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

Anatomy of Coping

Evidence of People Living through the Crisis 2008 - 11 More details

This is the image of IDS Working Paper 376, 'Admissible Evidence in the Court of Development Evaluation? The Impact of CARE’s SHOUHARDO Project on Child Stunting in Bangladesh'.

Admissible Evidence in the Court of Development Evaluation? The Impact of CARE's SHOUHARDO Project on Child Stunting in Bangladesh

IDS Working Paper 376 (2011)

In this paper we conduct an evaluation of the impact on child stunting of CARE's SHOUHARDO project in Bangladesh, the first large-scale project to use the rights-based, livelihoods approach to address malnutrition. More details

IDS publications on international development research

A Review of Global Long-Run Food System Scenarios

Royal Statistical Society (RSS) Paper presented at RSS Conference "Food Security for Cities", 13 September 2011 (2011)

Dr Dirk Willenbockel was invited by RSS to speak at their conference "Food Security for Cities". More details

IDS publications on international development research

Shaping Agricultural Innovation Systems Responsive to Food Insecurity and Climate Change

Natural Resources Forum 35.3 (2011)

This paper draws lessons from selected country experiences of adaptation and innovation in pursuit of food security goals. It reviews three cases of systems of innovation operating in contrasting regional, socio-economic and agro-ecological contexts, in terms of four features of innovation systems more likely to build, sustain or enhance food security in situations of rapid change More details

This is the cover of The Politics of Seed in Africa’s Green Revolution.

The Politics of Seed in Africa’s Green Revolution

IDS Bulletin 42.4 (2011)

This IDS Bulletin takes one element of a bigger debate - the future of cereal seed systems in Africa - and examines some of the challenges, dilemmas, prospects and possibilities for the future, deploying an explicitly critical analytical lens to look at the political economy of seed systems in Africa's Green Revolution. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Exploring Food Price Scenarios Towards 2030 with a Global Multi-Region Model

This report is a contribution to the Oxfam campaign 'GROW: Food.Life.Planet'. It explores a range of scenarios for food price increases to 2030 through the GLOBE model. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Linking Agricultural Development to School Feeding in Sub-Saharan Africa: Theoretical Perspectives

Food Policy 36.3 (2011)

This paper takes as a starting point the proposition that social protection interventions involving food can be used to promote transformational change in family farming systems in sub-Saharan Africa. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Food System Scenarios and Modelling

Foresight Project Global Food and Farming Futures Synthesis Report C4 More details

IDS publications on international development research

The Future of Food and Farming: Final Project Report

Project aim: to explore the pressures on the global food system between now and 2050 and identify the decisions that policy makers need to take today, and in the years ahead, to ensure that a global population rising to nine billion or more can be fed sustainably and equitably. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Hunger: The True Growth Story in India

Although many of the policies needed for ensuring genuine food security of the people of India are in place, they require more public resources and genuinely inclusive and empowering approach. More details

IDS publications on international development research

The Top 100 Questions of Importance to the Future of Global Agriculture

International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 8.4 (2010)

Despite a significant growth in food production over the past half-century, one of the most important challenges facing society today is how to feed an expected population of some nine billion by the middle of the 20th century. More details

Non-IDS publication

Income Distribution Trends and Future Food Demand

Biological Sciences 365.1554 (2010)

This paper surveys the theoretical literature on the relationship between income distribution and food demand, and identifies main gaps of current food modelling techniques that affect the accuracy of food demand projections. More details

IDS publications on international development research

The Future of the Global Food System

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 365.1554 (2010)