Food security governance promoted by national government at the local level: a case study in Brazil

Abstract

Overcoming food insecurity essentially depends on the political environment and demands the implementation of public policies to ensuring Food and Nutrition Security (FNS). The literature on FNS governance is scarce, prescriptive and not based on empirical studies, especially at subnational levels. The objective of our study was to identify and analyze Governmental Initiatives related to FNS (GIs-FNS) developed in a small, rural Brazilian municipality. We presented an analytical approach to policies in the perspective of the implementation process. We identified GIs-FNS and interviewed 40 managers responsible for these GIs-FNS in 2011 and then again in 2014. The results revealed a promising scenario to deal with food insecurity formed by 33 GIs-FNS classified in six areas of activity: food and water supply (5 GIs-FNS); social protection (11 GIs-FSN); education (3 GIs-FNS); rural development (4 GIs-FNS); Health (9 GIs-FNS); and food safety (1 GIs-FNS). Most GIs were implemented between 2003 and 2014 by the national government at a local level The decentralization design promoted an increase in local government capacity, mainly by (1) decentralizing funding to different levels of the community, (2) generating demands for legal instruments for parliamentarians, (3) stimulating popular insertion in policy councils, and (4) demanding actions to monitor and evaluate public programs. We conclude that the national government implemented coordinated interventions that encouraged local FNS governance and increased local political-administrative capacity, acting in a vulnerable region with the potential to reduce regional and social inequalities.

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de Araújo Palmeira, P., Araujo de Mattos, R. & Salles-Costa, R. Food security governance promoted by national government at the local level: a case study in Brazil. Food Sec. 12, 591–606 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12571-019-01000-2

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Keywords

  • Food and nutrition security
  • Public policy
  • Nutrition policies
  • Food policies