Farmer field schools (FFSs) were conducted in southern India to reduce pesticide input and enhance sustainability of cotton production systems. This study was carried out to determine the additional benefits of FFSs in the social and economic arena, using the sustainable livelihoods (SL) concept to frame the evaluation. Farmers who had participated in the integrated pest management (IPM) FFSs perceived a range of impacts much beyond the adoption of IPM practices. The reduced cost of cultivation allowed for financial recovery from debt and the building of physical assets. IPMFFS households and production systems were perceived by the participants to have become more economically resilient than Non-IPMFFS control groups when faced with adversity. In the participants' view, IPMFFSs also led to enhanced individual and community social well-being, a benefit valued in particular by the women participants. The study tested a new application of the SL conceptual framework as a tool for evaluation.