1st Edition

Seasonality, Rural Livelihoods and Development

    352 Pages 120 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    352 Pages 120 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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.

    Foreword Robert Chambers  1. Seasonality, rural livelihoods and development: Editorial introduction Stephen Devereux, Rachel Sabates-Wheeler, Richard Longhurst  Section 1 Seasonal lives  A rainy day Dee Jupp  2. What happened to the seasons? Farmers’ perceptions and meteorological observations of changing seasonality John Magrath, Steve Jennings  3. Month of birth and children’s health in India Michael Lokshin, Sergiy Radyakin  4. Seasonal hunger, famine and the dynamics of HIV in Malawi Michael Loevinsohn  5. Seasonal poverty: Integrated, overlooked and therefore opportunity Robert Chambers  Section 2 Seasonal livelihoods  Dreading the monsoon Anirudh Krishna  6. Investigating seasonality and poverty: The 2004/05 Malawi Integrated Household Survey Ephraim W. Chirwa, Andrew Dorward, Marcella Vigneri  7. The stabilizing effect of irrigation on seasonal expenditure: Evidence from rural Andhra Pradesh Edoardo Masset  8. Seasonal dimensions of household wellbeing and labour migration in rural southern China Shijun Ding, Haitao Wu, Yuping Chen  9. Off-farm work in the Peruvian Altiplano: Seasonal and geographic considerations for agricultural and development policies Cecilia Turin, Corinne Valdivia  Section 3 Seasonal awareness  Ode to the Seasons conference (1978) Robert Chambers  Sonnet for the Seasonality Revisited conference (2009) Robert Chambers  10. Food affordability: Dealing with seasonal variation of purchasing power Helene Berton, Jennie Hilton, Anna Taylor  11. Modelling seasonality in household income using the Household Economy Approach Charles Rethman  12. Re-tooling for seasonality: Seasonally sensitive disaster risk assessment in Ethiopia Tanya Boudreau, Mark Lawrence  13. Water-bound geographies of seasonality: Investigating seasonality, water and wealth in Ethiopia through the Water Economy for Livelihoods (WELS) approach Lorraine Coulter, Zemede Abeba, Seifu Kebede, Eva Ludi, Belay Zeleke  Section 4 Seasonal policies  Stabilising food prices in the hungry season Stephen Devereux  14. How planning for seasonality can reduce extreme poverty: Lessons from the Chars Livelihoods Programme (2004–2010), Bangladesh Kate Conroy, Catherine Vignon  15. Conceptualizing seasonal financial market failures in rural household models Andrew Dorward  16. Seasonality and access to education in sub-Saharan Africa Sierd Hadley  17. From seasonal lives towards a-seasonal living: Building seasonality into risk management response Rachel Sabates-Wheeler, Stephen Devereux 


    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)