Food Security and Climate Change

More diverse income, higher household assets, and more women's access to inputs. Find out how.

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A woman participant in CARE's WE-RISE programme in Ethiopia A woman participant in CARE's WE-RISE programme in Ethiopia

Looking at the endline data for Pathways Malawi might be disheartening if you didn’t know the whole story. Production numbers for women farmers showed no statistically significant increase. Does that mean we failed? No. Other farmers in the same district saw their production drop by up to 50%. Staying constant is actually a huge win.

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Evelyn Chimimba, a widowed mother of 8 children, is still managing to harvest some crops this year, despite the drought in Malawi Evelyn Chimimba, a widowed mother of 8 children, is still managing to harvest some crops this year, despite the drought in Malawi

A baseline study is more than an assessment of reference values against future progress and an expected impact. It represents the narrative about the context of the project, the stakeholders and the key challenges in delivery. It should be seen as the starting point – the first milestone – in a journey of learning, adapting, improving, and delivering impact. It outlines the starting point of the project and it sets the foundation for the whole M&E framework and its tools, methodologies and sources of information for both tracking inputs delivery and large-scale changes. Given the complexity of such endeavour, this blog presents some key observations that apply to most development projects dealing with heightened variability and uncontrollable external forces.

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A field supervisor collecting data from a community in Niger using a tablet computer A field supervisor collecting data from a community in Niger using a tablet computer

The global food system has failed. Almost two billion people are malnourished. In 2014, 161 million children were stunted because they did not get proper nutrition. At the same time, enormous amounts of food are lost post-harvest, or go to waste in the richer world.

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Maka Ali, a widow in Niger, holding sorghum. During her life, four of her children have died at an early age. "I was alone taking care of them, so I cannot say their deaths weren't related to lack of food," she says. Maka Ali, a widow in Niger, holding sorghum. During her life, four of her children have died at an early age. "I was alone taking care of them, so I cannot say their deaths weren't related to lack of food," she says.

Information about past, present and future climate conditions can be a key tool for communities to plan for and adapt to climate change. But critics question the value of climate science, claiming it is too complex, overly technical and not practical enough to be useful. Why does climate science provoke such strong reactions? And how can we unlock the potential value of accessible and usable climate information?

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Women participating in a climate vulnerability and capacity analysis (CVCA) in Gorouol, Niger Women participating in a climate vulnerability and capacity analysis (CVCA) in Gorouol, Niger © CARE

As one of the estimated 30,000-40,000 people who took to the streets of London yesterday (as well as one of an estimated 570,000 people who protested across 161 countries) I am calling on governments of the world to take action on climate change URGENTLY. We cannot tackle poverty without tackling climate change – we have an urgent moral responsibility to stop the causes of climate change, and to help the most vulnerable to adapt to the impacts that are already locked into our climate system. This is not an environmental issue – this is a human rights issues.

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Catherine Pettengell holding a placard as the marchers pass Big Ben in London Catherine Pettengell holding a placard as the marchers pass Big Ben in London © CARE

Only days remain before world leaders gather at the UN climate summit in New York. The summit, which is being billed as the most important high-level event on climate change since heads of state met in Copenhagen in 2009, is generating widespread interest – and so it should. Climate change is the critical issue of our time.

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A woman stands in her devastated home after Typhoon Haiyan hit Merida village in the Philippines, November 2013 A woman stands in her devastated home after Typhoon Haiyan hit Merida village in the Philippines, November 2013 © CARE/Peter Caton
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