Installment #2 (of 17) in our series where we cover each sustainable development goal (SDG) and how projects and project management can contribute to them.
Q. What is the goal?
A. Specifically, the goal is to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. In the past 20 years, hunger has dropped by almost half. Many countries that used to suffer from famine and hunger can now meet the nutritional needs of their most vulnerable people. It’s an incredible accomplishment. Now we can go further and end hunger and malnutrition once and for all. That means doing things such as promoting sustainable agriculture and supporting small farmers. It’s a tall order. But for the sake of the nearly 1 out of every nine people on earth who go to bed hungry every night, we as a professional community, who by nature deliver change need to figure out how to make this part of our remit.
Q. Is it something that should be taken into consideration by projects and project management?
A. Absolutely. Please note that not every project will be able to impact every SDG. As laid out in our P5 Standard mapping; there is always an opportunity to support at least one.
Some of the facts.
- Hunger is an urgent global issue. The reasons behind the global hunger issue are numerous, complex and multifaceted.
- Today, our world produces more food, per person than ever before while hunger and undernutrition remain a widespread problem.
- Over 900 Million People go to bed hungry every night while one of the main problems is a lack of access to food. With the global increase in population over the next 35 years, that number can increase by 2 Billion.
A key problem is food insecurity which is a lack of access to a sufficient amount of food because of limited funds.People who live in poverty spend a majority of their income on food and local prices have the greatest impact on their access to food. These prices are affected by international prices.
In order to combat hunger, we need to emphasize a focus on eliminating poverty and providing resources to small farmers and local suppliers in the form of farmable land and natural resources, financial services and micro financing, education and skills development, technology to support food protection so that the cost to produce food doesn’t drive up the cost to purchase it.
It is also important to eliminate food deserts. No, I don’t mean cake and ice cream… A food desert is a neighborhood where there is little or limited access to healthy and affordable food such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat milk and other foods.
The solution is not to simply provide food, but make it possible for people to afford and have access to healthy food. So how do projects and project management play a role in eliminating hunger?
When decisions on portfolios, projects, and programs are made in terms of human resources, procurement, and project selection, the following questions can help.
- Does your project impact the local environment such that it creates problems for agriculture?
- Does your project impact the local community in ways that make it more affordable to to provide access to healthy and nutritious food?
- Does your project contribute to non-nutritious food and or waste?
- Does your project take into account local resources and give stronger weighting to purchasing from small / local suppliers in order to stimulate growth?
- Does your project impact the local economy and reduce the number of jobs that provide livable wages?
- Does your project have the ability to provide jobs in order to boost an economy where a food desert exists?
A good example:
In 2012, DuPont set sizeable goals to help end world hunger and ensure food security that are achievable by the end of 2020. DuPont has committed $10 billion to R&D, and the introduction of 4,000 new products by the end of 2020. Through 2013, DuPont invested more than $2.49 billion in R&D and introduced more than 1,700 new products. The work centers on developing innovations that will produce more food, enhance nutritional value, improve agriculture sustainability, boost food safety, extend food freshness and reduce waste.
To learn more visit http://www.globalgoals.org/global-goals/no-hunger/