Do you bend or break? System Dynamics in resilience planning for food security
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionSystem Dynamics Review. 2020, 35 (4), 287-309 10.1002/sdr.1643
This paper discusses our experience in using system dynamics to facilitate resilience planning for food security in rural communities that are exposed to ever‐increasing climatic pressures in Guatemala. The social–ecological systems literature is rich in examples where policies to enhance resilience are deduced from factors generally accepted to be present in resilient systems (e.g. redundancy, connectivity and polycentrism). This deductive approach risks being overly simplistic. As an alternative, this paper explores how insights from analysing the structure–behaviour relationship of complex dynamic systems can be used to generate tailored policies. The results show that stability in food systems is mainly driven by key strategic resources that moderate the effects of environmental changes on food availability and affordability. Moreover, our experience highlights the importance of analysing mechanisms that determine a system's behaviour while and after the system is affected by a disturbance to formulate effective resilience policies.