways in which these are used to develop assets and capabilities that enable them to survive in an increasingly difficult environment.

The findings and recommendations are based on extensive consultations using both qualitative and quantitative methods. In the course of a nation-wide survey over 3 200 households were visited in 130 randomly selected villages in the same 60 research areas used in 1991 and 1994.

Particular attention was given to the education sector, with 80 schools being studied as part of a parallel exercise resulting in an additional report. During the fieldwork 500 focus group discussions were held with children, parents, community leaders, health providers and health seekers to provide a rich understanding of issues impacting on the poor. Finally, elected representatives from 18 of the research villages were invited to present their concerns and recommendations to policy makers during two days of "poverty hearings' and high priority has been given to incorporating these into the report.

The findings of the study have been shared with many people, including members of the Government of Lesotho's Technical Working Group mandated to prepare a Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper. Consultations with government officials and international agencies have enriched the process resulting in a report that represents the views not only of the poor themselves but also of stakeholders working to reduce poverty in Lesotho.

For further information contact:
Sechaba Consultants
P O Box 0813
Maseru 105
Lesotho

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