Chitja Social dimensions in food security measurement

January 6, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Social Science, Psychology, Social Psychology
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Dr Joyce Chitja University of Kwazulu-Natal

Disclaimers This presentation is conceptual, theoretical based observed conceptual factors (an on going livelihood asset building study in ongoing).  It has a bias on the rural subsistence and small holder farming context of South Africa.  It draws from the agricultural, the social and economic contexts of rural South Africa.  Focuses on HHFS and those functioning in the “second economy” 


The presentation is an attempt to illuminate the social dimensions in measurement of FS for the definition to come to be realised. It is an attempt to explore how can HHFS measures be combined or used in a complementary way to reflect a multidimensional picture of the PEOPLE affected. In South Africa rural families and their communities face livelihood shocks caused by biophysical, economic, and socio-political forces leading to lower returns on their assets or tip them into persistent poverty. The reasons are a mix of deep historical & present factors plus the inability of the current economy to deliver enough jobs in these areas.

The complexity of FS measuring A single measure that is reliable, valid overtime, captures all relevant elements and contexts would be much desirable.  As known no, single measure meets these criteria (Coates and Maxwell 2012).  Most measures do not adequately capture vulnerabilities (their causes & contexts) and consumptions trends over time.  This presentation will attempt to marry FS measurement, Livelihood Assets and elements of Social Protection. 

She carries a heavy load! Can “better” FS conceptualisation &measurement improve her Livelihood?

Food Security: Definition Food security definition: Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. - 1996 World Food Summit Implication: Livelihoods Assets should be resilient to deliver livelihoods that ensure Food Security

Why do we measure FS? Assess current and future FS  Intervene  To understand HH resilience over time  What is the root cause of apparent poor rural HH resilience in SA? ( suspect livelihood assets play a role)  Does the historical context of RSA affect the poor’s livelihoods assets (Personal, Human, Social Assets), if so how? 

Suggested links FS and SLA Suggestion : Livelihood Assets may be one of the key conditions for the FS definition to be somewhat achieved for the poor  Problemitisation: perhaps current measures do not adequately measure the level & quality of Human, Personal, Social Assets? 

Conceptual & Theoretical Framework Sustainable Livelihood Asset & Livelihood Asset Building Approach.  Social Assets are often very low in poor communities.  Social, Human& Individual Assets are often overlooked in conceptualisation of food security interventions and in some food security measurement. 

Livelihood Assets Social assets - the network of family and community support; (How did RSA history affect this aspect ? Land removals and impact of family disintegration?  Personal assets - their self-confidence, determination and assertiveness (How did RSA history affect this aspect?)  Human assets - their skills and knowledge and ability to learn and work; (Historical vs current skills acquiring system) 

Physical assets - their ability to meet the basic needs of food, shelter, transportation and access to other required services;  Financial assets - financial knowledge and capability, access to credit, savings and investments. 

HHFS measures & Linkage Livelihood Assets Household Food Insecurity and Access Scale (HFIAS); (behavioural & occurrence measure does not measure causes)  Coping Strategies Index (CSI) (behavioural and does not measure causes)  Reduced Coping Strategies Index (rCSI); (behavioural and does not measure causes) 

Nature Environment Social capital Community Mobilisation, Network Self Determination Self confidence Education (skills) Politics Health Physical infrastructure Institutions Markets Livelihoods Agriculture Storage Conflict

Shocks to households

•Food •Income •Health •Entitlement •Asset •Access

Household resources

Food secure

Symptoms of food insecurity

Household responses to shocks

Constrained to Transform Alternative Approach: asset building approach with a special focus on the Personal, Human, & Social Protection before the physical & financial assets to foster “self help” ethos

Mr Khanyile’s FS status: access and availability constrained by poor tech skills, lack of exposure to formal farming & markets

A proposed Framework for considering SLA in FS measurement 

Word doc

The Framework Raises Key Q’s: • •

• • •

Have we contextualised FS appropriately to measure the causes? If the current FS definition is to be realised: a recommendation is the following should encompassed in the conceptualisation and measurement: Human Assets (self determination, self belief) Social Assets (agency, networks, mobilisation) Individual Assets need to be measured in order to intervene in a targeted manner

Parting comments Considering Social SLA’s in FS measuring could improve long term resilience.  Considering Social SLA’s in FS measuring fits into the developmental mandate of RSA.  Focus on PEOPLE could build agency and reduce the welfare burden on the state long term. 

Ke a leboga, Thank you!

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