Vulnerability and food insecurity in Ethiopia : forging the links between global policies, national strategies and local socio-spatial analyses
Ethiopia is a food insecure country in the Horn of Africa. A wide body of literature in the 1980s and early 1990s justifiably associated food insecurity and famine in Africa and Ethiopia with centralised governance and weaknesses in national early warning systems, which were argued to have had an enduring influence on the outcomes of early warning and famine/food security interventions. Among this wide body of research, however, little attention has been devoted to the socio-spatial dimensions of the problem and the resulting effect on interventions aimed at addressing vulnerability to food insecurity at the household level. In this thesis it is argued that social processes, inherent in the structure of societies and institutions, combine globally, nationally and locally to undermine the treatment of vulnerability to food insecurity as a variable, place-based phenomenon. The arguments are developed with reference to food policy and vulnerability assessments in Ethiopia during the 1990s. Specific references are made to the findings from interviews with national early warning system staffs carried out in 1997 and 1998 and to food security surveys in Delanta Dawint, Ethiopia carried out in 1998.