This Working Paper draws on nearly twenty years of research in several African countries, on the inter-related themes of food insecurity, seasonality, coping strategies, famine, formal and informal safety nets, and social protection. The paper has three objectives:
To document and synthesise evidence on the nature and consequences of seasonality across rural Africa, highlighting the similarities and convergences across contexts;
To explore the various policy interventions that have been implemented in response to seasonality, with particular reference to the emerging social protection agenda;
To argue that current approaches to social protection are misconceived and inadequate for addressing the seasonal dimensions of rural vulnerability.