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Reform of Emergency Seed Aid Practice

DEV Key Contact: Shawn Mcguire

Project Dates: 2005 - 2013

Project Status: Complete



This ongoing work aims to develop policy and practice that better addresses farmers' actual needs following disasters, and supports their resilience over the longer-term.  It helps practitioners (NGOs, governments, UN) develop the capacity to analyse farmers' seed security, identify their key constraints, and opportunities for development, by understanding systems of seed provision and biodiversity management. Seed System Security Assessments have occurred in many countries (e.g. DRC, Haiti, Madagascar, Timor Leste), and spurred interventions and policy changes that are better-oriented towards smallholder farmers and the stresses they face. Though applied in focus, this work raises critical questions about justice and accountability at the interface of humanitarian practice and the resilience of farming systems under stress.

A new website provides all outputs and analytical tools from this work to a growing community of practitioners in seed systems analysis.


Selected outputs:

Gross-Camp, N., Martin, A., McGuire, S.J., Kebede, B., and Munyarukaza, J. (2012). PES in an African protected area: exploring issues of legitimacy, fairness, equity & effectiveness. Oryx, 46 (1). 24-33.

Byrne, K.G., March, J., Mcguire, S., Meissner, L. and Sperling, L. (2013) The role of evidence in humanitarian assessment : The seed system security assessment and the emergency market mapping and analysis. Disasters, 37 (SUPPL.1). ISSN 0361-3666

Martin, A., Mcguire, S. and Sullivan, S. (2013) Global environmental justice and biodiversity conservation. The Geographical Journal, 179 (2). 22-131. ISSN 0016-7398

McGuire, S. and Sperling, L. (2013) Making seed systems more resilient to stress. Global Environmental Change, 23 (3). 644-653. ISSN 0959-3780

Sperling, L. and McGuire, S. (2012) Fatal gaps in seed security strategy. Food Security, 4 (4). pp. 569-579. ISSN 1876-4517

Sperling, L. and Mcguire, S. 2010. Persistent myths about emergency seed aid. Food Policy, 35 (3). pp. 195-201. doi:10.1016/j.foodpol.2009.12.004       

Sperling, L., Mcguire, S., Smale, M., Bayard, B. and Shannon, D. 2010. Seed System Security Assessment, Haiti. Technical Report. International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).

McGuire, S.J. 2008. Securing access to seed: Social relations and sorghum seed exchange in eastern Ethiopia. Human Ecology, 36, 217-229. doi:10.1007/s10745-007-9143-4.