Food Security

Food insecurity is a pressing global challenge. IDS-Oxfam research has found that the 2007-11 global food crisis brought about lasting changes in how people work, what they eat and how they care for their families. The causes of food insecurity are complex and the integrated approach required to effectively tackle the problem is often lacking. 

Malawi Farmers

IDS’ research on food security cuts across a number of teams and disciplines and seeks to inform and shape current policy debates on developing a joined up response to delivering greater food security and justice for all

Social protection and food security

Fellows across IDS have been exploring the complex causes underlying the global problem of food security including food price spikes, fair access to land and water and the impact of climate change.

Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA) is a five-year research programme, which builds on more than a decade of research and policy engagement work by the Future Agricultures Consortium. The aim of the project is to produce new information and insights into different pathways to agricultural commercialisation in order to assess their impacts and outcomes on rural poverty, empowerment of women and girls, and food and nutrition security in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Through the Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility project with Oxfam, IDS researchers and partners found that people are no longer experiencing price rises as shocks but rather as a constant pressure, particularly as wages are not rising as fast as the growing cost of living.

The role of the private sector in helping to deliver new food security initiatives

IDS research is also looking at the role of the private sector in increasing the availability and access to food through investments in agriculture and working in partnership with small holder famers. IDS Fellows have also worked with partners such as Oxfam (Growing a Better Future) and Action Against Hunger (Aid for Nutrition) to produce new research on how to tackle global food insecurity and undernutrition.

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Accelerating Progress in Reducing Hunger and Undernutrition

This programme will focus on how agriculture can deliver better nutrition outcomes by developing evidence-based policy options and tools for businesses, governments, NGOs and donors. More details

Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA)

Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA) is a five-year, DFID-funded, research programme consortium which aims to produce new evidence and policy insights into different pathways to agricultural commercialisation in Africa and their differential outcomes for local people and economies. More details

Cutting Edge Programme on Gender and Food Security

This BRIDGE Cutting Edge Programme on Gender and Food Security makes the case for a new, gender-aware understanding of food security, arguing that partial, apolitical and gender-blind diagnoses of the problem of food and nutrition insecurity is leading to insufficient policy responses and the failure to realise the right to food for all people. More details

Economy-wide Implications of Agricultural Sector Scenario Projections

The aim of this project is to link the world agricultural model IMPACT housed at IFRI with the global multi-region CGE model GLOBE in order to provide quantitative analyses of the wider implications of agricultural sector scenario projections generated by IMPACT for the rest of the economy, and to enable an assessment of the aggregate welfare effects associated with changes in the agricultural sector that include economy-wide linkage effects. More details

Enhancing Effectiveness of Multi-Stakeholder Platforms in Food and Agriculture

The kind of challenges that the food and agriculture sector is faced with increasingly asks for approaches that can engage effectively with related complexities. Much is invested in multi-stakeholder platforms as they hold a potential for playing an important role in doing so. However, there is a great need to assess their contribution to inclusive and sustainable development, and to assess what makes for effective platforms. More details

Entomophagy and the global food system: future scenarios and plausible pathways

This project will look broadly at the potential implications of entomophagy (insect eating) for the global food system. More details

Food Riots and Food Rights

The objective of this research is to improve the prospects for accountability for food security at a time of volatility. This will be achieved through an exploration of the proposition that recent popular mobilisation around food has activated public accountability for hunger. More details

Food Security, Gender Equality and Peace-Building: Theoretical Framework and Future Agendas

IDS researchers have been commissioned to generate knowledge and evidence-based, actionable recommendations to governments and other stakeholders on the nexus between support to food and nutrition security and building resilient livelihoods, peace processes and stability, and how to integrate gender issues into appropriate policies and actions related to food and nutrition security in situations where conflict exists, has recently ceased, or is likely to reoccur. More details

Future Agricultures Consortium

The DFID funded Future Agricultures Consortium is an Africa-based alliance of research organisations seeking to provide timely, high-quality and independent information and advice to improve agricultural policy and practice in Africa. More details

Global Food and Farming Futures – Lead Expert Group

The Foresight Project on Global Food and Farming Futures addresses the question: ‘How can a future global population of 9 billion people all be fed healthily and sustainably?' More details

GM Crops and Indigenous Management Skill

This project examines the effects of GM seeds on the ‘indigenous management skill’ (IMS) that is crucial to the productivity and sustainability of small-scale crop cultivation. More details

High Level Panel of Experts Report on Social Protection and Food Security

The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) requested the HLPE to produce a report, to be presented at the 39th Session of the CFS, a study on social protection and food security. More details

