The College of Public Policy (CPP) at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) has held a panel discussion on food security issues in Ethiopia to create awareness and share information about the humanitarian crisis unfolding across the country, stemming from acute food insecurity, among other factors.
The event brought together renowned academics and policy experts to delve into Ethiopia’s chronic food insecurity, its gendered aspects, and the contribution of productive safety net programmes, such as the Rural Productive Safety Net Programme and the Urban Productive Safety Net Programme.
The discussion culminated in a talk by Dr Logan Cochrane, associate professor at CPP and author of the new book ‘Ethiopia and Food Security: What We Know, How We Know It, and Future Options’. The book’s premise is that while Ethiopia is making significant progress in creating new programmes and expanding the coverage of services, food insecurity remains a significant challenge, with one in five Ethiopians reliant on emergency assistance as of 2016. Ethiopia and Food Security analyses individual households, and the broader systems, policies, and services that people interact with to understand what makes people vulnerable to food insecurity. The results bring to the fore factors such as migration and debt, that are not often associated with food security research.
During his talk, Dr Cochrane highlighted some of the options he proposes in the book about future directions for strengthening food security and the avenues for re-envisioning research methods, particularly as policy and practice encounter politics.
Moderated by Dr Damilola S Olawuyi, SAN, HBKU College of Law, the panel featured presentations by Dr Meseret Kassahun, research associate, University of Johannesburg; Dr Melisew Dejene Lemma, assistant professor of policy and development studies, journalism and communication, Hawassa University, Ethiopia; and Dr Hirut Bekele Haile, gender expert at UN Women, Ethiopia. The event concluded with an interactive Q&A with attendees, including graduate students in CPP’s Master of Public Policy programme.