Daniel Maxwell

Daniel MaxwellHenry J. Leir Professor in Food Security and Research Director
Henry J. Leir Professor in Food Security, Friedman School of Nutrition
Research Director, Feinstein International Center

Working with Feinstein Since: 2006
Based in: Somerville, MA

Dan Maxwell directs the Food Security and Livelihoods in Complex Emergencies Research Program at Feinstein. In 2016-2017, he served as the Acting Director of the center. His recent research focuses on the re-emergence of famines in the 21st century and the politics of analyzing and declaring famine, as well as food security and resilience programming and measurement, and livelihood systems under stress.

Prior to joining the faculty at Tufts, Dan worked in East and West Africa for two decades in humanitarian agencies and research institutes in Uganda, Ghana, and Kenya. His most recent position prior to joining the faculty at Tufts was Deputy Director for Eastern and Central Africa for CARE International.

He is the author, with Nisar Majid, of Famine in Somalia: Competing Imperatives, Collective Failures (Oxford University Press, 2016). He is the co-author, with Chris Barrett of Cornell University, of Food Aid After Fifty Years: Recasting Its Role (Routledge, 2005), and co-author with Peter Walker, of Shaping the Humanitarian World (Routledge, 2009). He teaches humanitarian action, humanitarian policy, and food insecurity in situations of crisis and chronic vulnerability.

He holds a B.Sc. from Wilmington College, a master’s degree from Cornell University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin.

Research Interests:
  • Humanitarian action
  • Resilience, livelihoods, food security, and the measurement of food security
  • Food assistance
  • Emergency preparedness, information systems and contingency planning
  • Humanitarian operations and policy
Regional Focus:
  • East Africa
  • Greater Horn of Africa
Courses Taught:
  • Humanitarian Action in Complex Emergencies (NUTR 229/DHP D230), Fall Term
  • Seminar in Humanitarian Issues (NUTR 223), Fall Term
  • International Humanitarian Response (NUTR 324/DHP D-21), Spring Term
  • Transnational Social Issues: Humanitarian Assistance (GMA P215)
Most Cited Books and Articles:
  • Maxwell, Daniel. “Measuring Food Insecurity: The Frequency and Severity of ‘Coping Strategies.’” Food Policy 21, 3 (1996). 291–303.
  • Maxwell, Daniel, Carol Levin, Margaret Armar-Klemesu, Marie Ruel, Saul Morris and Clement Ahiadeke. Urban Livelihoods, Food and Nutrition Security in Greater Accra.  IFPRI Research Report 112. Washington: International Food Policy Research Institute, 2000.
  • Maxwell, Daniel. “Alternative Food Security Strategy: A Household Analysis of Urban Agriculture in Kampala.” World Development 23, 10 (1995). 1669–1681.
  • Barrett, Christopher and Daniel Maxwell. Food Aid After Fifty Years: Recasting its Role.  London: Routledge, 2005.
  • Maxwell, Daniel. “The Political Economy of Urban Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa.” World Development 27, 11 (1999). 1939–1953.
Most Recent External Publications:
  • Maxwell, Daniel and Nisar Majid. “Facing Famine: Somali Experiences in the Famine of 2011.” Food Policy 65 (2016). 63-73.
  • Maxwell, Daniel and Nisar Majid. Famine in Somalia: Competing Imperatives, Collective Failures, 2011-2012. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.
  • Maxwell, Daniel, Bapu Vaitla, and Jennifer Coates. “How Do Indicators of Household Food Insecurity Measure Up? An Empirical Comparison from Ethiopia.” Food Policy 47 (2014). 107-117.
  • Maxwell, Daniel, John Parker and Heather Stobaugh. “What Drives Program Choice in Food Security Crises? Examining the ‘Response Analysis’ Question.” World Development 49 (2013). 68-79.
  • Young, Helen and Daniel Maxwell. “Participation, Political Economy and Protection: The Governance of Food Aid in in the Darfur Region of Sudan.” Disasters 37, 4 (2013). 555-578.

News Items

Feinstein faculty participate in the Return of Famine Symposium
May 5, 2018

On May 4, 2018, Daniel Maxwell, Dyan Mazurana, and Greg Gottlieb featured at the Tufts Return of Famine Symposium. The event covered four main topics: Why has famine returned? Challenges…

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Helen Young, Anastasia Marshak, Dan Maxwell contribute to article on rethinking malnutrition
April 5, 2018

On March 28, 2018 Malnutrition Deeply published and article, “After Haiti, Rethinking How to Address Malnutrition in an Emergency.” This article relies heavily on work conducted by Helen Young, Anastasia…

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Feinstein Research Projects

The Constraints and Complexities of Information and Analysis

This study seeks to understand the availability and quality of information, and the external influences on data collection and analysis for the classification of food emergencies.

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Synthesizing Research on Resilience in Drylands and Fragile Contexts Project

From 2005 to 2017, we developed a wide-ranging research portfolio on livelihoods systems under stress throughout the Greater Horn of Africa and beyond. This project synthesizes key themes of that research.

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Feinstein Publications

Contraintes et complexités liées à la collecte et à l’analyse de donées en situation d’urgence humanitaire : Le cas du Nigeria
famine in Nigeria

Dans le but d’identifier et de classifier la sévérité de l’insécurité alimentaire, y compris la famine, le Nigeria utilise l’approche du Cadre Harmonisé (CH), un processus analytique semblable au Cadre…

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Constraints and Complexities of Information Analysis in Humanitarian Emergencies: Evidence from South Sudan
information analysis in South Sudan

A study of the effectiveness of the Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) system, used to identify famine and levels of food insecurity, in South Sudan.

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