development
Simon Maxwell

Food security

  • Jobs in Africa: the role of a forward-looking food industry

    Jobs in Africa: the role of a forward-looking food industry

  • Towards next generation food policy research

    Towards next generation food policy research

  • How to avoid the winner’s curse: lessons for a new nutrition policy

    How to avoid the winner’s curse: lessons for a new nutrition policy

  • Optimistic about the Global Nutrition Compact

    Optimistic about the Global Nutrition Compact

  • Five stars for the Hunger Summit

     

    Five stars for the Hunger Summit


  • Is there a blueprint for driving change at global level – and is it being applied to sustainable energy and food security?

    Is there a blueprint for driving change at global level – and is it being applied to sustainable energy and food security?

     

  • Food Prices Video

    To see a video piece from Simon recrded at ODI's recent food prices event see here

  • The G20 response to the food crisis of 2011 needs better politics and greater ambition

    Are we in the middle of a world food crisis, or aren’t we? Yes, we are – but the political impetus is less than last time, in 2008, and the response inadequate.

  • Al-Jazeera's "Frost over the world"

    Al-Jazeera's "Frost over the world", April 2008

    Sir David is joined by Simon Maxwell of the Overseas Development Institute, and by Francis Moore-Lappe of the Small Planet Institute.  Maxwell says governments have to respond by providing more social security, safety nets and famine relief. Moore-Lappe says that hunger is not a result of a scarcity of food but a scarcity of democracy................

  • The food crisis: are we making progress?

    The food crisis: are we making progress?, ODIOverseas Development Institute (London) Blog, July 2008

    If every word written about the global food crisis were a grain of rice, hunger in the world would be a distant memory. But let’s not be cynical - there is cause for cautious optimism. Progress is being made on the policy front and the commitments are beginning to stack up. That does not mean the crisis is over. Events in the Horn of Africa remind us that weather-induced famine is a risk for the poorest, quite independently of what is happening to international grain markets. Nevertheless, the food crisis has been testing our capacity for collective action this year, and we have not been entirely disappointed................. (see link in title for full article)

  • The global local food market

    The global local food market, Financial Times Interview with Nicholas Lander, June 14 2008

    “What I would really like to do at Davos next year,” Maxwell said, “is to organise a similarly high-profile dinner but using only ingredients that have been flown in from as far afield as the delegates. That, I believe, would highlight the links between consumers in the industrialised world and farmers in the developing world. This is a relationship that we have to encourage if we want to lift more people out of poverty and to raise overall food production.”................ (see link in title for full article)

  • The food price crisis: another 'lost decade' for development?

    The food price crisis: another 'lost decade' for development?, ODIOverseas Development Institute (London) Blog June 2008

    This blog outlines four key items to be delivered at the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) crisis summit on food prices in Rome, June 2008...............

  • Rome’s food summit: a torch passed

    Rome’s food summit: a torch passed, Open Democracy, June 2008

    The emergency conference on the world's food crisis in Rome exceeded expectations. Now it's time for July's G8Group of Eight summit in Japan to show imagination by making the global economy work for aid policy, says Simon Maxwell.

    The high-level conference on world food security in Rome on 3-5 June 2008 under the auspices of the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) turned out better than expected. It was not derailed by Robert Mugabe; it survived the unedifying wrangling over a final communiqué; it gave the topic a good hearing; it confirmed some practical actions; and it passed the torch successfully to the next major international gathering, the G8Group of Eight in Hokkaido, Japan on 7-9 July 2008................. (see link in title for full article)

  • Food for thought in Rome

    Food for thought in Rome, Guardian, 30th May 2008

    Unless the food crisis is to become another 'lost decade' for developing countries, leaders at next weeks' Italian summit must act on protecting the poor................ (see link in title for full article)

  • Tackling the food price crisis: 5 steps

    Tackling the food price crisis: 5 steps, ODIOverseas Development Institute (London) Blog, May 2008

    The word 'crisis' is much abused. But the current food price crisis constitutes a genuine emergency. Urgency in tackling it is essential.

