DR JANE BATTERSBY, LAUREATE OF THE 2017 PREMIO DANIEL CARASSO

The  members  of  the  Jury  decided  to  award  the  2017  Premio  Daniel  Carasso  to Dr  Battersby for her research on urban food insecurity, her analysis of the relationship between food, health and social instability in cities undergoing rapid urbanisation. and her advocacy efforts for forms of urban governance that integrate food issues to better support social justice. She was also selected for her work with non-profit organisations and local authorities to develop food systems that meet the needs of deprived urban populations in South Africa.

Jane Battersby, 41, is an urban geographer. She works at the African Centre for Cities (ACC) at the University of Cape Town (UCT). Originally from England, she has lived and worked in South Africa for more than 15 years. Her fields of research include urban food systems and policies, and analysing why northern and southern researchers overlook these questions in food security theories. Dr Battersby  also  examines  the  role  played  by  food  in  urban  development  and  change  in  African  cities.  She  is  interested  in  the relationship between spatial transformation and changing identities - a subject she addresses through young people, education, music  and  land  restitution.  She  has  extensive  consulting  experience,  working  with  local  and  international  actors  such  as  local authorities, governments, non-governmental organisations and development agencies. Since  2008,  Dr   Battersby  has  represented  the  University  of  Cape  Town  at  the  African  Food  Security  Urban  Network  (AFSUN),  a university network focusing on urban food insecurity in Africa. As a member of this network, she is currently coordinating research for the project Consuming Urban Poverty at the ACC and working with the international network Hungry Cities. Dr  Battersby regularly supervises post-doctoral research and teaches interdisciplinary approaches to food issues at university level. She has a PhD from the University of Oxford, a Master’s degree from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and a BSc (Hons) from Kings College in London. She has worked at UCT since 2003.

According to the Jury, « Her work on feeding poor populations in urban areas in southern cities undergoing rapid growth is extremely relevant. Strong urban growth will be a major issue in the next few decades. On the global level, our ability to feed urban populations could either be a vector for stability or a destabilising force. Jane Battersby tackles these fundamental questions from the perspectives of social justice,  governance,  education,  fairness  and  gender  equality  ».  For  the  Jury,  her  commitment  to  local  actors  is  remarkable  and contributes to the quality, credibility and impact of her academic work, which is considered excellent.

Marina Nahmias, President of the Fondation Daniel et Nina Carasso, said, « In creating the Fondation Daniel et Nina Carasso, our family wished to encourage the creation and implementation of new approaches to food challenges. Jane Battersby’s work sheds new light on major social concerns: it shows that we can act effectively against poverty and malnutrition in towns and cities by incorporating food into urban policies and planning. We share Dr Battersby’s conviction that a food system that does not meet the needs of deprived populations is no good for anybody. This is why we are extremely pleased to award her this year’s Premio Daniel Carasso. She embodies its values:

discipline, excellence and pragmatism. As a committed, inspiring and socially-minded researcher, she will be an excellent ambassador ».

For more information about Jane Battersby and her work at Cap Town University