Amplifying Our Voice on Major Platforms
The sustainable end of hunger is possible when we share a powerful, collective voice at every level of influence — local, national and global. And that means creating intentional systems in which everyone is able to and encouraged to share their voices.
As part of our 2022-2027 Strategic Framework, we at The Hunger Project are building a critical mass capable of transforming the way the world thinks about — and acts on — chronic hunger and poverty.
By elevating the voices of people living in hunger and poverty at conferences and in writing and whenever feasible, we make space for our community partners to directly participate in international gatherings of decision makers, in major media outlets and anywhere their voice has been traditionally excluded.
This commitment is our thought leadership strategy. In 2022, our thought leadership focused on five intertwined themes: the hunger crisis and transforming our food systems; community leadership; youth leadership; climate change and adaptation; and technology.
Here’s where The Hunger Project’s thought leadership showed up on 2022:
HUNGER CRISIS & TRANSFORMING OUR FOOD SYSTEMS
On World Food Day in October 2022, our team in the Netherlands participated at the World Food Day Show in Amsterdam. The event featured the premiere of The Future of Food and explored the impact of local food systems on global food security. Together with our partners, Oxfam Novib, Cordaid, Right2Grow, Save the Children, World Vision, Woord en Daad and WWF-NL, we hosted a conversation about ways local food systems can provide solutions for a world free from hunger. Annelies Kanis, Country Director for The Hunger Project-Netherlands, concluded the event with a speech about creating a fairer global food system that works for everyone by making better, fairer, sustainable and more inclusive choices.
After several years of online participation, we had a small team at the World Food Prize Borlaug Dialogue in Des Moines, Iowa this year. In a reflection, Anna Slattery wrote, “The urgency of our current hunger crisis was clear across nearly every session…We must make investments today in the distribution systems that will help us reach every producer in our food systems with the technology and innovation that will help all of us withstand the challenges of the future.”
On our Medium blog, we published three pieces with recommendations for strengthening local food systems and ending hunger: Judicaël Bambara, Head of Food Security at The Hunger Project-Burkina Faso, and Michael Trotter Comas, Global Communications, co-wrote a piece about improving agricultural resilience in Burkina Faso; Daisy Owomugasho, East Africa Regional Director and Country Director for The Hunger Project-Uganda, wrote about the impact of the war in Ukraine on Africa’s economies and food supply chains; and our team in Uganda were interviewed about their use of agroecological practices and how they are supporting farmers during this year of price hikes and scarcity.
Our year concluded with the Global Washington Goalmakers Conference, where Irene Naikaali, Head of Programs at The Hunger Project-Uganda, and Tim Prewitt both spoke about achieving SDG 2 during this time of crisis. While Irene focused on effective community-based efforts in agriculture, food security, and nutrition to prevent famine or severe hunger crises, Tim focused on ways that the development community can invest in agriculture systems that increase productivity while becoming more sustainable.
In our debut at Skoll World Forum, Faustina Gablah, an epicenter community leader from eastern Ghana, shared her leadership journey, as part of a session on community-led development. During the event Faustina said, “Local people have the potential to do things for themselves. We only need opportunity, resources, trust and encouragement to be able to help our communities to leap high in development.” Her testimony highlights the importance of shifting the power and resources of the development sector from New York, DC and London to local leaders living in the community.
Daisy Owomugasho was invited to be part of a session at the UN High-Level Political Forum to launch the preparations for the mid-term review of the SDGs and the September 2023 SDG Summit. She focused on how we can accelerate the implementation of the SDGs through inclusive development practices and community engagement.
John Coonrod, Executive Vice President, published a policy brief with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs focused on recommendations for how the US government can shift towards inclusive development in agriculture. The brief leverages case studies of how to embed trust and flexibility into programs for greater local ownership, the need for women’s leadership, social enterprises’ potential for scalable and locally led systems change, and participatory agricultural research.
At the World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings, Hunger Project leaders John Coonrod and Daisy Owomugasho participated in sessions to advocate for the inclusion of rural community leaders in the transformation of our global systems. While John focused on elevating small-scale food producers through food system transformation, Daisy advocated for the inclusion of civil society organizations and community-based organizations in national budget conversations. Both strongly emphasized the need to create space for grassroot leaders in all aspects of the planning and implementation of development programs.
Dr. Badiul Majumdar, Global Vice President and Country Director for The Hunger Project-Bangladesh, participated in the G20 Interfaith Forum, sharing about ways that The Hunger Project mobilizes faith leaders to address food security and hunger in their communities. This conference helped shape the agenda for the 2023 G20 meetings, happening late next year.
Finally, The Hunger Project continued to serve as the Secretariat for the Movement for Community-led Development. The Secretariat team has continued to grow the Movement’s influence globally, sharing their co-created learning tools at conferences like the European Evaluation Society and the American Evaluation Association. The Movement has been consulted many times during USAID’s shift towards locally led development and is trying to ensure that funding from USAID is as inclusive and far-reaching as possible.
In October, the Food and Agriculture Organization hosted the World Food Forum, where Tim Prewitt presented a case study about how The Hunger Project mobilizes youth around the world to end hunger in their communities. Speaking about Youth Ending Hunger Bangladesh and our youth-focused livelihood programs in Malawi, Tim highlighted the importance of youth leadership, commitment and action in creating access to safe and nutritious food for all.
At the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27), our global food systems took center stage. As the negotiations in Egypt concluded, The Hunger Project hosted a conversation online with a diverse panel of representatives from across the food system discussing sustainable solutions to transform our food system for the planet and its people.
We look forward to continuing this work in 2023!
Image above: Grace Chikowi, Country Director of THP-Malawi (Top Left); Veda Bharadwaja, Senior Program Officer of THP-India (Bottom Left); Irene Naikaali, Head of Programs of THP-Uganada (Top Right); Panel from Skoll World Forum (Bottom Right); Newsweek feature article (Center right).