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What is food security?
WHY IS THERE AN ISSUE WITH ACCESS TO NUTRITIONAL FOOD?
The problem is not that we aren’t producing enough food, but rather that people lack access to food. Many people do not have enough money to purchase food and cannot grow their own.
According to the World Food Programme (WFP), countries with the highest level of food insecurity also have the highest outward migration of refugees.
And while overall hunger has steadily decreased over the past decade, there has been an increase in the number of refugees, who typically suffer the most from food insecurity.
Even though approximately 11% of the world is undernourished, about 39% of the adult population are overweight.
No country in the world had seen any kind of decrease in obesity rate. In fact, it’s rising among both children and adults. While it is tempting to think of obesity as a form of “over-nutrition”, it is actually another kind of malnutrition.
The UN is working to reduce the number of hungry people to zero by 2030. This is represented by UN Sustainable Development Goal # 2: Zero Hunger.
Watch the videos below to gain a deeper appreciation and empathetic understanding of the issue of food security. Make notes on your findings using the worksheet below. Click on the image below to download as a pdf.
Watch the following video. Can you explain the paradox of hunger in the world?
You are now going to map your understanding of the causes and implications of food insecurity. You are going to use systems thinking to uncover the connections between ideas that we have covered so far.
According to Learning for Sustainability, systems thinking encourages us to identify the inter-relationships (context and connections), perspectives (each actor has their own unique perception of the situation) and boundaries (agreeing on scope, scale and what might constitute an improvement).
Systems thinking is particularly useful in addressing complex problems. These problems cannot be solved by any one actor, any more than a complex system can be fully understood from only one perspective. The fact that problems such as food insecurity is continually evolving, you need to think critically, creatively, flexibly and curiously.
Use the diagram below to help you identify the causes of food insecurity on the top row of the fish bones, and the implications on the bottom row. Include any associated ideas on the smaller bones closer to the spine. Click on the image below to download as a pdf.
You may find the design thinking worksheets useful to organise your thought processes.
Can you write a sentence or two to define the problem that needs to be solved? This will help you to focus and frame the problem that you need to provide a solution for.
HOW CAN WE TACKLE FOOD INSECURITY?
Click on the arrow on the right to scroll through and watch the two videos to help you evaluate the possible solutions to this global issue.
Now that you have a deeper and empathetic understanding of the issue of food security, you should move to the brainstorming or ideation phase in order to arrive at multiple solutions to this complex global issue.
At this stage we are looking for quantity over quality. This means that you should write or draw as many ideas that you can think of. Some will not be viable, but at least one of them will. Use a large piece of paper to collate your thoughts or download several copies of the worksheet below by clicking on the image.
Read the sources of information below for additional ideas for tackling global food security. Make your own notes to record the possible solutions to this crisis. Shortlist three of these ideas or any other ideas that you may have and complete a SWOT analysis of each. Use the worksheets that follow to help you organise your evaluations. Include any relevant statistical data or other evidence.
SWOT Analysis Worksheet
Click on the image to download as a pdf:
You should now consider taking forward your most viable solution to the issue of global food security. One way to understand if or how your idea would flow or work is to storyboard the solution. Use the worksheet below to help you do this. Click on the image to download as a pdf:
The next stage is to write a report or carry out a presentation (video/animation/PowerPoint etc) that outlines your chosen solution. Ensure that you note the benefits and possible limitations of your chosen solution along with your reasons for not choosing any other option. You can use the PowerPoint templates here and here to help you structure a presentation. By doing this task you will develop the competencies of communication and collaboration.
You should be receptive to feedback on your ideas from your peers and teachers/coaches. You may find that you need to revisit your solution, re-define your idea, come up with alternative ideas, look at the issue from a different perspective, or work on gaining a deeper and more empathetic understanding of this issue. Re-design is inevitable and desirable as this is how you can develop an effective solution to this complex global issue.
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