An Approach to Achieving Sustainable Livelihoods:
Three-Dimensional Development.

Traditionally, rural development has tended to look at communities in need by focusing only on what's wrong with the picture — seeing the clouds, rather than the promise of rain. This approach has left communities no further ahead than before, presenting only temporary solutions to long-term chronic problems.

We prefer to adopt a sustainable livelihoods approach, which enables communities to become self-sufficient. At CHF we call this approach Three-Dimensional Development. We look longer, further and deeper into a community, peering into places no one has ever looked before, to discover what's right with the picture.

This unique approach helps identify hidden assets, untapped potential, networks of people, skills and resources — all of which give communities the power to transform themselves and create stable and sustainable livelihoods.

It means seeing the good by viewing things through a positive lens, looking for opportunities, not problems.

It means seeing all sectors and determining the influence groups and interrelationships can have on a community.

It means seeing assets everywhere by taking an all-encompassing look at all aspects of a community.

By looking at the biggest picture possible, Three-Dimensional Development reveals the power within communities to create self-reliance and sustainable livelihoods. This has led to a rich harvest of positive change. Farmers, co-ops and organizations have increased their capacity to exchange information and improve food production. Advances in farming techniques and water management abound. More women farmers are starting small businesses, adding to family incomes. These are just a few of the powerful impacts CHF is having across the world.