Hunger and Nutrition Commitment Index - HANCI

HANCI measures and ranks governments’ political commitment to reduce hunger and undernutrition on an annual basis. More details

Impact Evaluation of the PSNP and HAPB 2012

Since 2003, the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) has been implementing a new Food Security Programme (FSP). In 2009, this programme was reviewed and reformulated. More details

Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility

Researching the impacts of, and responses to, volatile food prices in poor communities in Bangladesh, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Indonesia, Kenya, Pakistan, Vietnam and Zambia. More details

Participatory vulnerability assessment and climate adaptation planning for food security and nutrition in East Africa

In collaboration with Bioversity International, the Climate Change Team at IDS is designing a participatory vulnerability analysis toolkit. The work builds upon a toolkit that IDS created for Mexico’s National Commission for Protected Natural Areas (CONANP), in work funded by GIZ (documentation currently in Spanish only). It will be field-tested in Tanzania in September 2013. More details

Resilience, Adaptability, and Transformability of Fishing Communities in the Face of the World Fisheries Crisis

This project is a response to the initial DFID-ESRC 'Resource scarcity, growth, and poverty reduction' call and it is titled "Tangled in their (own) safety-nets?: Resilience, adaptability, and transformability of fishing communities in the face of the World fisheries crisis. More details

Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability (STEPS) Centre

The STEPS Centre is an interdisciplinary global research and policy engagement hub, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. It aims to develop a new approach to understanding, action and communication on sustainability and development. More details

The Impacts of Alternative Energy Policies and Energy Price Shocks on Food and Water Security

The interactions between energy and food production are becoming more important as more developing countries have started to increase energy intensity in agriculture and as energy and food prices are increasingly correlated. This project will shed light on these topics across the developing world. More details

The Social Impacts of Crisis

How have people and communities experienced recent global economic shocks? In early 2009, the Social Impacts of Crisis project started work in 12 community 'listening posts' in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Yemen and Zambia to answer this question. More details

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IDS publications on international development research

Illustrating the Rise in Food Prices in Zambia: Household Expenditure Shares and Price Indexes, 2006 and 2010

Food consumption and subsequently household welfare are sensitive to changes in food prices. This is especially so among poorer households who can spend up to three quarters of their income on food (Cranfield, Preckel, & Hertel, 2007). More details

IDS publications on international development research

"The Constitution Lies To Us": Securing Accountability for the Right to Food in Kenya

Food Riots and Food Rights project report (2014)

Factors rooted in Kenya’s history and political economy have dampened citizen expectations of the state, thwarted popular mobilisation and generated weak state responses. This raises a question of responsibility. In this paper, we explore the failure and efforts to overcome them, before considering how accountability for hunger can be made the norm. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Hunger Revolts and Citizen Strikes: Popular Protests in Mozambique, 2008-2012

Food Riots and Food Rights project report (2014)

In February 2008 and September 2010, the cities of Maputo and Matola were the scene of violent protests against the rise in the cost of living, undertaken by groups of ordinary citizens. Immediately afterwards, these protests were replicated in some other Mozambican cities, but on a much smaller scale, and they were quickly brought under control by the police. More details

Cover for IDS report entitled the Moral and Political Economy of Food Security in Bangladesh

The Food Riots That Never Were: The Moral and Political Economy of Food Security in Bangladesh

Food Riots and Food Rights project report (2014)

The green revolution and the global integration of food markets were supposed to relegate scarcity to the annals of history. So why did thousands of people in dozens of countries take to the streets when world food prices spiked in 2008 and 2011? More details

Boy stand by a burning car in the 2008 Mozambique riots.

Them Belly Full (But We Hungry): Food Rights Struggles in Bangladesh, India, Kenya

Food Riots and Food Rights project report (2014)

The green revolution and the global integration of food markets were supposed to relegate scarcity to the annals of history. So why did thousands of people in dozens of countries take to the streets when world food prices spiked in 2008 and 2011? Are food riots the surest route to securing the right to food in the 21st century? More details

IDS publications on international development research

Agricultural Development and Food Security in Africa: The Impact of Chinese, Indian and Brazilian Investments

Journal of Agrarian Change 14.4 (2014)

The frenzy mirrors the growing stature of the likes of China, India or Brazil in the world economy and their mounting influence in global governance. More details

Strengthening_Evidence_Based_Policy_2014

Strengthening Evidence-Based Policy: Outputs November 2012 – March 2014

Accountable Grant Outputs Brochure (2014)

