The Sustainable Livelihoods Approach: A Framework for Knowledge Integration Assessment

A number of recent approaches to sustainable development, such as the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach, are genuinely transdisciplinary as they are produced, disseminated and applied in the borderland between research, policy, and practice. Human Ecology has the capacity to contribute to a better understanding and a critical evaluation of such new approaches, but is currently lacking the tools for identification and formulation of standards for this purpose. This paper outlines an assessment framework of criteria for integrative approaches to sustainable development problems and is applied to the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach. The results show the benefits of formulating standards that can be applied to plan and evaluate integrative approaches. Such standards are necessary if the goals of holism and integration that are implied by approaches such as the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach are to be attained.