1st Edition

Seasonality, Rural Livelihoods and Development

ISBN 9781849713252
Published February 16, 2012 by Routledge
352 Pages 120 B/W Illustrations

USD $52.95

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Book Description

Seasonality is a severe constraint to sustainable rural livelihoods and a driver of poverty and hunger, particularly in the tropics. Many poor people in developing countries are ill equipped to cope with seasonal variations which can lead to drought or flood and consequences for agriculture, employment, food supply and the spread of disease. The subject has assumed increasing importance as climate change and other forms of development disrupt established seasonal patterns and variations. 

This book is the first systematic study of seasonality for over twenty years, and it aims to revive academic interest and policy awareness of this crucial but neglected issue. Thematic chapters explore recent shifts with profound implications for seasonality, including climate change, HIV/AIDS, and social protection. Case study chapters explore seasonal dimensions of livelihoods in Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi), Asia (Bangladesh, China, India), and Latin America (Peru). Others assess policy responses to adverse seasonality, for example through irrigation, migration and seasonally-sensitive education. The book also includes innovative tools for monitoring seasonality, which should enable more appropriate responses.

Table of Contents

Foreword  1. Editorial Introduction  2. Seasonal Poverty: Integrated, Overlooked and Therefore Opportunity  3. What Happened to the Seasons? Farmers' Perceptions and Meteorological Observations of Changing Seasonality  4. Seasonal Hunger, the 2001-03 Famine and the Dynamics of HIV in Malawi  5. Why Risk Management has Trouble Locating Seasonality  6. Conceptualising Seasonal Financial Market Failures in Rural Household Models  7. Investigating Seasonality and Poverty: The 2004/05 Malawi Integrated Household Survey  8. Month of Birth and Children's Health in India  9. Seasonal Dimensions of Household Wellbeing and Labour Migration in Rural Southern China  10. Off-farm Work in the Peruvian Altiplano: Seasonal and Geographic Considerations for Agricultural and Development Policies  11. The Stabilising Effect of Irrigation on Seasonal Expenditure: Evidence from Rural Andhra Pradesh  12. Food Affordability: Dealing with Seasonal Variation of Purchasing Power  13. Water-Bound Geographies of Seasonality: Investigating Seasonality, Water, and Wealth in Ethiopia through the Household Water Economy Approach  14. Livelihoods Impact Analysis and Seasonality in Ethiopia  15. Modelling Seasonality in the Household Economy Approach and for Individual Households  16. How Planning for Seasonality can Reduce Extreme Poverty: Lessons from the Chars Livelihoods Programme, Bangladesh  17. Seasonality and Access to Education in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Stephen Devereux holds a doctorate in economics from Oxford University and has worked for over 20 years on food security, seasonality, famine and social protection. He is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, based at the University of Sussex, UK. 

Rachel Sabates-Wheeler holds a doctorate in agricultural economics and development from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. She is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies and is the Director of the Centre for Social Protection, at IDS.  

Richard Longhurst is currently a Research Associate at IDS. He has a doctorate from Sussex University in development economics and a masters in agricultural economics from Cornell University, and with over thirty years experience working on development policy issues, including, food, nutrition and child health.


"This book is a standing invitation to development professionals, policymakers and academics to enhance the relevance of their work to the reduction of poverty and illbeing. May seasonality never again be so overlooked. And may this book inform and inspire many to work to banish avoidable seasonal suffering and poverty from our world." - Professor Robert Chambers, Institute of Development Studies UK

"This collection of essays is a good read. It covers the implications of seasonality for health, education, poverty, risk management and design of rural development policy. The case studies range from the Peruvian altiplano, through Ethiopia and Malawi to India, Bangladesh and southern China. For all of us, it brings together critical reflections on work in this field over the last 30 years and a sense of how research findings feed both into policy design and practical implementation."Camilla Toulmin, Director of IIED (2012)