Deng (2010). Livelihood Diversification and Civil War. Dinka Communities in Sudan's Civil War
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It is generally recognised that diversification is among the livelihood strategies adopted by rural households to manage risk events, yet understanding of its status and effectiveness in the context of civil war is lacking or inadequately researched. The empirical findings in a non-conflict context suggest that the higher the risk and the more assets available, the more households will diversify. This article is an attempt to gain a nuanced understanding of the status of livelihood diversification in the context of civil war. The empirical findings of this article indicate that diversification is not always the best livelihood strategy option in the context of civil war. Within the households exposed to civil war, those exposed to endogenous counter-insurgency warfare tend to diversify their primary livelihood activities less. Contrary to commonly held views, among the households exposed to exogenous counter-insurgency warfare, the non-poor households tend to diversify their primary livelihood activities less than the poor households. Similar findings are also observed from the results of the comparative analysis of different forms of diversification in crop production, livestock management and assets. The differential status of livelihood diversification observed during civil war is more explained by the nature and characteristics of counter-insurgency warfare.