    The very poor in the developing world may spend up to 80% of their income on food. The recent spike in food prices has had an immediate impact on their welfare and has already cost lives through civil unrest. Many more lives are now at risk from hunger................. (see link in title for full article)

  • Food prices: video of evidence to House of Commons International Development Committee

    Food prices: video of evidence given by Simon Maxwell and Steve Wiggins to House of Commons International Development Committee, video, April 2008

    On 22 April 2008 at 10.30am, the House of Commons International Development Committee took evidence from Simon Maxwell, Director, and Dr Steve Wiggins, Research Fellow at the Overseas Development Institute......................

  • Will rising food prices derail development efforts?

    Will rising food prices derail development efforts?, ODIOverseas Development Institute (London) Blog, Feb 2008

    Rising food prices are very much in the news.  Farmers may gain, but poor consumers are hard hit – and don’t hesitate to let the politicians know. Governments and aid agencies are under pressure to provide more robust safety nets, while simultaneously facing higher costs................. (see link in title for full article)

  • An Agenda for the World Food Summit

    An Agenda for the World Food Summit, IDSInstitute for Development Studies, Sussex Policy Briefing, Issue 8, October 1996

    The 1996 World Food Summit is an opportunity for heads of state to make binding commitments to end world hunger. It is an achievable goal, but hard choices will have to be made. The challenge of feeding the world tomorrow must be balanced against the more immediate problem of reducing hunger today. Action is needed across a wide front, not just on the production side. Hunger is a global problem and needs global solutions: strengthening the UN is thus a central part of the package................. (see link in title for full article)

  • Food Policy Old and New

    Food Policy Old and New, ODIOverseas Development Institute (London) Briefing Paper, November 2003, With R. Slater (also published in Development Policy Review and The Courier APC-EU)

    The character of the food system and the nature of food policy are both changing, as urbanisation, technical change and the industrialisation of the food system transform the way food is produced, marketed and consumed in developing countries. The challenges are daunting and immediate – and need to be on the agenda of policy-makers throughout the developing world................. (see link in title for full article).

  • Food Security in Africa

    Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa, ed with S. Devereux, ITDG Publishing, London, June 2001

    Sub-Saharan Africa's persistent food insecurity and vulnerability to famine reflects failures of understanding as much as failures of interventions. "Food Security in sub-Saharan Africa" aims to contribute towards an improved understanding for more effective food security policy. This book brings together 11 substantial chapters on critical food security issues, and draws on a variety of disciplinary perspectives, from agricultural economics to nutrition. Most contributions reflect an evolution of thinking during the 1990s. Food insecurity is no longer seen simply as a problem of agriculture and a failure of food production at the national level, but instead as a failure of livelihoods to guarantee access to sufficient food at household level. This conceptual shift and related arguments are presented in a clear and accessible way for the non-specialist reader, and are illustrated with empirical data and case studies from across the sub-continent................. (see link in title to purchase book)

  • Organisational Issues in Food Security Planning

    Organisational Issues in Food Security Planning, in Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa (ed with S. Devereux), ITDG Publishing: London, June 2001

    Sub-Saharan Africa's persistent food insecurity and vulnerability to famine reflects failures of understanding as much as failures of interventions. Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa aims to contribute towards an improved understanding for more effective food security policy. This book brings together eleven substantial chapters on critical food security issues, from the causes of food insecurity to planning and policy interventions and draws on a variety of disciplinary perspectives, from agricultural economics to nutrition. A feature of many contributions to this book is the way in which our deepening understanding of various aspects of food security has resulted in more sophisticated analytical frameworks and more complex recommendations for interventions. Most contributions reflect an evolution of thinking during the 1990s. Food insecurity is no longer seen simply as a problem of agriculture and a failure of food production at the national level, but instead as a failure of livelihoods to guarantee access to sufficient food at household level. This conceptual shift and related arguments are presented in a clear and accessible way for the non-specialist reader, and are illustrated with empirical data and case studies from across the sub-continent. The contributors and editors are all food security experts with long experience of research and advisory work in Africa and of teaching and training in their specialist areas.  To buy the book, follow the link above

