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Full Toolkit

Lao PDR study

Nepal study

Indonesian Papua study

Guinea study

Tanzania study

Synthesis of six case studies


The toolkit had multiple authors including Gill Shepherd and Jill Blockhus. Experts from CIFOR, IUCN, ODI, PROFOR, Winrock International and the World Bank contributed to this work.

Poverty-Forests Linkages Toolkit


An estimated 1.2 billion people rely on forests for some part of their livelihoods. However, the importance of forests is often overlooked in national development processes such as poverty reduction strategies due to inadequate evidence documenting how forests sustain the poor.

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Poverty-Forests Linkages Toolkit by PROFOR (Program on Forests) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be obtained by emailing


To build better knowledge on this critical relationship, PROFOR developed a “Poverty-Forests Linkages Toolkit” to facilitate relevant data collection and analysis. The Toolkit was created in partnership with CIFOR, IUCN, ODI, and Winrock International, on the basis of case studies in Guinea, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Nepal, and Tanzania. 

The first draft of the Toolkit was completed in April 2007, and was based on piloting and field testing in three different locations in Indonesian Papua (highlands, lowlands and a mangrove area) and in Tanzania. A consortium of national level organizations led by the International Institute for Economic Development and the Center for International Development and Training carried out further pilots of the Toolkit in four African countries - Cameroon, Ghana, Madagascar and Uganda.


What the Poverty-Forest Linkages Toolkit Includes

  • A set of rapid appraisal methods to gather information on economic as well as other contributions from forests to households, especially the poor;
  • Methods for analyzing field data for the potential role of forests in reducing poverty and vulnerability and policy options for improving the contribution of forests to rural livelihoods;
  • Suggestions for how to frame the results so as to be relevant to the planners, government agencies and other institutions and organizations, at both local and national levels;
  • An explanation of the PRSP process and identification of the strategies and skills needed for influencing the PRSP process (including potential entry points for forestry); and
  • A Field Manual to support training and capacity building for local government forest officials, collection of information to understand forest dependence locally and hands-on application of participatory assessment tools

Field Tools and their Purpose

Tool 1

Wealth Ranking

Purpose: Understand how poor househoulds use and depend on forest resources

Tool 2

Local Landscape Situation Analysis

Purpose: Understand how villagers use local resources

Tool 3

Timeline and Trends

Purpose: Record changes in forest resources agriculture, local livelihood strategies and income

Tool 4

Livelihoods Analysis

Aim: Determine subsistence reliance on forests and the annual income from forests

Tool 5

Forests Problem and Solution Matrix

Purpose: Identify and rank forest problems and suggest solutions

Tool 6

Trees and Forest Products Importance

Purpose: Rank forest products by importance for cash or subsistence use

Tool 7

Millennium Development Goals Chart

Purpose: to show the contribution of forests to the achievement of the MDGs

Tool 8

Monetary Values

Purpose: To express the contribution of forestry in monetary terms


  • After piloting was completed in 2008, PROFOR developed a field-compatible version of the toolkit and started providing training in its use. Over 50 World Bank staff and external participants were trained during the World Bank’s annual Sustainable Development Network Forum in March 2009. The toolkit was also disseminated at the XIII World Forestry Congress in October 2009. The training of a dozen National Forest Programme Facility coaches at FAO in February 2010 concluded PROFOR’s direct engagement with the toolkit and transferred product and skills to the NFP Facility for roll out in their country activities.
  • IUCN has used the toolkit extensively in its Livelihoods and Landscapes Strategy program, which is active in 23 countries. Using the toolkit, IUCN has extracted new information on the importance of cash and non-cash forest income for forest-dependent people.
  • New needs are also arising from the REDD+ process as countries struggle to understand the link between livelihoods and depdendence on forest resources. 

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Author : The toolkit had multiple authors including Gill Shepherd and Jill Blockhus. Experts from CIFOR, IUCN, ODI, PROFOR, Winrock International and the World Bank contributed to this work.
Last Updated : 09-25-2017