África austral

Area code (UN M.49)
018
Date of publication
Enero 2009
Geographical focus

Agriculture is crucial for development in Africa, as the majority of the population lives in rural areas and at least 70 percent of the workforce is engaged in agriculture. In many African countries, growth in agriculture is the most effective strategy for reducing poverty and promoting overall economic growth (Diao et al. 2007). The period covered in this report was in many ways a positive year for African agriculture. The G8 Summit, held in July 2009 in Italy, recognized the importance of agriculture for development and the critical need to increase financial and technical support to global agriculture and food security amid emerging challenges such as the global economic crisis. Leaders at the summit issued an official statement on global food insecurity and pledged to mobilize $20 billion to tackle the issue in the next three years. At the national level, dozens of African countries have pledged to implement the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the African Union (AU). This African-led plan aims to stimulate agriculture on the continent to achieve the first Millennium Development Goal (MDG1) of halving poverty and hunger by 2015. To do so, countries are expected to pursue
6 percent average annual agriculture growth at the national level, allocate
10 percent of national budgets to the agricultural sector, and improve overall policy efficiency through peer-review and accountability.

Date of publication
Enero 2008
Geographical focus

Working paper

Date of publication
Enero 1997
Geographical focus

What insights for Southern Africa can be gained from studying the income-generating decisions of small farmers both there and in the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa? Much research has been conducted over the past three decades on how and why African smallholders diversity their income from sources outside of farming. Although pressure on the land has been less of an issue in West and Central Africa than in the highlands of East Africa and parts of Southern Africa, experiences throughout the region suggest that incorporating rural Africans into a sustained process of income growth is a much more complex issue than land reform alone.

Date of publication
Enero 2008
Geographical focus

The word “vulnerability” is often used by development agencies and scientists when speaking about human welfare in Southern Africa. It is known that increasing poverty, AIDS, and food insecurity are some of the threats that make households more “vulnerable” to different shocks and stressors But what does vulnerability really mean for a household in peri-urban South African townships, a family in Chikamba, a rural village in Malawi, or migrant workers in Durban? And how can it be used effectively in development work? These are some of the key questions that have driven this research.

Date of publication
Enero 1997
Geographical focus

The UNICEF-expanded model for nutrition is used to analyze the circumstances of care in urban environments. The model postulates that there are six major types of care behaviors: feeding and breast-feeding, food preparation and handling, hygiene behavior, psychosocial care, care for women, and home health practices. These behaviors require the resources of education and knowledge of the caregivers, the physical and mental health of caregivers, autonomy in decisionmaking, time availability, and the social support of the family and community in order to ensure adequate care for the child. This paper describes each of these constraints, and two of the behaviors (feeding and health care utilization) in urban and rural areas. Data from Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) in eight countries in Eastern and Southern Africa were used to illustrate how existing data can be used to examine care, and what research questions remain to be addressed to understand care in the urban setting. A number of differences favor the urban environment over the rural environment: in general, child malnutrition is less (though this may not be true in poor urban areas), maternal education levels are higher, and knowledge of health care practices is greater. On the other hand, breast-feeding seems to be less frequent and of shorter duration. It is argued that care may be even more important in urban rather than rural settings for child health and survival in low-income neighborhoods. Caution is needed when comparing urban and rural areas, however, because there are often enormous care, health, and nutrition differences between poor-income and middle-to-high-income areas of cities. Through the application of the expanded UNICEF model, a research agenda was developed.

Date of publication
Enero 2004

"Agricultural research has greatly increased the yields of important staple food crops, and for many people this has meant more food availability and trade opportunities. Yet many people in rural areas in developing countries still live in abject poverty. Therefore, policymakers, donors, and researchers are refocusing their priorities away from simply producing more food to making sure that agricultural research benefits the poor in particular. How can we ensure that new agricultural technologies are appropriate for the different groups of people who most need assistance? Furthermore, how can we assess whether these new technologies actually reduce poverty? This report provides valuable answers by synthesizing lessons learned from seven case studies from around the developing world. The studies show that measures of the direct impacts of new technologies on incomes and yields do not tell the whole story. Both economic and noneconomic factors (such as sources of vulnerability, gender roles, and the source of the disseminated technology) play an extremely important role in determining whether the poor adopt or benefit from a technology.... In addition, social, cultural, and economic factors all influence whether the poor receive direct and indirect benefits from new technologies. Therefore, it is crucial that impact assessments include a mix of disciplines and methods, and that researchers do not only focus on poverty-reducing impacts that are easy to measure. For the future, scientists and other decision makers designing new research programs need to understand all the social factors that will affect the uptake and impacts of technologies. They also need to understand poor people’s strategies for managing risk and the importance and role of agriculture in their livelihood strategies." Authors' Preface

Date of publication
Enero 2009
Geographical focus

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