IDS Bulletin Vol. 25 Nos. 2

Food Security: Let Them Eat Information

Published on 1 April 1994

Improved capacity to predict drought-induced famines has not led to a concomitant improvement in famine prevention. In a comparative study of five African countries, this article argues that the failure to translate more information into timely and appropriate response is explained by a myriad of institutional and – crucially – political obstacles. It is often negotiation over conflicting interests between donors nd governments of recipient countries which determines the timing and level of famine response; the role of information becomes peripheral to much of the decision-making process. Policy implications of the study include better pre-planning of response and decentralisation of response capacity, as well as joint ventures between donors and governments to provide – and hence own – early warning information.

Cite this publication

Buchanan?Smith, M., Davies, S. and Petty, C. (1994) Food Security: Let them Eat Information. IDS Bulletin 25(2): 69-80

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published by
Buchanan-Smith, M, Davies, S and Petty, C
IDS Bulletin, issue 25.2


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