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Food security can be achieved by taking concurrent actions performed at macro (national) and micro (household and individual) levels. The usefulness of food security studies for situation analysis and policy making is directly dependent on what dimensions of food security are assessed. This study conducts a systematic mapping of the levels at which food security studies are conducted, methodologies used, and dimension of food security considered in the academic literature on Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India, and identifies research priorities and gaps. The definition of food security has evolved from its traditional focus on food availability and access, to more inclusive measures of food security such as nutritional value and stability. Most studies focus on estimating food security at individual, household or national level but not combined. South Asian food security challenges demand an integrated approach to bridge the gap between domains and scale of analyses. In addition to national level food security research, policy makers and scholars need to pay equal attention to household and individual's food security. Against this background, we call for more inclusive and targeted research on the various dimensions of food security. To make progress, scholars should collaborate across disciplines and leverage the utility of multidimensional research design to study the various food security dimensions identified in this systematic mapping and possible interactions between them. This approach can be starting point to provide useful insights about food security dynamics for the reflection of vulnerability in methodological implications and policy decisions.
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