  • The Evolution of Thinking about Food Security

    The Evolution of Thinking about Food Security, in Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa (ed with S. Devereux), ITDG Publishing: London, June 2001

    Sub-Saharan Africa's persistent food insecurity and vulnerability to famine reflects failures of understanding as much as failures of interventions. Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa aims to contribute towards an improved understanding for more effective food security policy. This book brings together eleven substantial chapters on critical food security issues, from the causes of food insecurity to planning and policy interventions and draws on a variety of disciplinary perspectives, from agricultural economics to nutrition. A feature of many contributions to this book is the way in which our deepening understanding of various aspects of food security has resulted in more sophisticated analytical frameworks and more complex recommendations for interventions. Most contributions reflect an evolution of thinking during the 1990s. Food insecurity is no longer seen simply as a problem of agriculture and a failure of food production at the national level, but instead as a failure of livelihoods to guarantee access to sufficient food at household level. This conceptual shift and related arguments are presented in a clear and accessible way for the non-specialist reader, and are illustrated with empirical data and case studies from across the sub-continent. The contributors and editors are all food security experts with long experience of research and advisory work in Africa and of teaching and training in their specialist areas.
    To buy the book follow the link above
  • Agricultural Issues in Food Security

    Agricultural Issues in Food Security, in Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa (ed with S. Devereux), ITDG Publishing: London, June 2001

    Sub-Saharan Africa's persistent food insecurity and vulnerability to famine reflects failures of understanding as much as failures of interventions. Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa aims to contribute towards an improved understanding for more effective food security policy. This book brings together eleven substantial chapters on critical food security issues, from the causes of food insecurity to planning and policy interventions and draws on a variety of disciplinary perspectives, from agricultural economics to nutrition. A feature of many contributions to this book is the way in which our deepening understanding of various aspects of food security has resulted in more sophisticated analytical frameworks and more complex recommendations for interventions. Most contributions reflect an evolution of thinking during the 1990s. Food insecurity is no longer seen simply as a problem of agriculture and a failure of food production at the national level, but instead as a failure of livelihoods to guarantee access to sufficient food at household level. This conceptual shift and related arguments are presented in a clear and accessible way for the non-specialist reader, and are illustrated with empirical data and case studies from across the sub-continent. The contributors and editors are all food security experts with long experience of research and advisory work in Africa and of teaching and training in their specialist areas.
     
    To buy the book follow the link above
  • International Targets for Poverty Reduction and Food Security: A Mildly Sceptical but Resolutely Pragmatic View with a Call for Greater Subsidiarity

    'International Targets for Poverty Reduction and Food Security: A Mildly Sceptical but Resolutely Pragmatic View with a Call for Greater Subsidiarity' in Canadian Journal of Development Studies, Volume XIX, Special Issue, 1998. Reprinted in S Devereux and M Moore Nationalising the Anti-Poverty Agenda? IDSInstitute for Development Studies, Sussex Bulletin, 30:2, April 1999.  Also reprinted in Currents 22, June 2000

    Summary: International development targets adopted by UN Conferences provide political impetus, focus expenditure and help in monitoring progress. However, simple targets can misrepresent complex realities and distort policy. Monitoring targets can have a high opportunity cost. Political impetus can be lost if targets are over-ambitious. Food security illustrates the uses of targets and the risks involved. Simple hunger or nutrition targets have been attractive to policymakers but have been problematic conceptually, and routinely overambitious in practice. Greater subsidiarity may be the answer, with simple international targets being used as a platform for local action. Subsidiarity means more than developing national action plans to implement international targets: it is potentially more open, participatory subversive and deviant.

  • Saucy with the Gods: Nutrition and Food Security Speak to Poverty

    'Saucy with the Gods: Nutrition and Food Security Speak to Poverty' in Food Policy, Vol. 23, No. 3/4, pp.215-230, 1998

    Poverty reduction has become the dominant paradigm of the 1990s, but poverty planners have had to re-learn many hard-won lessons from the earlier experience of nutrition and food security. Poverty planners can also learn from the current struggles of these related disciplines: for example, on how to discriminate between competing narratives, on the problems consequent on nutrition transitions, on managing international targets, and on questions of accountability. In general, this example of poor communication between disciplines emphasises the need for institutional learning and for management of knowledge. Development organisations need networks that cut across disciplines and sectors, which build cooperation in the field, and which develop new forms of partnership with poor people.

     

  • Implementing the World Food Summit Plan of Action: Organisational Issues in Multi-Sectoral Planning

    'Implementing the World Food Summit Plan of Action: Organisational Issues in Multi-Sectoral Planning'in Food Policy, Vol. 22, No. 6, pp. 515-531, 1997

    Despite current ideological and philosophical objections to planning, it survives in new forms, generating Policy Framework Papers, Poverty Assessments or multi-sectoral Action Plans to implement the resolutions of international conferences. The World Food Summit Plan of Action will generate a new wave of such plans. History shows that the road to multi-sectoral planning is littered with organisational elephant-traps. The traps can be avoided, however, by learning the lessons of past experiments with multi-disciplinary or multi-sectoral planning. The literatures on integrated rural development, multi-sectoral nutrition planning, farming systems research, national food security planning, poverty planning and industrial organisation are all of help. They suggest that the key is to establish a task culture, characterised by co-operative goal definition, a high degree of participation, supportive leadership, and strong integration of planning and implementation. A ten point action plan is derived from these principles for follow-up to the World Food Summit.

  • Review article: perspectives on a new world food crisis

    Review article: perspectives on a new world food crisis, Journal of International Development, Volume 8, Issue 6

    Food is back, so to speak, on the menu.  The evidence for this is to be found, not so much in the recent smorgasbrod of books on the subject , but rather in the enthusiasm of the manifold maitres d' who control the seating i the global restaurant. Why, we even had a World Food Summit in 2006!................ (see link in title for full article)

  • Food security: a post-modern perspective

    Food security: a post-modern perspective, , Food Policy, Volume 21, Issue 2, May 1996 (also published as IDSInstitute for Development Studies, Sussex Working Paper No. 9, October 1994)

    The paper explores post-modern currents in food security. It identifies three main shifts in thinking about food security since the World Food Conference of 1974: from the global and the national to the household and the individual; from a food first perspective to a livelihood perspective; and from objective indicators to subjective perception. It finds these shifts to be consistent with post-modern thinking in other spheres, and it draws on the wider debate to recommend food security policy which eschews meta-narratives in favour of recognizing diversity, providing households and individuals with choices which contribute to self-determination and autonomy. The current conventional wisdom on food security is reviewed and some post-modern amendments are suggested.

  • Food, Food Security And UN Reform

    'Food, Food Security And UN Reform', in IDS Bulletin 26:4, with John Shaw, October 1995

    SUMMARY: The article addresses the question of UN reform from the perspective of food security. It offers a balance sheet of UN strengths and weaknesses, praising the UN role in advocacy, technical coordination and resource mobilization, but identifying serious politico-bureaucratic problems, and new challenges to the UN mandate caused by the coexistence of hunger and conflict. In understanding why the weaknesses occur, there are useful connections to be made in the debates on public administration, good government and the sociology of international politics, as well as those more directly on UN reform. These lead the article to identify four general principles for UN reform in the food security area, and to explore two options for change, one to improve the status quo and one to introduce more radical change. The latter is preferred: the UN mandate needs review, particularly in the area of conflict; there are too many agencies; and there are too many independent budgets. The article argues for a focal point in the UN system for policy determination and resource allocation for food security.

