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

Food Security: Let Them Eat Information

IDS Bulletin 25.2 (2010)

Improved capacity to predict drought-induced famines has not led to a concomitant improvement in famine prevention. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Food Security: The Challenge of Feeding 9 Billion People

Science 327 (2010)

Continuing population and consumption growth will mean that the global demand for food will increase for at least another 40 years. Growing competition for land, water, and energy, in addition to the overexploitation of fisheries, will affect our ability to produce food, as will the urgent requirement to reduce the impact of the food system on the environment. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Addressing the Dynamics of Agri-Food Systems: An Emerging Agenda for Social Science Research

Environmental Science and Policy 12 (2009)

The ‘modernist’ project that has come to dominate food and agricultural policy has failed to provide sustainable outcomes for many poor people in developing countries. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Accounts of Crisis: Poor People's Experiences of the Food, Fuel and Financial Crises in Five Countries

Report on a pilot study in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya and Zambia, January-March 2009 More details

IDS Research Summary

Lifting the Curse: Overcoming Persistent Undernutrition in India (Research Summary)

IDS Research Summary of IDS Bulletin 40.4 (2009)

This Research Summary shows how IDS Bulletin Volume 40, Number 4, proposes a number of ways in which the state and civil society in India can strengthen the governance of nutrition in terms of capability, responsiveness and accountability. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Designing child-sensitive policies

id21 highlights (2009)
IDS publications on international development research

Why does famine persist in Africa?

Food Security 1.1 (2009)
This is the front cover for the IDS Bulletin 40.4
Lifting the Curse: Overcoming Persistent Undernutrition in India

Lifting the Curse: Overcoming Persistent Undernutrition in India

IDS Bulletin 40.4 (2009)

'Economic powerhouse and nutritional weakling' – how does India move away from this Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde existence? This is the focus of the authors in this IDS Bulletin, nearly all of whom are Indian or India-based. The Bulletin first reviews child nutrition in India: what is going up and what is going down, and for whom and where? More details

Front cover of Bulletin 39.5, Children, AIDS and Development Policy

Children, AIDS and Development Policy

IDS Bulletin 39.5 (2008)

Across the hardest-hit countries of sub-Saharan Africa the HIV/AIDS epidemic is causing immense distress and impoverishment to children. In this region alone, some 12 million are estimated to have lost one or both parents to the disease, but this headline figure misrepresents and understates the magnitude of the problem. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Food Security, Nutrition and HIV/AIDS in African Fisheries: Emerging Evidence and Research Directions

DEV/ODG Reports and Policy Paper 4 (2008)

This review was produced under the regional programme “Fisheries and HIV/AIDS in Africa: Investing in Sustainable Solutions” with financial assistance from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. More details