Food Security

, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 151–168 | Cite as

Market information and food insecurity response analysis

  • Christopher B. Barrett
  • Robert Bell
  • Erin C. Lentz
  • Daniel G. Maxwell
Original Paper


Food aid is no longer the only, or even the dominant, response to widespread food insecurity. Donors, governments, NGOs and recipient communities exhibit rapidly growing interest in and experimentation with cash-based alternatives, both in the form of direct cash distribution to food insecure persons, and of local or regional purchase of food using cash provided to operational agencies by donors. But humanitarian assistance and development communities lack a systematic, field-tested framework for choosing among food- and/or cash-based responses to food insecurity. This paper outlines the rationale for “response analysis” and introduces a new, field-tested, systematic approach to this emergent activity. The Market Information and Food Insecurity Response Analysis (MIFIRA) framework provides a logically sequenced set of questions, and corresponding analytical tools to help operational agencies anticipate the likely impact of alternative (food- and/or cash-based) responses and thereby identify the response that best fits a given food insecurity context.


Acute food insecurity Chronic food insecurity Emergency response Food aid Food security Local and regional purchase Markets analysis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. & International Society for Plant Pathology 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher B. Barrett
    • 1
  • Robert Bell
    • 2
  • Erin C. Lentz
    • 3
  • Daniel G. Maxwell
    • 4
  1. 1.S.B. and J.G. Ashley Professor of Applied Economics and ManagementCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  2. 2.Former Director of the Food Resources Coordination Team, CARE USAPrivate ConsultantAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Research Support Specialist, Department of Applied Economics and ManagementCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  4. 4.Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Food and Nutrition Policy, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and PolicyTufts UniversityMedfordUSA

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