Centre for Rural Economy

Francis Zana Naab

Francis Zana Naab

Households’ resilience to food insecurity in Ghana: Improving the understanding of the critical factors using an evidence based approach and Bayesian Networks.

Email: f.z.naab2@ncl.ac.uk

Supervisors: Prof Lynn Frewer, Dr Sharron Kuznesof and Prof Guy Garrod

Project overview

My research seeks to contribute to the understanding of the underlying factors affecting households’ resilience to food insecurity in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) by using Ghana as a focal point. The paradigm shift of the food security debate from vulnerability assessment to resilience calls for a critical analysis using new methods that aims to explore the underlying factors of resilience. To this end, the research considers the following objectives:

  1. Develop a model using Bayesian Networks to test the resilience of households to food (in)security.
  2. Identify and examine the critical factors affecting households’ food security.
  3. Examine the farm and non-farm decisions of households to attaining food security.
  4. Test the resilience of households to food insecurity using BNs and ABMs model developed.

This is achieved by first ascertaining the various factors dictating the pace for resilience in SSA through a systematic review and a meta-analysis of food security interventions. The critical factors affecting resilience from this review will then be identified, examined and modelled using agent based models (ABMs) and Bayesian belief networks (BBNs).

Secondly, primary data (both quantitative and qualitative) will be gathered from Ghana based on the outcome of the systematic review and the resilience model specifications. These will include both farm and non-farm decisions of households in Ghana in their bid to remain resilient and be food secure. The model is then tested by using both the qualitative and quantitative data gathered from the field.

This research contributes to the efforts being made by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), World Food Programme (WFP), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the numerous international organisations and national governments to develop a resilient base for food security in Sub Saharan Africa. It particularly contributes towards food security initiatives in rural Africa and the attainment of Goals 1 and 2 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations (UN).