Actor-Orientation C: Surrounding Conditions

Authors: K. Holdener, U. Wiesmann, K. Herweg

If we look at the livelihood approach through an actor-oriented lens, the concrete activities and strategies a household undertakes to ensure livelihood subsistence can be seen to be not only a function of the objectives of specific actors' behaviour or of the termembeddedness of these goals in social systems and conventions. They are also dependent on the dynamic conditions of the actor's environment.

This lesson will focus on the dynamic ecological and non-ecological conditions of the actor' environment within the context of the "actor-oriented model" of regional development.

Learning Objectives

After completing this lesson, you shall be able to:

  • Define the meaning of dynamic conditions of action for specific actors and list four fields of dynamic ecological and non-ecological (socio-economical) conditions of action for specific actors in a rural African context.
  • Give examples of these four types of dynamic conditions of action and of their possible impact on peasants' strategies of action.
  • Make the link between the meta-theoretical concept of dynamic conditions of action in a peasant society and its concrete application to a specific case of development practice.


In order to fulfil the learning objectives of this lesson, you will have to:

  • Read on-screen and downloadable texts about the dynamic conditions of action;
  • Watch an animation that shows how the dynamic conditions relate to the action;
  • Take a test on the conditions of action at a meta-theoretical level;
  • Read texts about the areas influenced by dynamic conditions;
  • Make a self-assessment based on examples of dynamic conditions;
  • Watch a video and complete an exercise on the role and potential influence of dynamic conditions in a concrete situation.

Working through this lesson you will come across the following activities, tests and downloads:




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