Research Topic: Strengthening Food Security in Rural Ethiopia
Research Location: Ethiopia
Research Supervisor: Dr. John Wagner and Dr. Jon Corbett
Many Ethiopians experience chronic food insecurity, which negatively affects their opportunities and abilities as well as, consumes their resources and assets. There is a disproportionate burden of these experiences in rural smallholder contexts. The Government of Ethiopia has introduced a number of programs aimed to support smallholder farmers, however, these programs have experienced limited uptake. My research aims to put the experiences and ideas of farmers into the "language" of policy makers. To do so, community members will re-define food (in)security, outline stages thereof and collectively design a survey based upon that. The resulting qualitative and quantitative data will enable the experiences and ideas to be presented in a fashion that can support the re-design of activities and facilitate their re-targeting so that vulnerabilities are appropriately addressed and strengths supported.
Home Town: Burnaby, BC
Faculty/School: Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
I wanted to enhance my knowledge and skills, and as a result better serve those with whom I work. That may be the beneficiaries of development programs, those affected by policies or students in the classroom.
Why did you decide to study at UBC's Okanagan campus?
One of the primary reasons I joined UBC Okanagan was because of the connection I developed with Dr. Wagner, with whom I discussed the program and my potential research for a year before joining the program.
What impact do you hope your research will have?
I hope the research will have a range of impacts. Firstly, that the local government will redesign safety net and agricultural support activities such that they meet the needs and priorities of smallholder farmers and are appropriately targeted. Second, I hope this research will inform similar shifts in other regions throughout Ethiopia. Third, I hope the research methodology will be utilized in other settings and by other researchers as an innovative approach to better understand the dynamics of food insecurity and as a means to determine what interventions ought to be implemented. Fourth, I hope this research will re-emphasize the point, which many others have made, that program beneficiaries have expert knowledge that can support the development of appropriate, suitable and effective activities. Far too often their experiences and ideas are neglected and programs are presented to them as almost-finished products that they can help refine (at best), rather than having beneficiaries play a key role in the program design.
What has been your most memorable Okanagan experience so far?
My family and I have enjoyed visiting the lakes in the Okanagan and gardening.
What has winning a major award meant to you?
It is an honour to be a Vanier Scholar. Being recognized for leadership skills and scholarly achievement is encouraging, both in terms of what I have accomplished and also in what I hope to accomplish. Being awarded the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship enables me to focus on my research, and conduct it in a more detailed and rigorous way. The long-term support the award offers will help me complete the requirements of the doctoral program as well as, publish a number of articles to disseminate the findings of my research.
Last reviewed 10/28/2015 8:38:56 AM