Food Security

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 123–138 | Cite as

Is resilience a useful concept in the context of food security and nutrition programmes? Some conceptual and practical considerations

  • Christophe Béné
  • Derek Headey
  • Lawrence Haddad
  • Klaus von Grebmer
Original Paper


With the developing world increasingly exposed to severe shocks and stresses, a growing number of international development agencies have now adopted resilience building as a critical long-term objective for their programmes. This paper explores the potential for this concept in the context of food security and nutrition but the reflection extends to development interventions more generally. Resilience is a rich concept, and has at its core the notion of complex dynamic processes that aptly describes the nature and dynamics of vulnerability and changes as they affect the developing world. The paper argues that the main value of resilience lies in its integrative nature, which facilitates greater collaboration between traditionally disparate groups and communities of practices. The paper also stresses some of the key conceptual and practical challenges that we face when trying to operationalise and measure resilience.


Resilience Food security and nutrition programmes Shocks Development Measurement 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht and International Society for Plant Pathology 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christophe Béné
    • 1
    • 3
  • Derek Headey
    • 2
  • Lawrence Haddad
    • 1
  • Klaus von Grebmer
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Development StudiesUniversity of SussexBrightonUK
  2. 2.International Food Policy Research InstituteWashingtonUSA
  3. 3.Decision and Policy Analysis ProgrammeInternational Center for Tropical AgricultureCaliColombia

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