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Self Paced

Food Security and Sustainability: Food Access (edX)

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Who decides what food is on your plate? Understand the basics of access to food and food decision-making from a multilevel perspective. What does it take to provide access to safe and nutritious food every day? In this course, you’ll explore how key actors at the household, local, national and international levels negotiate and make choices on access to food.

You will learn how an individual’s food accessibility depends on social and economic dynamics at the household level. Next, you will unravel the interactions between traders ,retailers, producers and buyers in markets shaping food access at the local level. At national level, you will see how politics and policies influence access to food by negotiating and aligning goals, instruments and modes of governance. You will also learn how debates and negotiations in international organisations create conditions in food trade that influence how access to food is arranged. Finally, you will combine your insights in food access at different levels for composing the big picture, and demonstrate how different levels are interrelated. Overall, the course enables you to critically reflect upon what’s on your plate and who influences that selection.

This introductory course is taught by instructors with decades of experience in university teaching and real life projects about access to food all over the world. This course will be beneficial to students, food and nutrition policy makers, development practitioners and trainers at international, national, household and individual level.


What you'll learn:

- The basic principles of food access

- Understanding actors’ choices influencing food access

- Discerning dilemmas at household, local, national and international levels

- Unravelling the connections between levels and actors regarding access to food



Week 1: Setting the scene

Introduction to food access as one of the pillars of global food security


Week 2: Households accessing and allocating food

Introduction to social and economic determinants shaping access to food between and within households


Week 3: Traders arranging food access in local markets

Introduction to distribution and trading food at the local level


Week 4: National policy makers governing food access

Introduction to food policy and how political choices at the national level affect access to food


Week 5: Negotiators setting international trade rules for food access

Introducing the role of international trade for food access and its economic, social and cultural implications


Week 6: connecting the ingredients

Integration of levels and actors


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