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Monitoring the Realization of the Right to Food: Adaptation and Validation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Insecurity Module to Rural Senegal

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Author Info

  • Susan Randolph

    (University of Connecticut)

  • Ibrahima Gaye

    (ENEA)

  • Ibrahima Hathie

    (ENEA)

  • Rafael Perez-Escamilla

    (University of Connecticut)

Abstract

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights first formally recognized food security as a human right. This right was subsequently codified into international law in 1976 when the International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, ICESCR, entered into the force of law. The ICESCR obligates states to respect, protect, and fulfill the right to food, but in the absence of reliable measures of food security, simply monitoring progress towards the realization of the right to food is problematic. Moreover, if duty bearers are to design effective policies and programs to fulfill the right to food, it is essential to have reliable information on who is food insecure. This paper assesses the validity of an adaptation of the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Insecurity Survey Instrument to the rural Senegalese context. The advantage of this instrument is that it is simple and inexpensive to administer, identifies the food security status of individual adults as well as children, and assesses the certainty, quality, and quantity aspects of food access. The USDA Food Insecurity Instrument has been successfully adapted to other developed countries and several developing countries as well. Adaptation to the Sub-Saharan context poses particular challenges given the complex household structure, the more limited reach of markets, the myriad of languages spoken within a limited geographic area, and the influence of seasonality on food access. Despite these challenges, this study demonstrates the validity of a reasonably straightforward adaptation of the USDA food insecurity instrument for rural Kaolack, Senegal, attesting to the promise of this approach for measuring food insecurity in developing countries in general and Sub-Saharan African countries in particular.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Human Rights Institute in its series Economic Rights Working Papers with number 6.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uct:ecriwp:6

Note: Financial support from the U.S. Bureau of Education & Cultural Affairs, Ecole Nationale D.Economie Appliquee, and the USAID: UConn Peanut-CRSP made this project possible and is gratefully acknowledged.
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Postal: University of Connecticut Thomas J. Dodd Research Center 405 Babbidge Road, Unit 1205 Storrs, CT 06269-1205
Phone: 860-486-8739
Fax: 860-486-6332
Web page: http://www.humanrights.uconn.edu/

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