The purpose of this investigation was to take advantage of factors related to globalization that positively influence food security such as the international cooperation for development, to generate a model to accomplish food security in Marginalized and Isolated Communities (MIC).
After finding insufficiency in human development and particularly regarding food security in the MICs, four projects of international cooperation and development implemented in MICs in Ecuador, Niger, Vietnam and Guatemala are used with the mission accomplished to achieve food security.
The assessment and evaluation of the strategies implemented reveal improved results in each of the cases. I propose a model will enable over 150 families achieve food security in the short-term (18 months), provided that certain conditions are guaranteed in the identification of the target population and project implementation that it has already been launched obtaining excellent results.
Center of Investigation and Documentation Europe-Latin America - SpainInitiative partner
Cooperation to the development, investigation and university teaching
Nacional University of Spain - SpainInitiative partner
University teaching and investigation
University of The Americas - EcuadorInitiative partner
The purpose of this investigation was to take advantage of factors related to globalization that positively influence food security such as the international cooperation for development, to generate a model to accomplish food security in Marginalized and Isolated Communities (MIC). After finding insufficiency in human development and particularly regarding food security in the MICs, four projects of international cooperation and development implemented in MICs in Ecuador, Niger, Vietnam and Guatemala are used with the mission accomplished to achieve food security. The assessment and evaluation of the strategies implemented reveal improved results in each of the cases. We propose a simple, viable and sustainable model to be applied both from the national scope as well as from the cooperation for development, as it has already been launched obtaining excellent results.
— The research is developed in MICs traditionally ignored by both he government and by the cooperation.
— The four cooperation projects in which the proposed model is based have addressed the four causes of food insecurity identified by the MICs themselves and by the organizations working with them. The result is a simple model to be applied by both national and international actors.
— The model has been formulated under a rights-based approach to enable MIC families to exercise their right to food and pursuant the Management by Results, that is, in order to achieve the expected food security beyond the implementation of a number of activities
— The resulting proposed model has been implemented in a project in Ecuador (Project X) and it has been successful in terms of relevance, alignment, harmonization, ownership, participation, coherence, feasibility, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability.
The research is directed to the MICs. Marginalized communities include farmlands in low and middle-income countries where the growing period is less than 150 days, high plains, hills, hilly lowlands and rugged mountain areas. Communities in state of isolation include those located more than two hours from the nearest market. Depending on the estimates, between 12 and 15% of the world population live in MICs.
The study results of the reality in the MICs reveal serious shortcomings in the social, economic, health and educational fields. The nutritional situation is part of traditional groups that have been in conditions of food insecurity generation after generation. The analyses conducted show substantial differences compared to the national averages with levels that are clearly inadequate in absolute terms.
To address the four causes of food insecurity recognized by families living in the MICs and by organizations, and after analyzing the cooperation projects, three instruments have been identified to transform the causes in results or to accomplish the objectives: community banks; individual and group training and monitoring to help families install the adequate infrastructure, create local sale channels and exchange, and the hands-on training in agronomy and nutrition.
To facilitate the process, a model has been implemented which includes a Planning Matrix and a chronogram. The Planning Matrix gathers the expected results and the chronogram organizes the necessary activities to achieve those results. Every result includes an indicator, the verification source and the required hypothesis to follow-up expected achievements under certain parameters.
This investigation is aimed directly to all national and international actors contributing to food security in the MICs.
Indirectly, the study is aimed to 67% of the families in the MICs that have no physical, economic or social access to sufficient safe and nutritious food. Their nutrition is based on agricultural products farmed in small plots of land using obsolete inputs and inadequate agricultural techniques. The sale of surplus production is the main source of the family income along with sporadic jobs outside the communities that do not generate enough income to purchase food: 82% live under the poverty line. In addition, not being the subject of political interests or cooperation makes it difficult to receive the required food through donations.
To obtain information about the living conditions of the MICs in the absence of secondary information, 42 MICs were visited and 256 interviews performed in Mexico, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, Mali, Senegal and Vietnam between February 2008 and December 2012. In addition, 32 interviews were conducted to the directors and/or coordinators of 13 local development organizations working with the MICS.
— Obtain secondary information about the MICs for which primary information was acquired in first person
— Find comparable projects sharing certain formal requirements: among the measurable and quantifiable objectives are: achieve food security, rely on similar starting indicators, address the causes of food insecurity identified by the affected families, the requirements should be formulated, managed and evaluated in the same manner, preferably following the logical framework, have similar budgets and reach completion.
— In order to extrapolate conclusions, the projects should be implemented in MICs that are the most different possible, in different countries and, preferably, in different continents.
The proposed model can improve sustainable land productivity to accomplish food security while reducing logging. Indirectly, it will help families to continue to live in the MICs without having to migrate. It will ensure global agricultural biodiversity and manage fragile ecosystems throughout the world, since the role of the MICs is specially relevant in the preservation of certain species that will help us to adapt to the new climatic context, as the concentration of species is every time greater, specially of seeds. Besides, the harvest and the varieties that are managed by farmers could improve the response capacity to specific diseases and to future nutritional needs.
Sustainability to create the model has been prioritized at all times because the MICs will depend on themselves in the future. Thanks to that, every instrument selected to be part of the model and the model itself, are proven to be sustainable. For that, it is essential to address the causes identified by the families, their demand for the project, their will to get involved, their identification with the selected methodology, and their leadership of the changes generated, even if they are more gradually produced. The implementation of the model selected also generates improvements in other areas such as health systems, reducing poverty, cognitive development, the capacity to understand and assimilate, functional illiteracy, forced migration, environmental impact, the water cycle and the citizen participation in the MICs.
I am showing the main results of the investigation through the following ways:
— Phd thesis in Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED) “Análisis crítico de la seguridad alimentaria como bien público global. El caso de las poblaciones marginadas y aisladas/ Critical analysis of the global food security as a public good. The case of marginalized and isolated groups” (2014)
— One peer-reviewed book “El estado de la seguridad alimentaria mundial y los retos que presenta el proceso de globalización/ The situation of world food security and the related challenges of the globalization process” Ed. Universidad de las Américas en Quito (UDLA) (It will be published in 2015)
— Four articles in LATINDEX peer-reviewed scientific journals (*)
— One article in scientific journals (*)
(*) I show the detail of the articles and the journals on the attached document.