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A Human Development and Capability Approach to Food Security: Conceptual Framework and Informational Basis

Author

Listed:
  • Francesco Burchi

    (Roma Tre University, Via Valco di San Paolo)

  • Pasquale De Muro

    (Roma Tre University, Via Valco di San Paolo)

Abstract

This paper has a twofold objective: (a) to make a comprehensive review of different approaches to food security; (b) to develop a human development and capability approach to food security following the pioneering works of Amartya Sen and Jean Dréze. To our best knowledge, no paper has yet provided a systematic survey of the major approaches to food security. Starting from the analysis of food production, we highlight the value added provided by the capability approach and the human development paradigm. Then, we propose a methodology of analysis of food security through this approach, entailing three basic steps: (1) analysis of food entitlements; (2) analysis of basic nutritional capabilities; (3) analysis of the capability to be food secure. This way, it is possible to move beyond income-, entitlement-, or livelihoods-related frameworks, and to identify the root causes of food insecurity: food insecurity can be the result of lack of education, health or other basic capabilities that constitute people’s wellbeing. Therefore, it allows to situate the study within the broader topic of wellbeing, agency and freedom. Finally, we briefly discuss the role of food security for human development.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Burchi & Pasquale De Muro, 2012. "A Human Development and Capability Approach to Food Security: Conceptual Framework and Informational Basis," UNDP Africa Policy Notes 2012-009, United Nations Development Programme, Regional Bureau for Africa.
  • Handle: RePEc:rac:wpaper:2012-009
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Webb, Patrick & Block, Steven, 2004. "Nutrition Information and Formal Schooling as Inputs to Child Nutrition," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(4), pages 801-820, July.
    2. Burchi, Francesco, 2010. "Child nutrition in Mozambique in 2003: The role of mother's schooling and nutrition knowledge," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 331-345, December.
    3. Ellis, Frank, 2000. "Rural Livelihoods and Diversity in Developing Countries," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296966.
    4. Martha Nussbaum, 2003. "Capabilities As Fundamental Entitlements: Sen And Social Justice," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2-3), pages 33-59.
    5. Ruel, Marie T., 2002. "Is dietary diversity an indicator of food security or dietary quality?," FCND discussion papers 140, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. Amartya Sen, 2004. "Capabilities, Lists, And Public Reason: Continuing The Conversation," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(3), pages 77-80.
    7. Alkire, Sabina, 2005. "Valuing Freedoms: Sen's Capability Approach and Poverty Reduction," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199283316.
    8. Hoddinott, John & Yohannes, Yisehac, 2002. "Dietary diversity as a food security indicator," FCND discussion papers 136, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    9. Sen, Amartya, 1983. "Development: Which Way Now?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 93(372), pages 742-762, December.
    10. Maxwell, Simon, 1996. "Food security: a post-modern perspective," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 155-170, May.
    11. Sen, Amartya, 1995. "Inequality Reexamined," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198289289.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. d'Agostino, Giorgio & Pieroni, Luca & Scarlato, Margherita, 2013. "Social Protection and Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Evaluation of Cash Transfer Programmes," MPRA Paper 49536, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Sassi, M., 2013. "Child Nutritional Status in the Malawian District of Salima: A Capability Approach," 2013 Second Congress, June 6-7, 2013, Parma, Italy 149892, Italian Association of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AIEAA).
    3. Feeney, Roberto & MacClay, Pablo, 2016. "Food Security in Argentina: A Production or Distribution Problem?," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA), vol. 19(2).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Food security; capability approach; entitlements; human development;

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development

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