Livelihood stressors in southern Africa, such as HIV/Aids and climate change, do not act in isolation but rather interact concurrently in complex socio-ecological systems with diverse, interrelated and compounded affects. Households experience differential vulnerability to such stressors based on contextual factors such as geographical location, income level and the gender and age of its members.
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Library ResourceReports & ResearchJune, 2012South Africa
Library ResourcePolicy Papers & BriefsJune, 2017South Africa
Local level, collective small-scale farming projects in the Kat River Valley, like elsewhere, have proven difficult to sustain. Various factors from macro-level policies to local level social and political dynamics were found to hinder or block the success of such projects. Some of the most challenging factors relate to history and path dependency, prevailing neoliberal agricultural policies and discourses, narrow markets, internal conflicts, lack of local capacity and unclear and insecure land tenure.
Library ResourcePolicy Papers & BriefsDecember, 2016Southern Africa
In recent years,proponents of 'green and clean fuel' have argued that the costs of overreliance on fossil fuels could be reduced through transition to biofuels such as bio-ethanol. Global biofuel discourses suggest that any transition to biofuel invariably results in significant benefits, including energy independence, job creation, development of agro-industrial centres at local level and high revenue generations for the state with minimum negative impacts on the environment.
Library ResourcePolicy Papers & BriefsNovember, 2015South Africa
This policy brief draws on three sources of data from a study undertaken in Lesseyton in Lukanji Local Municipality and Willowvale in Mbashe Local Municipality, in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa.The aim was to understand the vulnerability context of households in the two sites and how they coped with multiple shocks and stresses, with an emphasis on various types of safety nets. Methods included a survey that specifically targeted vulnerable households, data from several community workshops and in-depth life history interviews.
Library ResourcePolicy Papers & BriefsDecember, 2016South Africa
Whilst most interpret food insecurity to mean an insufficient quantity of food (as measured by the number of calories consumed), the widely accepted FAO definition considers four dimensions of food security, namely quantity, quality or diversity, access and use. Provision of enough calories on a daily basis is not sufficient if the diet lacks diversity and appropriate balance to provide the full range of minerals and vitamins necessary for proper health,or if the food available is culturally unacceptable.
Library ResourcePolicy Papers & BriefsOctober, 2014South Africa
How do social, environmental and economic stressors interact to constrain people's ability to improve their livelihoods and respond to change and what does this mean for policies?
Library ResourceReports & ResearchNovember, 2014South Africa
How can social grants be made to work better for households in rural Eastern Cape? Social grants have a positive impact on food security. Monthly food consumption expenditures increase when households receive grants. This study provides new insights by highlighting two key household characteristics, gender and education, in catalyzing or diminishing the effects of grants on household livelihood outcomes. Our analysis mainly focuses on impacts of pensions on household food security and labor supply of household members.
Library ResourceReports & ResearchMarch, 2017South Africa
Rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa are faced with multiple interconnected challenges such as population growth, environmental change, economic recession and climatic changes, amongst others. Such challenges can play a key role in determining vulnerability and food security, particularly for natural resource productdependent societies that have limited livelihood sources. Studies that consider understanding how society and ecosystems simultaneously interact and respond to new and exacerbated drivers are increasingly needed.
Library ResourceReports & ResearchAugust, 2014South Africa
Water security is influenced by the complex interplay between ecological, socio-political, governance and water management systems. Achieving water security is essential for ensuring sustainable development, and challenges with water security are closely linked to the overall experience of poverty that many countries throughout the world, including South Africa, confront. These problems can broadly be understood through three main factors: water availability, access and usage; water governance and management underpin these factors.
Library ResourcePeer-reviewed publicationOctober, 2015South Africa
This paper seeks to understand the drivers and pathways of local livelihood change and the prospects for transformation towards a more sustainable future. Data are used from several studies, and a participatory social learning process, which formed part of a larger project in two sites in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Secondary information from a wealth of related work is used to place our results within the historic context and more general trends in the country. Findings indicate that livelihoods in the rural Eastern Cape are on new trajectories.
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