posted by Karen
More and more books are being made available online, which for those of you with good access to fast downloading facilities and printers, is good news.
Here are two new books we think are worth highlighting:
Firstly, we have "Inclusive Improvement: Standards and Smallholders" written by Coen van Beuningen and Peter Knorringa, published by HIVOS. The word "standards" in the title refers to quality management standards such as those used in ISO (International Organization for Standardization), or in the fair trade and organic certification arena. With that made clear, the book argues that "combining sustainable development and poverty reduction is feasible." This book draws on 20 years of experience, and its central theme is management - how through improved management, smallholder families involved in commodity chains can increase their income. The book addresses all actors in commodity chains, most importantly stressing the difference between smallholder groups managing their own processes ("inclusive improvement") and how greater co-operation is needed amongst supporting actors such as certification bodies, trainers, buyers or funding organisations. A total of 149 pages, the book is very accessible and also contains a useful glossary. It is especially interesting as it draws heavily on examples and experiences, and is self-critical in a spirit of further learning and sharing. It proposes various tools to guide the way forward. Click here to access the page where you can read more and download it at no cost.
Next, is the "Right to Food Methodological Toolbox" published by the FAO. The Toolbox is split into six small volumes, covering topics including methods for monitoring the human right to food, a guide for conducting a right to food assessment, and budgets for advancing the right to food. Working on the premise of food security as a basic human right, the Toolbox is a collection of highly practical methods and guidelines for achieving this right. It fills a gap in the literature and will be of use for practitioners as well as policy-makers involved in strengthening in-country capacities to secure this basic right. Click here to access the page where you can download the various sections at no cost.