  • Laudatio to Robert Chambers

    'Laudatio to Robert Chambers' in H-U Thimm and H. Hahn (eds), Regional Food Security and Rural Infrastructure (Vol 1), Schriften 50, Zentrum fur Regionale Entwicklungsforschung der Justus-Liebig-Universitat, Giessen, Germany, June 1993

    Regional food security depends on a complex of influencing factors. Rural infrastructure is one of them. There are no studies rejecting a hypothesis that infrastructure generally contributes positively to food security, and there is no major dispute that rural infrastructure works mainly through the process of opening up regions for increases in production and output marketing. Supply of goods and services created through improved economic and social activities follows. The basic food security problems are found in low productivity of production factors, changing land-man ratios, environmental degradation, as well as political instability, economic underdevelopment and lack of non-agricultural employment and purchasing power. While global attempts are apparently not effective, it seems necessary to return to regional analysis as the starting point for food security solutions. According to recent UN reports the number of developing countries with permanent food deficits has decreased, but subnational (regional) incidences of food security problems remain at an intolerable high level.

  • Household Food Security: Concepts and Definitions: An Annotated Bibliography

    Household Food Security: Concepts and Definitions: An Annotated Bibliography, IDSInstitute for Development Studies, Sussex Bibliography Series No. 8, 1993 (with J. Pointing, M. Smith)

  • Household Food Security: A Conceptual Review

    With M. Smith, 'Household Food Security: A Conceptual Review', in S. Maxwell and T. Frankenberger (eds), Household Food Security: Concepts, Indicators, Measurements: A Technical Review, UNICEF/IFAD, 1993.

  • Regional Food Security Strategies: The Case of IGADD in the Horn of Africa

    'Regional Food Security Strategies: The Case of IGADD in the Horn of Africa', with M. Hubbard, N. Merlo, and E. Caputo in Food Policy, February 1992

    This article examines the work of the Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD), formed by the governments of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda, in striving to improve food security through regional cooperation. The potential benefits of cooperation are noted, alongside the obstacles to their realization. IGADD's strategy is described in detail, and the steps being taken to implement it are discussed.

  • Household Food Security: Concepts, Indicators, Measurements

    Household Food Security: Concepts, Indicators, Measurements, with T. Frankenberger, UNICEFUnited Nations Children's Fund and IFAD, 1992

    This document reviews core concepts in household food security (HFS), provides an overview of indicators and data collection methods, and includes an annotated bibliography on concepts and definitions, illustrating the inter-relationship among HFS, nutrition, livelihood security and long-term sustainability.

  • To Cure all Hunger: Food Policy and Food Security in Sudan

    To Cure all Hunger: Food Policy and Food Security in Sudan, (edited volume), IT Publications, April 1991

    Problems of food insecurity present a grim prospect in the Sudan: a poor country, distressed by drought and civil war and in political controversy both at home and internationally. The causes, dimensions and consequences of food insecurity in the Sudan are explored in this book, based on papers presented at a conference on food security in Sudan held at the University of Sussex in 1988. The emphasis lies on the north (Darfur, Kordofan and Red Sea Hills) rather than the war-torn south of the country. Much conventional knowledge on food security analysis is challenged. Following an overview of national food security planning in the Sudan, 4 main sections cover: the definition and measurement of food insecurity; growth, structural adjustment and food security; the management of cereal markets; and the question of targeted interventions

     

  • Food, survival and appropriate development

    'Food, survival and appropriate development'in D.P. Maguire (ed) Appropriate Development for Basic Needs, Institution of Civil Engineers, Thomas Telford, London 1991

    This volume contains the proceedings of the conference on "Appropriate development for survival: the contribution of technology", held in London in October 1990. The first series of papers focus on appropriate development, i.e. a development process that is sustainable and effective in meeting the peoples' basic needs, and on the contribution of appropriate technology to this process. Constraints on, and prospects for appropriate technological development are discussed and related to food security, energy consumption and generation, water, sanitation and infrastructure. The management, planning and choice of technology are also considered. Detailed examinations of applications of appropriate technology for sustainable development in the energy, water and sanitation, and infrastructural sectors are included

  • The disincentive effect of food aid: a pragmatic approach

    'The disincentive effect of food aid: a pragmatic approach'in Clay, E.J. and O. Stokke Food Aid Reconsidered, Frank Cass, 1991

  • National food security planning: first thoughts from Sudan

    'National food security planning: first thoughts from Sudan' in Maxwell, S., (ed), 1991, To Cure all Hunger: Food Policy and Food Security in Sudan, IT Publications

