Established initially as the Livelihoods India Initiative, ACCESS Development Services set up this platform in order to understand and assess the key issues and challenges that the poor face in sustaining their livelihoods and microenterprises and also to craft a vision and strategy for moving them from subsistence to sustainable levels.

Livelihoods India was initiated in 2010 as a national platform to bring together diverse stakeholders on a single platform to discuss critical issues that impede and afflict the livelihoods of the poor.

Since then, the platform has evolved significantly and has emerged as an important forum for stakeholders to meet, share experiences, discuss issues, assess and analyze the policy environment and build consensus on strategies that will deliver sustainable outcomes. On receiving feedback on the need and significance to develop and establish a similar format for the region, ACCESS pushed to expand the scope of the Livelihoods India Conference to make it a regional platform and in the year 2014 the conference was redesigned as Livelihoods Asia to reflect the new ambition of the initiative. The platform was restyled to allow for participation as well as cross pollination and sharing of experiences from the region in keeping with the understanding that in several countries within the region, there are important experiences, innovative programs and critical issues, which offer a significant potential for cross learning.

The mission of Livelihoods Asia is to create a regional platform that presents opportunities for cross learning and sharing of these unique experiences both successes and failures within countries in the region. Livelihoods Asia aims at building sectoral consensus on critical issues and challenges faced by the poor, share best practices and inform and influence policy. Within Livelihoods Asia Platform, specific sub initiatives have been designed to make this platform an effective bridge for cross learning. The sub initiatives include: