Major new research project on animal-to-human disease transmission

The ESRC STEPS Centre has begun work on a major, international research project exploring the factors that drive animal-to-human (‘zoonotic’) disease transmission in Tanzania, with the aim of informing new strategies for disease control and elimination. Anthropologist Dr. Linda Waldman, a member of the STEPS Centre, will be undertaking the social science element, including participatory…

The limits of ‘evidence’: Evidence-Based Policy-making for African agriculture

By James Sumberg, Martha Awo, John Thompson, George T-M Kwadzo and Dela-Dem Doe Fiankor, Researchers, STEPS Centre Livestock project Agricultural policy makers in Africa are now being dragged into the era of ‘evidence-based’ policy (EBP) making. But the quality and availability of evidence in some countries – and debates about what even counts as evidence…

Ghana: take 70,900 metric tons of frozen chicken, add politics

A billboard advertising chicken in Accra, Ghana. By alew on Flickr By Jim Sumberg and John Thompson Convenors, STEPS Centre Livestock project The well known expression – that [something] is ‘as likely as turkeys voting for Christmas’ – makes an intriguing and to date poorly understood link between poultry and electoral politics. But in some…

Pastoralism and Development in Africa: Dynamic change at the margins

This new book takes a fresh look at the livestock sector in the Horn of Africa. The region is often in the headlines for all the wrong reasons: drought, famine, conflict and suffering. But this is only part of the story. Looking at the regional centres and their hinterlands, where pastoralists operate, reveals a booming…

Agriculture as Assembly (or, what is the nature of the factory in ‘factory farming’?)

By Jim Sumberg and John Thompson When considering the nature and spatial distribution of economic activity, two fundamental contrasts take centre stage: ‘urban vs. rural’ and ‘industry vs. agriculture’. While it is clear that ‘urban agriculture’ and ‘rural industry’ are possibilities (indeed important realities), it is the ‘urban + industry’ and ‘rural + agriculture’ associations…

Video: Pastoralism in Africa – doing things differently

Our new book Pastoralism and Development in Africa explores the booming livestock trade in the Horn of Africa, a region more often associated with conflict and famine. In this video, two of the authors – Hussein Mahmoud and John Letai – and two editors – Ian Scoones and Jeremy Lind – give their views on…

SOCIO-ECOLOGICAL DYNAMICS OF DISEASE

We’ve added three new research projects we’re involved in to the website, under the heading “Socio-ecological dynamics of disease”. The projects are all looking at the social, ecological, biological and institutional dynamics of disease. The work focuses particularly on diseases originating in animals, using cases in Africa and Asia. Photo: Fruitbat / Brian Gratwicke /…

RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LIVESTOCK: TRENDS, CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES

By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member An update on our Veterinary Science, Transboundary Animal Diseases and Markets comes from William Wolmer who gave a presentation at a Botswana workshop earlier this month. The presentation explores achieving compatibility between the Transfrontier Conservation Area concept and international standards for the management of Transboundary Animal Diseases. Have a…

AVIAN ‘FLU: THE POLITICS AND POLICY PROCESSES OF A GLOBAL RESPONSE

By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member When the potential of a flu pandemic derived from Avian Influenza emerged, alarm bells rang across the world. The prospect of a major public health catastrophe caused by the human-human transmission of so-called bird flu sparked considerable investment into developing surveillance and response systems for the disease. But how…