    Problems of food insecurity present a grim prospect in the Sudan: a poor country, distressed by drought and civil war and in political controversy both at home and internationally. The causes, dimensions and consequences of food insecurity in the Sudan are explored in this book, based on papers presented at a conference on food security in Sudan held at the University of Sussex in 1988. The emphasis lies on the north (Darfur, Kordofan and Red Sea Hills) rather than the war-torn south of the country. Much conventional knowledge on food security analysis is challenged. Following an overview of national food security planning in the Sudan, 4 main sections cover: the definition and measurement of food insecurity; growth, structural adjustment and food security; the management of cereal markets; and the question of targeted interventions

  • Famine in Sudan

    'Famine in Sudan: The Proceedings of a one-day symposium held at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex', with J. Bailey, M. Buchanan-Smith, in Disasters, Vol 15, No. 2, pp196-202

     

  • Food Security in Developing Countries

    Food Security in Developing Countries, (edited volume), IDSInstitute for Development Studies, Sussex Bulletin 21:3, July 1990

    SummaryInterest in 'food security' has been on a rising trend through the late 1980's, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. However, the paper finds that the term 'food security' is used in different ways and that partly as a result there are different approaches to food security planning. There are also different views on some of the key issues in food security: agricultural growth, market intervention, targeting. Here the paper finds a retreat from ideology into a pragmatic, case by case approach. Food security will continue to be prominent in the 1990's and five issues will dominate the agenda: the meaning and measurement of food insecurity; structural reform of food systems; improved targeting in SSA; the future of food aid; and the strengthening of rural and urban safety nets.

  • Food Security In Developing Countries: Issues And Options For The 1990s

    'Food Security In Developing Countries: Issues And Options For The 1990s'in IDS Bulletin21:3 July 1990

    SummaryInterest in 'food security' has been on a rising trend through the late 1980's, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. However, the paper finds that the term 'food security' is used in different ways and that partly as a result there are different approaches to food security planning. There are also different views on some of the key issues in food security: agricultural growth, market intervention, targeting. Here the paper finds a retreat from ideology into a pragmatic, case by case approach. Food security will continue to be prominent in the 1990's and five issues will dominate the agenda: the meaning and measurement of food insecurity; structural reform of food systems; improved targeting in SSA; the future of food aid; and the strengthening of rural and urban safety nets.

     

  • Is Food Security Targeting Possible In Sub-Saharan Africa? Evidence From North Sudan

    'Is Food Security Targeting Possible In Sub-Saharan Africa? Evidence From North Sudan', in IDS Bulletin 21:3 July 1990 (with J. Swift and M. Buchanan-Smith)

    SummaryTargeting food security interventions in sub-Saharan Africa presents special difficulties and has rarely been successful. A case study of Darfur in Western Sudan shows that targeting can be improved. The key is to focus not just on safeguarding current income and food consumption, but also on long term livelihood interventions that reduce vulnerability; and to do this with programmes which are geographically specific, self-targeting in administrative terms and designed inter alia to support traditional community food security arrangements. Consistency in food policy at macro and micro levels is also important.

  • Cash Crops In Developing Countries: The Issues, The Facts, The Policies

    'Cash Crops In Developing Countries: The Issues, The Facts, The Policies', in World Development, Vol 17, No. 11, December 1989

    The issue of “cash crops” is profoundly controversial. The debate uses different definitions of the term and slides across levels of analysis from the household to the international economy. It also cuts across arguments, crops, countries and time periods. This paper sets out to order the debate. It deals first with definitions and taxonomy and then reviews issues connected with cash crops and (a) growth, (b) distribution, (c) food security, (d) dependency and (e) the environment. The paper concludes that with appropriate policies cash crops can offer a route to equitable growth.

  • 'Rapid Food Security Assessment: A Pilot Exercise in

    'Rapid Food Security Assessment: A Pilot Exercise in Sudan', in Rapid Rural Appraisal Notes, No. 5, May, 1989

     

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