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An Appreciative Inquiry Cameo

Olivier Serrat

The views expressed in this presentation are the views of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Asian Development Bank, or its Board of Governors, or the governments they represent. ADB does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this presentation and accepts no responsibility for any consequence of their use. The countries listed in this presentation do not imply any view on ADB's part as to sovereignty or independent status or necessarily conform to ADB's terminology.

Appreciative Inquiry
Appreciative Inquiry
Studies the positive attributes of organizations to create new conversations among people as they work together for organizational renewal.

Involves the art and practice of asking questions that strengthen a system's capacity to apprehend, anticipate, and heighten positive renewal.

Appreciative Inquiry
Appreciative Inquiry is based on two assumptions:
Organizations always move in the direction of the questions their members ask and the things they talk about. Energy for positive change is created when organizations engage continually in remembering and analyzing circumstances when they were at their best rather than focusing on problems and how they can be solved.

Appreciative Inquiry
Appreciative Inquiry uses the 4-D Cycle:
Discovery: People talk to one another to discover the times when their organization is at its best.

Dream: During a large conference with facilitators, people envision the organization as though the peak moments identified in the Discovery phase were the norm rather than the exception.
Design: A team is empowered to go away and design ways to create the organization dreamed in the large group conference. Delivery: This phase delivers the dream and the new design. Teams are formed to follow up on the design elements and to continue the appreciative process.

The 4D Cycle of Appreciative Inquiry

Discovery (Appreciate the best of what is) Appreciating

Delivery (Create what will be) Sustaining

Affirmative Topic Choice

Dream (Imagine what could be) Envisioning Results

Design (Determine what should be) Co-constructing

Sustainable Livelihoods
The Sustainable Livelihoods approach
Is a way of thinking about the objectives, scope, and priorities for development activities.

Helps formulate development activities that are:

People-centered Responsive and participatory Multilevel Conducted in partnership with the public and private sectors


Sustainable Livelihoods
The Sustainable Livelihoods approach
Makes the connection between people and the overall enabling environment that influences the outcomes of livelihood strategies.

Brings attention to the inherent potential of people's skills, social networks, access to physical and financial resources, and ability to influence core institutions.

The Livelihoods Framework

Capital Assets
Social Natural

Policies & Institutions

Structures - Government - Private Sector Processes - Laws - Policies - Culture - Institutions

Livelihood Outcomes
Sustainable use of natural resources Income Well-being Vulnerability Food security



Vulnerability Context
Shocks Trends Seasonalities

Livelihood Strategies

Appreciative Inquiry for Sustainable Livelihoods

Challenge: To make a difference to poor peoples' lives.
Tools: Within a livelihoods framework approach, use of the appreciative inquiry technique aimed to identify entry points that build on tested project interventions as well as existing policies, institutions, and processes that might enhance assets further. Emphasis: Explore lending modality options with an eye to their comparative advantages, and relative cofinancing opportunities.

Livelihoods Framework Attributes

The livelihoods approach encourages thinking out of the box; it frees development practitioners from conventional approaches that are often restricted to identifying problems and finding solutions.
The approach invites development practitioners to look at contexts and relationships so that development initiatives can become more process-oriented. It represents an important shift away from the conventional focus on project inputs and outputs and the assumed mechanical links between them.

Livelihoods Framework Attributes

The livelihoods approach compels development practitioners to look for multiple entry points and to move beyond a homogenous 'community' view and a narrow sectoral perspective.
The approach stresses the importance of understanding institutions by mapping the institutional framework and linking the micro to the macro and the formal to the informal. It calls for a new style of policy appraisal that moves from universal prescriptions to context-specific approaches that allow alternative, local perspectives to reveal themselves in the policy framework.

Livelihoods Framework Assessment

Strength The livelihoods approach seeks to understand changing combinations of modes of livelihood in a dynamic and historical context. Weakness The livelihoods approach underplays elements of the vulnerability context such as macroeconomic trends and conflict.

The livelihoods approach explicitly advocates a creative tension between different levels of analysis and emphasizes the importance of macro and micro linkages.

The livelihoods approach assumes that capital assets can be expanded in generalised and incremental fashion.

Livelihoods Framework Assessment

Strength The livelihoods approach acknowledges the need to move beyond narrow sectoral perspectives and places emphasis on seeing the linkages between sectors. The livelihoods approach calls for investigation of the relationships between different activities that constitute livelihoods and draws attention to social relations. Weakness The livelihoods approach does not pay enough attention to inequalities of power.

The livelihoods approach underplays the fact that enhancing the livelihoods of one group can undermine those of another.

The Tonle Sap at a Glance

Item Area Characteristic
250,000300,000 hectares (ha) in the dry season and 1.01.6 million ha in the wet season. The flooded forest extended over more than 1 million ha originally, 614,000 ha in the 1960s, 362,000 ha in 1991, and about 20,000 ha in 1997. 12 meters above mean sea level in the dry season and 812 meters above mean sea level in the wet season. 20% of the Mekong River's floodwaters are absorbed by the Tonle Sap. 62% of the Tonle Sap's water originates from the Mekong River and 38% of the Tonle Sap's water originates from the Tonle Sap basin. The Tonle Sap is connected to the Mekong River by the 100-kilometer-long Tonle Sap River, which reverses its flow seasonally.



