Vol. 8 No. 1 (2022): Understanding the Changing Livelihoods, Vulnerability and COVID-19 Pandemic

The last few decades have witnessed changes in the livelihoods of the people that has manifested in the form of transition from traditional to commercial agriculture and growing off-farm employment activities such as (foreign labor) migration, small business, wage laboring etc. This change in livelihood has been catalysed by socio-economic and political change, particularly through market expansion, access to basic infrastructures such as road, electricity, information and communication technologies and improvement in education.

However, both farm and non-farm-based sources of livelihoods are ridden with multiple challenges. On the one hand, there is a wide range of factors such as the size of land, shortage of labor, water, and damage of crops by wild animals that is making farming challenging and is pushing rural people towards exploring new sources of livelihood. On the other hand, globalisation has opened up opportunities for people to join the international labour market, though in precarious working conditions.

COVID-19 and associated disease control measures have brought unprecedented disruptions to the lives of people around the world. In the Himalayan region, where the population is already vulnerable to the shocks related to climate change, strict lockdown imposed to control the spread of COVID-19 disease caused loss of income due to diminished income-generating opportunities, and disruption in the social services, broken supply chain, and more. The shock of COVID-19 experienced in tandem with other existing stressors exacerbated the pre-existing vulnerabilities of the people in the region. While there is a broad understanding that COVID-19 has deepened social, political, and economic inequities on multiple fronts, much is yet to be understood about the longer-term impacts of the pandemic in the Himalayan region. Therefore, it is pertinent to ask how COVID-19 impacts livelihoods vulnerability in the Himalayan region.

This special issue of New Angle – Understanding the Changing Livelihoods, Vulnerability and COVID-19 Pandemic focuses on building and further deepening the understanding of the short-term and long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on livelihoods and the responses adopted at the local level to cope with the crisis. To that end, we invite papers including but not limited to the following themes.

  • Changing dynamics of livelihood strategies and practices
  • Understanding the livelihood vulnerability
  • Impacts of COVID-19 on the livelihoods
  • Policy and institutional aspects of COVID-19 containment
  • People’s responses to COVID-19 related situations
  • Changing dynamics of migration and remittance in the face of COVID-19
  • Local responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and lessons
  • Local innovations for adaptation in the new normal
Published: 2023-08-11