Seasonal Hunger and Public Policies: Evidence from Northwest Bangladesh (Paperback)
  • Seasonal Hunger and Public Policies: Evidence from Northwest Bangladesh (Paperback)

Seasonal Hunger and Public Policies: Evidence from Northwest Bangladesh (Paperback)

,
£27.50
Paperback Published: 15/06/2012
  • Out of stock, can be ordered

Usually despatched within 3 weeks

  • This item has been added to your basket

Check Marketplace availability

Agricultural development through crop diversification, irrigation, high yielding crop varieties, and public investments in infrastructure has improved food security and its seasonal dimension worldwide in recent years. Consequently, the severity of seasonal hunger caused by agricultural crop cycles has lessened substantially. Yet in agricultural pockets scattered throughout Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, seasonal hunger persists, especially among the rural poor, owing primarily to idiosyncratic shocks caused by agricultural seasonality. More than four-fifths of the world's poor live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for livelihoods. Because of seasonal income shocks, the poor who are generally poor are likely to be even poorer during a particular agricultural season, while those who are not poor year-round may also be so during that season. Also, seasonal hunger may lead to endemic poverty if its adverse effects on income and consumption are irreversible. Policies aimed at reducing overall poverty often disregard its seasonal dimension, because standard poverty statistics do not consider seasonal hunger in the official data collection and analysis, there is no direct way to determine how many of the "bottom billion," as economist Paul Collier refers to the world's poorest people, suffer from seasonal hunger. Even worse, regions prone to severe seasonal hunger are unlikely to attract the public investments required to raise the local economy's resilience through income diversification and thus break the seasonal-poverty cycle. The book provides an exhaustive inquiry of Bangladesh's seasonal hunger with special reference to the North West region. The seasonality of poverty and food deprivation is a common feature of rural livelihood but it is more marked in the north-west region of Bangladesh. The book also presents an evaluation of several policy interventions launched recently in mitigating seasonality, which provide a test case of what works and what does not in combating seasonal hunger. The major findings of the book are the following: (a) Policies to improve food security should explicitly take into account the seasonal dimension of food deprivation. (b) Gains from initiatives to combat seasonal hunger should be monitored and consolidated to ensure sustainable impacts. (c) Policies should also focus on areas that, owing to environmental degradation and climate change, are increasingly vulnerable to seasonal hunger and food insecurity in general.|Agricultural development through crop diversification, irrigation, high yielding crop varieties, and public investments in infrastructure has improved food security and its seasonal dimension worldwide in recent years. Consequently, the severity of seasonal hunger caused by agricultural crop cycles has lessened substantially. Yet in agricultural pockets scattered throughout Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, seasonal hunger persists, especially among the rural poor, owing primarily to idiosyncratic shocks caused by agricultural seasonality. The book provides an exhaustive inquiry of Bangladesh's seasonal hunger with special reference to the northwest region, where it is more pronounced. It also presents an evaluation of several policy interventions launched recently in mitigating seasonality, which provide a test case of what works and what does not in combating seasonal hunger. The major findings of the book are: (a) Policies to improve food security should explicitly take into account the seasonal dimension of food deprivation. (b) Gains from initiatives to combat seasonal hunger should be monitored and consolidated to ensure sustainable impacts, and (c) Policies should also focus on areas that, owing to environmental degradation and climate change, are increasingly vulnerable to seasonal hunger and food insecurity in general.|

Many policymakers argue that the best poverty policy not only provides cash to the poor for subsistence but also incentives and structures that encourage long-term social and economic improvement. As part of this, they make the case for Individual Development Accounts (IDAs), a new policy proposal designed to help the poor save and to build assets. This book explores IDAs to determine their effectiveness. IDAs are matched savings accounts targeted on low-income, low-wealth individuals. Savings in IDAs are used for home ownership, post-secondary education, small business development, and other purposes. Do IDAs work? If they do, for whom? And does how an IDA is designed determine savings outcomes? This volume is the first analysis of matched savings by the poor to use data from monthly bank statements. It comes at a critical time, as debate rages over the merits of individual social security accounts. IDAs also respond to policy that is becoming more asset based and less inclusive of the poor. The authors argue for the efficacy of IDAs to counter this tendency. They find that while savings outcomes vary among participants, no characteristics (such as low income or public assistance) preclude saving. They examine effects of IDA design (the match rate, savings targets, and the use of automatic transfer) on savings results and analyze factors that influence varying rates of saving and spending over time. They conclude that financial education and other support services, though costly, improve savings performance. To address the issue of cost they suggest a two-tier system of IDA design, one with broad access and simple services and the other with targeted access and intensive services. Can the Poor Save? offers a wealth of lessons to those interested in saving and asset accumulation among the poor. It not only breaks new ground in the scientific study of savings behavior, but also offers concrete, evidence-based recommendations to improve policies designed to encourage the poor to save and how to make such policies more inclusive. Mark Schreiner is a senior scholar in the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis and also director of Microfinance Risk Management. Michael Sherraden is the Benjamin E. Youngdahl Professor of Social Development and director of the Center for Social Development, George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis.

Publisher: World Bank Publications
ISBN: 9780821395530

You may also be interested in...

Your review has been submitted successfully.

We would love to hear what you think of Waterstones. Why not review Waterstones on Trustpilot?


Review us on Trustpilot