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Monitoring the Realization of the Right to Food: Adaptation and Validation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Insecurity Module to Rural Senegal

Susan Randolph (), Ibrahima Gaye, Ibrahima Hathie and Rafael Perez-Escamilla
Additional contact information
Ibrahima Gaye: ENEA
Ibrahima Hathie: ENEA
Rafael Perez-Escamilla: University of Connecticut

No 6, Economic Rights Working Papers from University of Connecticut, Human Rights Institute

Abstract: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights first formally recognized food security as a human right. This right was subsequently codified into international law in 1976 when the International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, ICESCR, entered into the force of law. The ICESCR obligates states to respect, protect, and fulfill the right to food, but in the absence of reliable measures of food security, simply monitoring progress towards the realization of the right to food is problematic. Moreover, if duty bearers are to design effective policies and programs to fulfill the right to food, it is essential to have reliable information on who is food insecure. This paper assesses the validity of an adaptation of the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Insecurity Survey Instrument to the rural Senegalese context. The advantage of this instrument is that it is simple and inexpensive to administer, identifies the food security status of individual adults as well as children, and assesses the certainty, quality, and quantity aspects of food access. The USDA Food Insecurity Instrument has been successfully adapted to other developed countries and several developing countries as well. Adaptation to the Sub-Saharan context poses particular challenges given the complex household structure, the more limited reach of markets, the myriad of languages spoken within a limited geographic area, and the influence of seasonality on food access. Despite these challenges, this study demonstrates the validity of a reasonably straightforward adaptation of the USDA food insecurity instrument for rural Kaolack, Senegal, attesting to the promise of this approach for measuring food insecurity in developing countries in general and Sub-Saharan African countries in particular.

JEL-codes: D6 I1 I3 K33 O1 O55 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 34 pages
Date: 2007-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-afr, nep-agr, nep-dev and nep-law
Note: Financial support from the U.S. Bureau of Education & Cultural Affairs, Ecole Nationale D.Economie Appliquee, and the USAID: UConn Peanut-CRSP made this project possible and is gratefully acknowledged.
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