Life in a time of food price volatility is a four-year (2012-15) research project to monitor the impacts of, and responses to, volatile food prices in poor communities in ten developing countries. It aims to inform short-term efforts to help people cope with high and fluctuating food prices, and to influence the design of food security and social protection responses over the longer term.
The project responds to emerging knowledge needs in a period of volatility and uncertainty around global food security.
This research is a collaboration between Oxfam, the Institute of Development Studies, and our research partners in the ten focus countries. It is based on generating evidence through integrated in-depth qualitative and innovative quantitative research, which will complement and build on a synthesis of existing data sources. Our year 1 results are available now.
We aim to generate evidence about how high and unpredictable food prices affect overall well-being and development in poor or vulnerable communities.
Specifically, we are looking at the following aspects of high and unpredictable food prices:
- How they affect the essential day-to-day work of keeping families fed and cared for.
- How well the support systems on which people routinely rely - whether state or non-state - help people cope with sharp changes in the cost of living.
The research is designed to be longitudinal because we also want to understand the dynamics of these impacts and responses: how do they change over time, and against a backdrop of changing prices?
Earlier rounds of research in a subset of the focus countries were coordinated by IDS under the project 'The Social Impacts of Crisis'.