Publications and Resources

ACT for CFS LogoActivating Change Together for Community Food Security (ACT for CFS)

2010 – 2015

Publications and Resources

From 2010-2015, the ACT for CFS team pursued several research initiatives that related to our main three research questions and represent the most comprehensive research to date on community food security in Nova Scotia. You can find more about our participatory research and knowledge mobilization activities here.

Below, you will find key results and publications grouped by stream of research activity. We hope you will use these to continue to advocate for and create changes that build community food security.

Photo - Policy makers and community members at FoodARC research events and seminars.

Participatory Community Food Security Assessments

The ACT for CFS team undertook a three-phase, rigorous mixed methods participatory research approach to the data collection, analysis and integration of qualitative and quantitative data on community food security through Participatory Community Food Security Assessments in four communities in Nova Scotia – Eastern Shelburne County, Northeastern Kings County, Spryfield (Halifax), and Pictou County.

Led by local organizations with partners and volunteers, community-based researchers, trained in research methods, gathered both quantitative and qualitative data. These data were then interpreted and contextualized with other research results by communities and team members to create a rich narrative of community food security in Nova Scotia. Below you will find provincial-level results and reports from each community.

Provincial-level Results

Report Cover - Making Food Matter - Strategies for activating change together

Making Food Matter:
Strategies for activating change together

A participatory research report on community food security in Nova Scotia. November 2014

View the 2014 Report »
(PDF, 9 MB | 106 pages)

Spatial Analysis of Food Insecurity Risk in Four Nova Scotian Communities (October 2014)

The Spatial Intelligence for Health Knowledge Laboratory (SILK-LAB) collaborated with the Food Action Research Centre (FoodARC) at Mount Saint Vincent University to assess food insecurity risk in four communities across Nova Scotia. An outcome of the ACT for CFS project is the identification of several indicators on community food security including income and poverty rates, accessibility to food outlets, and basic community demographic characteristics.

  • Report (PDF, 4.2 MB | 102 pages)

Photovoice Workbook

Community Reports
Eastern Shelburne County
Spryfield (Halifax)
Pictou County
  • Report coming soon
Northeastern Kings County
  • Report coming soon

Photo - Policy makers and community members at FoodARC research events and seminars.

Policy and Community Food Security
Challenges and Opportunities for Community Food Security in Nova Scotia: The Policy Landscape(August 13, 2013)

Between 2011-2013, the Policy Working Group of ACT for CFS collected information from provincial organizations and government departments about their food policy priorities to identify opportunities and barriers for policy change to build community food security in Nova Scotia.

To Market to Market: Exploring Distribution Models in Nova Scotia (January 2015)

Sparked by conversations about the differences in the cost of food for consumers and the prices that producers are paid for their goods, the Policy Working Group undertook interviews to develop case studies on five products – field vegetables, grass-fed beef, wild blueberries, dairy, and finish. The case studies explore the advantages and disadvantages of different models of distribution (how food reaches consumers) in relation to price. This research is intended to generate further discussions about distribution and control over food systems.


Graphic banner - Working Papers and Guiding Approaches

Working Papers and Guiding Approaches

The Political Economy of Food Policy Change: A Framework for Analysis (November 11, 2012)

The goal of this document is to provide ACT for CFS participants with an overview of what policy is, how it is created, and how it can be changed. The paper presents a framework for analysis of community food security based in the theory of political economy, which is a way of understanding the deeper power dynamics of policy-making. At its most basic, this political economy approach emphasizes the way economic factors (such as how people earn a living, and how property is owned and used) shape political outcomes (including policies, but also broader social trends such as the wage gap between men and women) and vice versa.

Community Learning and Development in Participatory Action Research (April 2012)

The purpose of this document is to explore the theory and practice of community learning and development (CLD) to serve as a discussion paper for the Education and Training Working Group (ETWG) of Activating Change Together for Community Food Security (ACT for CFS). It aims to identify key questions and frameworks so as to facilitate discussion that will define the specific roles, responsibilities and activities of the Working Group.

Knowledge Mobilization in Participatory Action Research (January 28, 2014)

To shed light on the concept and practice of knowledge mobilization (KM)in the context of participatory action research (PAR), a scan and synthesis of the literature was completed by the Knowledge Mobilization Working Group of the Activating Change Together or Community Food Security ACT for CFS) Project.

Photo - Community members preparing beds at the MSVU community garden

Related Research Projects
Initiating and Sustaining Community Gardens and Community Kitchens (December 2014)

Undertaken as a student project, this initial report seeks to explore what is required to initiate and sustain community food initiatives, such as community gardens and community kitchens, through in-depth interviews with community food initiative coordinators in Nova Scotia, Canada. The interviews identify barriers coordinators face, and resources necessary for their community food initiatives, including how to ensure long-term sustainability.