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Food Systems Conceptual Framework: Companion Guide on Conflict, Fragility, and Violence

Published: June 2023
Authors: Jessie Anderson (USAID), Jack Daly (Duke WFPC)

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Food Systems Conceptual Framework: Companion Guide

This is a companion guide to USAID’s food system conceptual framework. It aims to provide guidance on how to think about food systems in the context of fragility, conflict, and violence (FCV). Key questions it attempts to answer include: How can key food system drivers generate FCV? How do different types of violence lead to different outcomes for food systems? What are the implications for food system investments in FCV contexts?

This document emphasizes how food systems and conflict dynamics are intimately related. Strengthening food systems demands understanding fragility, conflict, and violence. Groups that are most at risk for FCV are often the same groups that are most likely to be marginalized, excluded, or isolated from participating in—and benefiting from—the food system. The upshot is food systems investments could inadvertently favor certain groups over others and inflame tensions, or even offer incentives for recruitment by violent extremist organizations. Food system investments must take FCV dynamics into account not just to promote peace for peace’s sake but to meet development outcomes. To put it plainly: food systems and conflict exist within the same set of human experiences and cannot be understood in isolation.