This paper explains the process, methodology and some key outcomes of ex ante Livelihood Impact Assessment (LIA) of Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) under the EU FLEGT Action Plan. It is based on undertaking LIA in Vietnam, Indonesia and Honduras. LIA involves a series of multiple stakeholder workshops informed by background contextual studies such as vulnerable stakeholder analysis. By raising the capacity and credibility of civil society to undertake systematic analysis of the livelihood implications of VPAs, LIA can contribute to the theory of change of how the FLEGT-VPA process can promote equitable outcomes. Specifically LIA helps meet the VPA social safeguard — the commitment by VPA signatories to understand, monitor and mitigate adverse social effects. The wider utility of the LIA methodology is shown by its spontaneous adoption and/or adaptation by NGOs in Vietnam and Honduras, and its adaptation for subnational REDD planning in Vietnam and Nepal.
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Vol. 18 • No. 3