The flooded forest contains about 200 plant species. The Tonle Sap contains at least 200 species of fish, 42 species of reptiles, 225 species of birds, and 46 species of mammals. Of the 500 fish species once found in Cambodia's wetlands, as many as 300 are now thought to have disappeared.
1.2 million people live in the area bordered by Highways No. 5 and No. 6. The Tonle Sap yields about 230,000 tons of fish each year (about 50% of Cambodia's total freshwater capture fisheries production). Rice production in the Tonle Sap's floodplains makes up about 12% of Cambodia's total.


Threats to the Tonle Sap

Climate Change Cumulative Impact of Built Structures on the Hydrology of the Mekong Basin Conversion of the Flooded Forest to Agriculture Habitat Fragmentation Deforestation in the Watersheds Agricultural Expansion

Industrial and Urban Pollution Mining

Overexploitation of Fisheries and Wildlife Resources Collection of Fuel Wood from the Flooded Forest

Agricultural Runoff

Introduction of Non-Native Species

Entry Points for Sustainable Livelihoods

Purpose Establishing Village Development Funds To provide a sustainable mechanism for communities to self-fund development activities, and provision of safety nets to the poor and vulnerable. To set in motion innovative livelihoods improvement initiatives with a bias toward disadvantaged groups. Potential Outcomes Enhanced human and social capital and reduced dependency on external agencies. Enhanced human capital by directly developing the knowledge and skills of all groups to contribute to planning at the village level. Improved physical capital in terms of local infrastructure. Enhanced social capital through improvement in the internal functioning of groups. Direct impact on the stock of natural capital by enhancing sustainable measures to improve natural resource management. Social capital can provide community-accepted leadership and management.

Strengthening CommunityBased Management of Natural Resources

To generate transparency and equity into issues surrounding access t land and other natural resources that create conflict and dispute in villages. To improve sound management of natural resources.

Entry Points for Sustainable Livelihoods

Purpose Improving Agronomic Practices and Small-Scale Irrigation To achieve optimum production from local crop varieties, especially rice, particularly during favorable seasons. To make agricultural output more reliable with the rehabilitation of existing or construction of new small-scale irrigation systems. Potential Outcomes Improved natural and physical capital through the provision of inputs that ensure greater household food security. Enhanced social capital through fostering Water User Groups and Pump User Groups. Strengthened structures through involvement of the Ministry of Rural Development in cultural change leading to social capital wealth. Increased coordination of activities that allows gaps in support of efforts to be closed.

Entry Points for Sustainable Livelihoods

Purpose Developing Post-School Literacy for Women To provide women the opportunity to acquire greater literacy in the Khmer language and thereby increase capacity to seek information, lobby, and set up new groups for gender empowerment. Potential Outcomes Enhanced social and human capital, especially for poor and vulnerable women from all three ethnic groups in the Tonle Sap region. Enhanced social capital since women would become less economically dependent on men, leading to greater gender empowerment. Lessening of social exclusion for many women groups, including ethnic minority women.

Entry Points for Sustainable Livelihoods

Purpose Supporting SelfHelp Groups To enable small groups (up to 20 members) to work with one another to pool savings toward a revolving credit fund or to access microfinance provider services. Potential Outcomes Increased financial capital, especially for the poor and vulnerable. Increased financial capital induced by the possibility of financial savings. Enhanced social capital through improvement in group formation and structure. Increased financial capital through income generation and scope to participate in external activities. Increased financial capital through enhanced market opportunities and subsector activities leading to the possibility of financial savings. Enhanced natural capital, which will need sound management to prevent overexploitation.

Linking Villagers to the Private Sector

To enable the private sector to drive poverty reduction, for instance, in the livestock sector but also in other land and water-based enterprise sectors, through open and transparent linkages that are protected by appropriate legislation and practices of engagement.

Entry Points for Sustainable Livelihoods

Purpose Providing Post-Schooling Vocational Education To compensate for the limited schooling of many in the Tonle Sap region To equip a new labor force with basic know-how and experience to add value to local industry and other economic activities To develop a Living Skills program related to labor and migrant workers' rights, economic development, and HIV/AIDS To add value to fish by introducing appropriate training in post harvest practices, for instance, in the areas of fermenting and drying To generate higher economic returns from non-timber forest products harvested which could have a significant economic value Potential Outcomes Direct enhancement of human capital, from which economic growth potential can be realized Reduced vulnerability of those in the workplace and workers' enhanced knowledge of rights and obligations to employers A skilled labor force at the community level and from whom the community can also elicit advice Enhanced human capital through a reduction of vulnerability at times of low fish catch or flooding Maximized returns to communities from natural capital

Adding Value to Fish and NonTimber Forest Products

Tonle Sap Sustainable Livelihoods Components

Output 1: Community-Driven Development is Supported (to absorb 90% of baseline costs), entails: Establishing a community-livelihood fund. Designing and implementing livelihood investment packages. Output 2: Core areas are Safeguarded (to absorb about 4% of baseline costs), entails: Establishing an information base on core areas. Instituting a management system for core areas. Instituting an improved network of fish sanctuaries. Output 3: Skills and Awareness for Sustainable Livelihoods are Built (to absorb about 6% of baseline costs), entails: Improving coordination for community-driven development. Enhancing the skills base for community-driven development. Educating for protection of natural resources. Impact: Improved livelihoods Outcome: Increased access to assets in the five provinces that adjoin the Tonle Sap

Images of Life on the Tonle Sap

Knowledge Management Center

Olivier Serrat
Principal Knowledge Management Specialist Knowledge Management Center Regional and Sustainable Development Department Asian Development Bank