Knowledge and evidence are important elements of all policy processes. While the availability of more or higher quality evidence does not guarantee better policy processes, it is difficult to imagine how development policy and outcomes can be improved without it. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Climate and Environmental Change: Views from Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility

Report (2014)

How are rapid recent food price changes linked to climate and environmental change? How do people who are vulnerable to these changes view these links? More details

ER81 Front Cover

Understanding ‘Urban Youth’ and the Challenges they face in Sub-Saharan Africa: Unemployment, Food Insecurity and Violent Crime

IDS Evidence Report 81 (2014)

Much of Africa is urbanising fast and its young population is projected to constitute the largest labour force in the world. While urbanisation can be linked closely with economic development, we also know that it is the least developed countries that have younger populations than the rest of the world. More details

ER81 Front Cover

Understanding ‘Urban Youth’ and the Challenges they face in Sub-Saharan Africa: Unemployment, Food Insecurity and Violent Crime

IDS Evidence Report 81 (2014)

Much of Africa is urbanising fast and its young population is projected to constitute the largest labour force in the world. While urbanisation can be linked closely with economic development, we also know that it is the least developed countries that have younger populations than the rest of the world. More details

This is the image for the summary, 'Help Yourself! Food Rights and Responsibilities'.

Help Yourself! Food Rights and Responsibilities. Highlights from Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility, Year 2 findings

The second year results of a four-year study on how food price volatility affects everyday life uncovers the grassroots realities of the right to food. More details

This is the image for the Briefing, 'Help Yourself! Food Rights and Responsibilities'.

Food Rights for Real

Does more talk of the right to food and more action on food security amount to more accountability and effectiveness in tackling hunger? More details

This is the image for the report, 'Help Yourself! Food Rights and Responsibilities'.

Help Yourself! Food Rights and Responsibilities. Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility, Year 2 findings

Report (2014)

The second year results of a four-year study on how food price volatility affects everyday life uncovers the grassroots realities of the right to food. More details

IDS publications on international development research

MQSUN Inception Report and Design Document: Impact Evaluation of the DFID Programme to Accelerate Improved Nutrition for the Extreme Poor in Bangladesh, Phase II

This Inception Report presents the objectives, design, expected outputs and governance of the Department for International Development (DFID)-funded MQSUN project, entitled ‘Impact Evaluation of the DFID Programme to Accelerate Improved Nutrition for the Extreme Poor in Bangladesh’. More details

This is the cover for IDS Working Paper 439, 'Who Wants to Farm? Youth Aspirations, Opportunities and Rising Food Prices'.

Who Wants to Farm? Youth Aspirations, Opportunities and Rising Food Prices

IDS Working Paper 439 (2014)

Who wants to farm? In an era of land grabs and environmental uncertainty, improving smallholder productivity has become a higher priority on the poverty and food security agenda in development, focusing attention on the next generation of farmers. More details

Evidence Report 52

The Role of Businesses in Providing Nutrient-Rich Foods for the Poor: A Case Study in Tanzania

IDS Evidence Report 52 (2014)

This case study of a Tanzanian food processing business analyses the potential of mid-sized businesses to contribute to tackling undernutrition. Particularly among young children and pregnant mothers, undernutrition has lifelong consequences and impedes individuals’ health, wellbeing and life chances. More details

IDS publications on international development research

The 2001-03 Famine and the Dynamics of HIV in Malawi: An (Un)natural Experiment

The number of people without secure access to food has risen over the past 15 years, in large part propelled by high and volatile food prices. This pattern is likely to continue under the influence of speculation, increasing demand from rapidly growing economies and for biofuels and due to the effects on production of climate change and variability. Most vulnerable are consumers and small farmers in countries where farming is predominantly rainfed. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Popular Actions, State Reactions: The Moral and Political Economy of Food in India

Food Riots and Food Rights project report (2014)

Can popular mobilisation activate accountability for hunger? In 2012, a group of researchers set out to explore this question through field research in four countries: Bangladesh, India, Kenya and Mozambique. The research was framed in ideas about a contemporary ‘moral economy’ – which when breached, would lead people to mobilise – either in the form of riots, or as movements for the right to food, thus activating state responses. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Impacts of Increased Bioenergy Demand on Global Food Markets

Agricultural Economics 45.1 (2014)

This article shows to what extent a strong increase in ligno-cellulosic bioenergy deployment may affect agricultural markets and land-use change. More details

IDS publications on international development research

A State of the Art Review of Agriculture-Nutrition Linkages

Agridiet position paper (2013)

This paper explores the latest evidence on the relationships between agriculture and nutrition in food-insecure regions. More details