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Re: What is the role of social relations and networks in household food security and nutrition?

Emilia Venetsanou freelancer, Italy
30.10.2013
Emilia Venetsanou

I would definitively like to see going on honest and courageous applicable research (Action – Research – Training) on the social determinants of Food and Nutritional Security. That also means that budget has to be allocated for.

On the agenda of such applicable research, the dimension of social differentiation and inequality within communities (including its smaller social unities as nuclear family) has to be among the topic issues. Policy-makers and development practitioners should not turn a blind eye to the dynamics of social differentiation and their consequences to food security.

To give a trivial example. When a nutritionist starts his/her work in a community has to reach a good understanding of families’ internal dynamics and the role / position of women. What is the position of each family-unit within the whole group is equally important. And so on. That is about a sociological analysis to be carried on. But it has to be dynamic and fully relying on a participatory approach. Therefore, I speak about “Action – Research – Training”.

Another example could be the case of design, implementation and monitoring of Social Protection schemes. What are the internal dynamics, endowments of the several groups, how all that work together? How work the traditional safety / solidarity systems and what are their deeper dynamics and which their effects in the maintenance or transformation of the productive system as a whole? Which are the engine-factors and which the blocking-factors. To only just list ones.

Eventually, I wish that our our contributions to a public debate are honestly taken into account, and that public debate is an authentic channel for making voices heard. I consider important seeing into the final wrapping up all the core ideas herein expressed, if not public debate just will not make much sense.

To help the facilitator on her wrapping-up tasks, the core idea that I put forward is about budget allocation at all relevant programmes and projects for applicable research relying on participatory approach “Action – Research – Training” addressing: a) social differentiation and inequality within communities and their consequences to food security and b) social determinants of Food and Nutritional Security.