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1 May 2005 A Survey of Rural Livelihood Strategies in North-West Pakistan
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An exploratory survey on rural livelihood strategies was carried out in the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan within the context of the NCCR North–South. The collecting of data, completed by mid-August 2004, was carried out by a local research team in 3 different villages of the province. As it was one of the survey's aims to gain a better understanding of potential differences between highland and lowland contexts, study sites were selected according to their altitude above sea level and their proximity to regional goods and labor markets.

The survey report focuses on identification of a set of livelihood strategies. Using insights from the field, a typology of strategies was developed. It was based on the geographical range in which rural households operate and generate their livelihoods. The report also examines the role of various livelihood assets in different strategies.

Initial results show that the diversity of strategies, as well as income diversification among particular strategies, is much higher in the lowlands than in the mountains. Households at high altitudes often have to concentrate on subsistence farming, generating their only cash income through labor migration. Yet households in the lowlands operate mostly in a regional context, thus finding many more alternatives to subsistence farming and migration, such as off-farm labor, regular salaried jobs, or starting an individual business. By March 2005, a short version of the report will be available as an NCCR Working Paper (, publications: see B. Steimann 2005).

A second report, which is based on the same data, focuses on gendered livelihood assets and workloads in the respective villages. It will be complemented by additional, qualitative field research in the spring of 2005. A paper presenting the initial findings of this research is available on the NCCR web site as well (, publications: see K. Siegmann 2005).

For more information, please contact Urs Geiser (, Bernd Steimann (, or Karin Siegmann (

Bernd Steinmann "A Survey of Rural Livelihood Strategies in North-West Pakistan," Mountain Research and Development 25(2), 180, (1 May 2005).[0180:ASORLS]2.0.CO;2
Published: 1 May 2005

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