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Empirical forecasting of slow-onset disasters for improved emergency response: An application to Kenya's arid north


  • Mude, Andrew G.
  • Barrett, Christopher B.
  • McPeak, John G.
  • Kaitho, Robert
  • Kristjanson, Patti


Mitigating the negative welfare consequences of crises such as droughts, floods, and disease outbreaks, is a major challenge in many areas of the world, especially in highly vulnerable areas insufficiently equipped to prevent food and livelihood security crisis in the face of adverse shocks. Given the finite resources allocated for emergency response, and the expected increase in incidences of humanitarian catastrophe due to changing climate patterns, there is a need for rigorous and efficient methods of early warning and emergency needs assessment. In this paper we develop an empirical model, based on a relatively parsimonious set of regularly measured variables from communities in Kenya's arid north, that generates remarkably accurate forecasts of the likelihood of famine with at least 3Â months lead time. Such a forecasting model is a potentially valuable tool for enhancing early warning capacity.

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  • Mude, Andrew G. & Barrett, Christopher B. & McPeak, John G. & Kaitho, Robert & Kristjanson, Patti, 2009. "Empirical forecasting of slow-onset disasters for improved emergency response: An application to Kenya's arid north," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 329-339, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:34:y:2009:i:4:p:329-339

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Luseno, Winnie K. & McPeak, John G. & Barrett, Christopher B. & Little, Peter D. & Gebru, Getachew, 2003. "Assessing the Value of Climate Forecast Information for Pastoralists: Evidence from Southern Ethiopia and Northern Kenya," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(9), pages 1477-1494, September.
    2. Deaton, Angus, 1985. "Panel data from time series of cross-sections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 109-126.
    3. Travis J. Lybbert & Christopher B. Barrett & Solomon Desta & D. Layne Coppock, 2004. "Stochastic wealth dynamics and risk management among a poor population," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(498), pages 750-777, October.
    4. McKenzie, D.J.David J., 2004. "Asymptotic theory for heterogeneous dynamic pseudo-panels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 120(2), pages 235-262, June.
    5. Meese, Richard A. & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1983. "Empirical exchange rate models of the seventies : Do they fit out of sample?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1-2), pages 3-24, February.
    6. Christopher Barrett, 1997. "Heteroscedastic price forecasting for food security management in developing countries," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(2), pages 225-236.
    7. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
    8. John McPeak, 2004. "Contrasting income shocks with asset shocks: livestock sales in northern Kenya," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 263-284, April.
    9. Anderson, T. W. & Hsiao, Cheng, 1982. "Formulation and estimation of dynamic models using panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 47-82, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Matthias Kalkuhl & Lukas Kornher & Marta Kozicka & Pierre Boulanger & Maximo Torero, 2013. "Conceptual framework on price volatility and its impact on food and nutrition security in the short term," FOODSECURE Working papers 15, LEI Wageningen UR.
    2. Lybbert, Travis J. & Sumner, Daniel A., 2012. "Agricultural technologies for climate change in developing countries: Policy options for innovation and technology diffusion," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 114-123.
    3. Lentz, Erin & Ouma, Robert & Mude, Andrew, 2016. "Does peer monitoring influence choices between cash and food? Findings from a field experiment," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 21-31.
    4. Barrett, Christopher B. & Headey, Derek D., 2014. "Measuring resilience in a volatile world: A proposal for a multicountry system of sentinel sites :," 2020 Conference papers 1, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Bauer, Jan M. & Mburu, Samuel, 2017. "Effects of drought on child health in Marsabit District, Northern Kenya," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 74-79.


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