Food Security

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 369–380 | Cite as

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

Original Paper

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Food policy Methodology Information Oral history Governance 

References

  1. Anthony, R. N. (1965). Planning and control systems: A framework for analysis. Boston: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Aurum, A., Wohlin, C., & Porter, A. (2006). Aligning software project decisions: a case study. International Journal of Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering, 24, 795–818.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Babbie, E. (2001). The practice of social research (9th ed.). Belmont: Wadsworth. 498p.Google Scholar
  4. Bertaux, D., & Kohli, M. (1984). The life story approach: a continental view. Annual Review of Sociology, 10, 215–237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Blair, J. D., & Fottler, M. D. (1990). Challenges in health care management: Strategic perspectives for managing key stakeholders. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.Google Scholar
  6. Brownhill, L. (2009). Land, food, freedom: Struggles for the gendered commons in Kenya, 1870–2007. Trenton: Africa World Press.Google Scholar
  7. Brownhill, L. (2010). Kenya Food Security Policy Project Field Notes, August-September.Google Scholar
  8. Brugha, R., & Varvasovszky, Z. (2000). Stakeholder analysis: a review. Health Policy and Planning, 15(3), 239–246.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cross, N. (1993). Talking back: The role of oral testimony in participatory development. In H. Slim & P. Thompson (Eds.), Listening for a change: Oral testimony and development (pp. 126–138). London: Panos.Google Scholar
  10. Davis, M. (2001). Late Victorian holocausts: El Niño famines and the making of the third world. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  11. de Graaff, J., Kessler, A., & Nibbering, J. W. (2011). Agriculture and food security in selected countries in Sub-Saharan Africa: diversity in trends and opportunities. Food Security, April 14, 1–19. doi:10.1007/s12571-011-0125-4. Accessed 10 March 2011.
  12. Devereux, S. (Ed.). (2007). The new famines. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  13. Devereux, S. (2009). Why does famine persist in Africa? Food Security, 1(1), 25–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dodge, J., Ospina, S. M., & Foldy, E. G. (2005). Integrating rigor and relevance in public administration scholarship: the contribution of narrative inquiry. Public Administration Review, 65, 409–423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Duncan, S., & Reutter, L. (2006). A critical policy analysis of an emerging agenda for home care in one Canadian province. Health & Social Care in the Community, 14(3), 242–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Feldstein, M. (2004). Kissing cousins: journalism and oral history. The Oral History Review, 31(1), 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Glaser, B. G., & Strauss, A. L. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. Chicago: Aldine Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  18. Kendall, M., Murray, S. A., Carduff, E., Worth, A., Harris, F., Lloyd, A., Cavers, D., Grant, L., Boyd, K., & Sheikh, A. (2010). Use of multiperspective qualitative interviews to understand patients’ and carers’ beliefs, experiences, and needs. British Medical Journal, 340, 196–199.Google Scholar
  19. Kenya Food Security Steering Group. Food Security District Profile: Makueni District, Eastern Province, Ministry of Agriculture, Kenya, n.d. http://www.kenyafoodsecurity.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=111&Itemid=117.
  20. Klenk, N. L., Hickey, G. M., MacLellan, J. I., Gonzales, R., & Cardille, J. (2009). Social network analysis: a useful tool for visualizing and evaluating forestry research. International Forestry Review, 11(1), 131–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kristjanson, P., Reid, R. S., Dickson, N., Clark, W. C., Romney, D., Puskur, R., MacMillan, S., & Grace, D. (2009). Linking international agricultural research knowledge with action for sustainable development. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(13), 5047–5052.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kwayera, J. (2011). Intricate graft networks fuel food insecurity. Standard (Nairobi), 29 July. http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/InsidePage.php?id=2000039865&cid=4&. Accessed 29 July 2011.
  23. Loorbach, D. (2007). Transition management. New mode of governance for sustainable development. Utrecht: International Books.Google Scholar
  24. Loorbach, D., & van Raak, R. (2006). Transition management: towards a prescriptive model for multi-level governance systems. In Netherlands Institute for Governance: Annual Work conference. Amsterdam: Netherlands Institute for Governance.Google Scholar
  25. Lucas, C., Mitra, G., & Poojari, C. A. (2007). Risk based methods for supply chain planning and management. Journal of the Operational Research Society, 58, 1397.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lummis, T. (1981). Structure and validity in oral evidence. International Journal of Oral History, 2(2), 109–120.Google Scholar
  27. Magunda, M., Mutungi, E. W., & Lutalo, S. G. (Eds.). (2010). Farmer led documentation and knowledge sharing case studies from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Uganda: Pelum.Google Scholar
  28. Ministry of Agriculture. (2011). Website: http://www.kilimo.go.ke/ 7 December 2011.
  29. Mutshewa, A. (2010). The use of information by environmental planners: a qualitative study using grounded theory methodology. Information Processing and Management, 46, 212–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Newman, M., Barabasi, A.-L., & Watts, D. J. (Eds.). (2006). The structure and dynamics of networks. USA: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Ngugi, R. K., & Nyariki, D. M. (2006). Rural livelihoods in the arid and semi-arid environments of Kenya: sustainable alternatives and challenges. Agriculture and Human Value, 22, 65–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Nzomo, M. (1992). Policy impacts on women and environment. In S. A. Khasiani (Ed.), Groundwork: African women as environmental managers (pp. 101–118). Nairobi: Acts Press.Google Scholar
  33. Qureish, N., Kamau, G., Kirigua, V., & Wanja, A. (2009). Promoting local innovation in ecologically oriented Agriculture in Kenya. Proceedings of the International Prolinnova Workshop—Nepal.Google Scholar
  34. Rau, B. (1991). From feast to famine: Official curs and grassroots remedies to Africa’s food crisis. London: Zed.Google Scholar
  35. Raymond, C. M., Fazey, I., Reed, M. S., Stringer, L. C., Robinson, G. M., & Evely, C. (2010). Integrating local and scientific knowledge for environmental management. Journal of Environmental Management, 91, 1766–1777.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Rice, X. (2011). Drought in east Africa prompts calls to address humanitarian emergency,” Guardian Weekly, 4 July 2011, http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jul/04/drought-east-africa-humanitarian-emergency?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487.
  37. Rocheleau, D., Steinberg, P., & Benjamin, P. (1995). Environment, development, crisis, and crusade: Ukambani, Kenya, 1890–1990. World Development, 23(6), 1037–1051.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Sanginga, P. C., Chitsike, C. A., Njuki, J., Kaaria, S., & Kanzikwera, R. (2007). Enhanced learning from multi-stakeholder partnerships: lessons from the enabling rural innovation in Africa programme. Natural Resources Forum, 31, 273–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Thompson, P. (2000). The voice of the past: Oral history (3rd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  40. Timms, P. (2011). Urban transport policy transfer: “bottom-up” and “top-down” perspectives. Transport Policy, 18, 513–521.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. van der Brugge, R. & van Raak, R. (2007). Facing the adaptive management challenge: insights from transition management. Ecology and Society 12(2), 33. [online] URL: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol12/iss2/art33/. Accessed 1 May 2011.
  42. Woodham-Smith, C. (1991 [1962]). The Great Hunger, Ireland 1845–1849. New York: Penguin.Google Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations