A democracy we can eat: a livelihoods approach to TVET policy and provision


In Southern Africa, theories of adult education have remained modelled on imported paradigms. The urgency of particularly the first of the Millennium Development Goals, ‘to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger’ generally translates into policy and provision of skills training based on purely economistic considerations. In practice, lifelong education and learning occurs most commonly as part of other social practices and in the guise of community development. This article outlines the livelihood approach as a conceptual and methodological tool for a  locally grounded understanding of what constitutes ‘work’ particularly in the context of poverty and high-risk environments. It argues that the principles of interconnectedness, relationality and agency are central to understanding livelihood practices and that participatory processes of data collection, dialogue and  analysis should inform education and training policy. Programmes and  curricula that fit in with  the livelihood strategies of people have a greater chance of being supported and the process that leads to such understanding could provide a democratic model for adult education elsewhere.


About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
This entry was posted in Adult education, Community development, Critical pedagogy, Lifelong learning, Participation and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.