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Course Description

After a decade of absence, famine returned with a vengeance in Somalia in 2011, and in 2017-18, there were four countries at imminent risk of famine. While this return highlights the extreme risks of famine, particularly in conflict-affected areas, it also raises again the limited progress made in addressing the underlying causes of severe food insecurity. “Resilience” has been the good word of the decade, but limited progress has been made in building greater resilience among the poorest or most marginalized populations, and the livelihoods of these populations are under more stress now than ever. This class will draw primarily on the international experience of the co-leaders but will attempt to draw on domestic US cases as well. This seminar class will consider new (and some not so new) approaches to this kind of the understanding and analysis of, and response to, food insecurity, hunger and malnutrition among crisis-prone populations. This class is intended as a reading seminar—not a lecture-based class or a “how to” workshop. Everyone will read the same basic materials. Class formats will be primarily discussion-based, requiring students to actively participate in class discussions, debates and activities. The students will each take on one or two of the books on particular topics to read them more thoroughly, bringing their lessons into these discussions. Case studies will be used as a discussion/learning mechanism, and attempts would be made to draw on Tufts significant faculty resources in these areas. We will occasionally ask external experts to join us and offer insights into specific areas of study. The 3.0 semester hour units seminar is a core elective requirement option for MAHA students and a required course option in the FANPP Humanitarian Assistance specialization. As an elective the seminar can be taken for 1.5 semester hour units for a more limited set of assignments: doing the reading, participating in (and occasionally leading) the discussion exploring the research literature, and doing two book reports (each includes an oral presentation and a written summary) or it can be taken for a full 3.0 semester hour units with only one book report, and a three-part semester-long project involving the selection of a key problem or area of interest related to the class, the development of an analysis of that problem (to be presented orally to the rest of the class), writing a policy brief to address the policy elements of a the problem, and a brief paper outlining practically how to address the problem on the ground. Students that would like to be enrolled in the course with 1.5 semester hour units should first enroll in the course as 3 semester hour units and email Friedman's Registrar to request an adjustment in enrollment to 1.5 semester hour units. Prerequisite: Graduate student or instructor consent. This course is cross-listed with Fletcher (DHP D242). If safe and possible, an in-classroom component at the Jaharis Center on the Boston campus will also be offered (conditions permitting). All class sessions will be recorded via Zoom.

Affiliated With:

  • Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy