Household livelihood security: Theories, practice and perspectives
AuthorBaro, Mamadou Amadou, 1959-
AdvisorPak, Thomas K.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractConventional ways of looking at livelihood systems and household food security fail to capture the variations in procurement strategies used by different households to obtain resources. This can be attributed to the fact that the attention of the developers is mostly focused on national food supplies. Aggregate data obscures the local and regional inequality and seasonal disparities in access to food. This is exacerbated by the preconceived notion that peasant societies are a monolithic unit. Thus, our understanding of the internal dynamics of peasant communities, and of cooperation and conflict among their members becomes distorted. Considerable variability exists in Chad and Haiti both in terms of livelihood systems and household resource endowments. This dissertation argues that approaches to food security must address this variability at the household level. Social differentiation exists between households and within households within any given community. To improve our understanding of intra-household dynamics, gender analysis must be used to delineate the economic activities, division of labor, and access to and control over resources that exist among household members. Most food security scholars have assumed that rural households can adapt to sudden crises. This dissertation shows that rural households are always in the dynamic process of coping; crises are not conjunctural but rather endemic. The coping mechanisms they develop are not as well patterned as the literature portrays them. In a context of failing livelihood systems of the last two decades, people's responses to vulnerability vary according to changing circumstances. Another major assumption about food security is that child nutritional status is an indicator of the food and health conditions of child household and of the entire community. Research conducted in Haiti presents a case study which runs counter to this general assumption. Variability, flexibility, adaptability, diversification and resilience are key concepts in household food security. Studies on food security should take into consideration at least five major sources of variations: (1) Contrasts among livelihood systems; (2) Intra-community variations; (3) Differences in household resource endowments; (4) Variation between households or local communities in relation to the "national state"; and (5) Changes in all of the foregoing sources of variation over time.
Degree ProgramGraduate College