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James Sumberg

Emeritus Fellow

James Sumberg is an agriculturalist by training and has over 35 years’ experience working on small-scale farming systems and agricultural policy, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa.

Over the last decade his research has focused primarily on youth and employment in rural Africa. Key concerns have been how young people engage with the rural economy, and the potential of the rural economy to provide decent jobs. A secondary but long-term research focus is knowledge politics in development-oriented agronomy.

James joined IDS as a Research Fellow in October 2009. Previously he served as Programme Director at The New Economics Foundation and Senior Lecturer in Natural Resource Management in the School of Development Studies, University of East Anglia. He has also held research positions at WADRA – the Africa Rice Centre, the International Livestock Centre for Africa, CARE International and the Gambian Livestock Department.

Google Scholar
http://goo.gl/VzamdG

Research

Programme

Policy Anticipation, Response and Evaluation

Evidence-based policy is often framed by questioning what works, for whom and in what situations. It is often forgotten that the ability to answer this question depends on knowledge about what has happened, what is happening and what is likely to happen.

Programme and centre

Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia (LANSA)

Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia (LANSA) is an international research partnership. We are working together to discover how agriculture and food-related interventions can be better designed to improve nutrition, particularly for children and adolescent girls.

Project

Tomorrow Today

Tomorrow Today is a horizon scanning programme designed to support the preliminary but systematic exploration of new and emergent policy issues.

Opinions

Opinion

Young Africans need more and better jobs, not more training

When the world rebuilds after the Covid-19 crisis, Africa will have a unique challenge to face: bringing its overwhelmingly young workforce into decent, productive, and secure jobs. Africa has the world’s youngest population, a fact that some hope will mean fewer deaths and serious cases,...

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Philip Mader & 4 others

10 September 2020

Publications

Journal Article

Regenerative Agriculture: An Agronomic Perspective

Outlook on Agriculture;

Agriculture is in crisis. Soil health is collapsing. Biodiversity faces the sixth mass extinction. Crop yields are plateauing. Against this crisis narrative swells a clarion call for Regenerative Agriculture. But what is Regenerative Agriculture, and why is it gaining such prominence? Which...

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Ken Giller & 3 others

2 March 2021

Journal Article

Youth and Food Systems Transformation

Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems

What, if anything, is special about youth with respect to engagement in food systems? This question is important, owing to the size of the current demographic cohort of youth, globally but especially in the majority world, as well as the large stake, and strong influence, that today's youth will...

21 July 2020

James Sumberg’s recent work