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Title: An analysis of the food security of the Rama indigenous group, Nicaragua
Author: Papworth, Andrew
ISNI:       0000 0004 7964 8925
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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Food insecurity affects two billion people worldwide, but food security scholarship and policy has tended to be too focused on the amount of available food, rather than whether populations are able to access and use the available food consistently. Studies have also typically focused on the global or national scale, meaning local issues are sometimes ignored. There is also no consensus on how food security should be measured. This thesis investigates the food security of the Rama indigenous group of Nicaragua who are located in the Caribbean Coast region of Nicaragua. It provides a fine-grained understanding of the determinants of their food security and what affects their vulnerability. It uses an adaptation of an Emergency Food Security Assessment (EFSA) tool called the Household Economy Analysis (HEA) and assesses its usefulness for conducting research of this type. A total of 110 household surveys and 41 semistructured interviews, along with dietary surveys with nine families, were conducted across three Rama communities. The thesis makes three major insights. Firstly, it shows there is considerable heterogeneity within the Rama community meaning there are differences in householdlevel vulnerability to threats. This heterogeneity is partly determined by the geographies of access that households have to natural resources, markets and jobs, as well as differences in cultural values and endowments. Secondly, the thesis shows it is likely that global food insecurity is being underestimated because current measures of food security tend not to capture the nuances of household-level food insecurity. Thirdly, the thesis shows the need for a systems-based approach to food security. Current resilience theory has difficulties taking into account heterogeneity at the household level, meaning important socio-economic and/or environmental factors that can cause household-level inequality are missed. A more holistic, geographically-specific understanding of food security could provide a fruitful approach to trial new conceptions of resilience theory.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available