Through a livelihoods lens: a case study on the impact of humanitarian assistance in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Working and discussion papers
July 2005
Elizabeth Stites and Sue Lautze

This paper uses a livelihoods framework in an effort to understand the relative importance of humanitarian assistance during and after the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. This paper summarises an effort to bring academics and practitioners together in an attempt to produce a form of knowledge about the impact of humanitarian assistance. A team developed and implemented a survey to measure changes in household livelihoods over time in 394 households in six heavily conflict-affected villages in rural Bosnia. Household livelihood systems were mapped over three distinct time periods: the end of the Cold War (1989), the height of the Bosnian war (as identified by each household) and late 2004. This paper discusses the methods and findings of this survey, and some of the issues pertaining to using ivelihoods analysis to measure the impact of humanitarian assistance.