Founding President, Network of Peasant and Agricultural Producer Organizations of West Africa (ROPPA)
Formerly responsible for FAO-civil society relations; author of publications on small farmers and food policies
Professor of Development Sociology, Cornell University
Adjunct Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; Professor of Political Science, Wellesley College
Executive Director, ActionAid USA
Monday, November 8
5.00 pm – 6.30 pm
Bell Hall (5th floor, Belfer Building) Harvard Kennedy School
The food price crisis of 2007 revealed major structural factors that drive hunger and poverty, and the lack of a global forum for decision making about food security. A range of actors, initiatives and investments – from the Alliance for a Green Revolution for Africa (AGRA) to the U.S. government’s new Feed the Future initiative and the reformed Committee on World Food Security – are focused on addressing food insecurity against the backdrop of climate change. This seminar seeks to highlight the views of African small holder food producers and the experience of civil society in the broader debate about the strategies and governance required to effectively end hunger in Africa.
Organized by the Humanitarian & Development NGOs Domain of Practice at the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations
is a Senegalese farmer who has participated actively in
building up the West African small farmer movement. He was
the founding President of the West African Network of
Peasant and Agricultural Producer Organizations (ROPPA)
established in 2000. He has taken part in numerous fora
dealing with African agriculture – including the definition
of the regional agricultural policy of ECOWAS and of the
agricultural component of NEPAD – and in debates in
intergovernmental institutions like FAO, IFAD, European
Union and the WTO.
Nora McKeon studied history at Harvard University and political science at the Sorbonne before joining the FAO. She held positions of increasing responsibility there, culminating in overall direction of the FAO's relations with civil society. She now divides her time between consulting, writing and lecturing on food systems, peasant farmer movements and UN-civil society relations; and coordinating an exchange and advocacy program for African and European farmers’ organizations on agriculture and trade policy issues. Her recent publications include Peasant Organizations in Theory and Practice (with Michael Watts and Wendy Wolford, UNRISD 2004), Strengthening Dialogue with People’s Movements: UN experience with small farmer platforms and Indigenous Peoples (with Carol Kalafatic, UN-NGLS 2009) and Civil Society and the United Nations: Legitimating Global Governance-Whose Voice. (Zed 2009)
Philip McMichael is International Professor of Development Sociology, Cornell University. Current research is on agrarian movements, land questions and food regimes. Author of Settlers and the Agrarian Question (1984), and Development and Social Change: A Global Perspective (2008), he has also edited The Global Restructuring of Agro-Food Systems (1994), Food and Agrarian Systems in the World Economy (1995), New Directions in the Sociology of Global Development (2005, with F. H. Buttel), and Contesting Development: Critical Struggles for Social Change (2010). He has worked with FAO, UNRISD, Vía Campesina and the IPC for Food Sovereignty.
Robert Paarlberg is Professor of Political Science at Wellesley College and Adjunct Professor at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He is a researcher and consultant on international food and agricultural policy. His book, Starved for Science: How Biotechnology is Being Kept Out of Africa, was published in 2008 by Harvard University Press. In 2009 he was the principal writer of a bipartisan report from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, American Leadership in the Fight Against Global Hunger and Poverty. His latest book, Food Politics: What Everybody Needs to Know, was published in March 2010 by Oxford University Press. He has served on the board of Winrock International and has been a consultant to the International Food Policy Research Institute, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the World Bank, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Peter O’Driscoll became ActionAid USA’s Executive Director in May 2006. ActionAid is an international anti-poverty agency working in 50 countries, taking sides with poor people to end poverty and injustice together.Prior to joining ActionAid, Peter served at the Center of Concern from 2000-06 as founder and coordinator of the Agribusiness Accountability Initiative, a global network of farm, labor, environment, consumer, faith and development organizations that work to address market distortions created by monopoly power in the world food system. From 1997-2000, Peter was Latin America Director for Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, an international association of social entrepreneurs. He worked in El Salvador from 1987-1994 with the Jesuit Refugee Service, first as a volunteer resettlement worker in a refugee camp and a rural village during that country's civil war, then as JRS national director. In 2002, Peter was selected by the Rockefeller Foundation's Next Generation Leadership Program as one of 24 Fellows from diverse fields to study innovative solutions to problems with participation and inclusion in the American democratic process. He has written on war and reconstruction in El Salvador, on corporate accountability, and on globalization and development policy issues. Peter is a graduate of Harvard College, and earned a masters degree in economic development from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs.