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Public works and resilient food systems

Research reports

Written by Anna McCord, Rachel Slater, Rebecca Holmes

​This paper explores public works programmes (PWP) as programmes which can reduce risk and vulnerability by both improving household level access to food directly - by cash or food wage transfers and improving domestic production - and also by promoting availability - as a result of the impact of the assets created on production and productivity gains more widely, through improved rural infrastructure and market linkages.

This evidence paper draws on existing research, policy and evaluation publications and synthesises the key findings, generating lessons for future programme selection, design and implementation. It explores the impact of the both the PWP wage and the assets created on food access and availability, and highlights the key factors affecting outcomes. Next the main indirect and secondary impacts on food security are outlined. After this the key policy challenges and dilemmas underlying programme choice are highlighted, the scope of the current literature appraised and the main research gaps identified, and then conclusions and policy recommendation are presented.

Anna McCord