Closing the Living Income Gap: An Integrated Approach from Heifer International

As mentioned in one of our previous blog posts, the Living income Community of Practice, co-hosted by the Food Lab, ISEAL and GIZ, has shifted our annual workshop originally planned for Abidjan in April, to a series of three virtual workshops. The second of the three-part series will take place on May 27th (more information available here).  This workshop, similar to the virtual workshop that took place in April, is an opportunity for a wider community to share their work and ask meaningful questions about living income. In this second of three workshops, our focus will be on the topic of measuring a living income. What are available methodologies? Are there available reference values or proxies we can use? Is there consolidated effort in this area? For too long this has been a bottleneck for those organizations embarking or already working on this. There is an urgent need for us to move together and aligned in the same direction. This workshop will discuss concepts and methodologies behind measuring actual income and living income benchmarks and to explore the possibility of having a harmonized message for organizations to use for strategy development and action.

Since it’s inception, members of the Living Income Community of Practice have been innovating with various approaches to the pillars of living income: benchmarking costs of a dignified standard of living, actual net income baseline, modeling a smart mix of strategies for change and implementation. Heifer International, a Food Lab member, is one of the LICoP partners who has applied the living income approach in an integrated fashion over the last few years in more than 36 rural development efforts around the world.

On May 27th we will have the opportunity to hear how Heifer estimates living income benchmarks and the living income gap, how they collect data for their household and business scenario planning and what they have found in one of their projects in the Guatemalan spice sector.  The team will introduce their Household Transformation Model methodology that encompasses the metrics necessary to measure a vulnerable household’s progress towards achieving a Sustainable Living Income, ensuring farmers do not fall back into poverty. These metrics are based on years of Heifer’s work in this arena and measures the outcomes of activities designed to increase the resilience of smallholder farmers towards their goal of closing the living income gap for 10 million people by 2030.

The Heifer team will also share their current benchmarks for other organizations to use and explain how they can access these benchmarks going forward. The Benchmark Overview Factsheet is available here and includes living income benchmarks in 19 countries where they work.

Please join us for a chance to see one of the best examples of an integrated approach to living income in action.  You can register for the upcoming webinar here, and make sure to tune into session 3 to hear from Heifer International.

For more information about the Living Income Benchmarks, contact Marleen New from Heifer International.

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