Food Security

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 369–380

Using interview triads to understand the barriers to effective food security policy in Kenya: a case study application

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s12571-012-0183-2

Cite this article as:
Brownhill, L. & Hickey, G.M. Food Sec. (2012) 4: 369. doi:10.1007/s12571-012-0183-2


This paper presents the results of an exploratory study on food security policy in Kenya. Key informant interviews are used to provide a ‘multiperspective’ lens through which to garner insights into Kenya’s food security policy processes and emerging resilient farming system practices. Seeking to situate the policy-making process in its ‘real-life’ institutional context, we identified three interlinked institutions (at government, research and farm levels) and interviewed individuals within each who could speak authoritatively on food policy challenges. We concentrated on Wote, a semi-arid agro-pastoral area in Makueni County, Eastern Province. From different starting points, the interviewees came to agree on the biggest challenges to the development of effective food security policy in Kenya: information, research and education. The paper further reflects on the methodology and assesses its potential efficacy in the study of hunger and its solutions, especially in the realm of knowledge integration, the democratization of research and policy-making processes and the opening up of reciprocal communication pathways amongst institutional actors.


Food policy Methodology Information Oral history Governance 

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. & International Society for Plant Pathology 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.McGill Institute for Global Food Security, Department of Natural Resource Sciences, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental SciencesMcGill UniversitySte. Anne de BellevueCanada

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