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Supporting policy with scientific evidence

We mobilise people and resources to create, curate, make sense of and use knowledge to inform policymaking across Europe.

Publication | 2021

Drivers and stressors of resilience to food insecurity: Evidence from 35 countries

Resilience is often associated with multivalued and multi-faceted strategies, programs, and projects. After approximately 15 years of empirical evidence in the literature, few research questions remain unexplored and unanswered, especially with the recent occurrence of a global pandemic. In this paper, we are assessing whether there are few and consistently relevant elements that determine resilience capacity as well as investigating which shocks are most dramatically reducing resilience. We also investigate which coping strategies are most frequently adopted in the presence of shocks. Our results show that diversification of income sources, education, access to land, livestock, and agricultural inputs, are the main drivers of households’ resilience capacity. Moreover, the most prevailing shocks are found to be natural, health and livelihood-related shocks. In addition to this, we show that reducing the quantity and quality of food consumed, seeking an extra job, selling assets, taking credit, relying on relatives and social networks are the most adopted coping strategies. Finally, we found that coping strategies are able to mitigate the adverse effects of shocks on resilience capacity; however, they are not sufficient to offset their long-term negative consequences. Our conclusion is that adequate investments in resilience are conditional to a) engaging with activities that are broadly consistent across countries and b) fine-tuning the interventions based on context-specificity.