Essay on the Need for Poverty and Hunger Alleviation


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Poverty and Hunger

Pages: 7 Words: 1686


The need for poverty and hunger alleviation throughout the world cannot be understated. While declaring poverty and hunger in developing countries a disaster, the United Nations decided to take extreme measures towards an all-out fight against these plagues. To emphasize the importance of this battle against poverty and hunger, the UN expressly dedicated the first two sustainable development goals to the fight against the two global problems. Furthermore, the themes of poverty and hunger ring in one way or another through at least thirteen of the remaining fifteen SDGs (UNDP, 2020). The seriousness in approach expressed by the UN in handling the two vices – poverty and hunger – seems to have had encouraging impacts in most developing economies (Ali, Hussain, Zhang, Nurunnabi & Li, 2018; Banerjee, Cicowiez, Horridge & Vargas, 2019).

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In India, however, the scourge of undernourishment continues to sweep through a variety of vulnerable demographics, including women and children. As per FAO study in the year 2019, 14.5% of Indians are undernourished. This undernourished demographic consists majorly of children and women. Up to 51% of women in their productive ages lack essential food elements in their nutritive composition. Furthermore, 38% of children under five years of age experience some form of stunted growth in India (Hinduja, 2020).

Hunger and poverty have been difficult to eradicate at present in India despite the overwhelming number of organizational interventions (WinklerPrins, 2019). Throughout history, India has faced adversary directly. There have been several efforts from world organizations such as the United Nations, World Health Organizations, among other helpful organizations that aid in reducing hunger and poverty. Such efforts have had a significant impact on the improvement of livelihoods in India (Chadha, 2016; Patel, 2016).

There are multiple rigid as well as corruptible systems that interfere with various interventions to combat hunger and poverty. These include social, economic, environmental, political, and health-related factors. Studies have shown that although there are many resources available in India, ending or diminishing hunger and poverty still appears to be a daunting task (Chadha, 2016). Patel (2016) postulated that malnutrition and undernourishment claim more lives annually in developing countries than the triple threat of AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined.

As outlined in the SDGs, the interventions for the goals should create crosscutting impacts and outcomes through the other stated goals. Outlined activities under education, sustainable climate, and partnership for goals, water and sanitation, as well as the other SDGs should as such work together to create lasting outcomes in poverty and hunger alleviation (UNDP, 2020). These interdepartmental overlaps do not appear to exist in the current organizational interventions to hunger and poverty in India. Organizations working with the vulnerable groups appear to settle for linear, reductionist approaches – hence targeting rather short-term, overly focused interventions (Barnidge et al., 2012; Chadha, 2016; Pigg, Gasteyer, Martin, Keating & Apaliyah, 2013).

Proposed Intervention

The main problem noted for this study involves the lack of interdisciplinary commitment to interventions against hunger and poverty in India. The author, thereby, intends to work with various organizations in collegiality towards hunger alleviation in India´s poorest states. The intention of such a multi-organizational intervention involves effecting properly designed interventions that respect the various facets of sustainability and scalability. The Community Capitals Framework approach is thus, the proposed solution for the change process (Pigg et al., 2013).

As noted from literature, there are considerable disparities in poverty headcounts among the various states in India (Virmani, 2006). A study conducted by Oxford University in 2015-2016 noted this huge disparity with deep concern. Kerala State, for instance, had a mere 1.1% of its population classified as impoverished compared to the overwhelming 52% of the population in Bihar state classified as underprivileged (Global Hunger Index, 2019). The study and intervention shall uncover the underlying factors for such inconsistent poverty eradication efforts. The project team shall make efforts to gain inspiration from the successful efforts in the wealthier states.

The strategies used for creating awareness of poverty and hunger in this study include education and strategic leadership for the change. Through contextualized education and empathetic leadership, the study shall embrace the provisions of the SDGs in analyzing the overlapping and scalable interventions to poverty and hunger in India. The key involvements in this project shall include local non-profits and religious organizations, including churches and other worship places.

The Rationale for the Study

The 2019 Global Hunger Index (GHI) survey ranked India at 102nd in the global hunger chart – with a score of 30.3 – out of 117 qualifying countries. The level of hunger and malnutrition in India is classified as severe (Global Hunger Index, 2019). Research into poverty and hunger alleviation often focus solely on the economic component of the underlying problems. Such studies tend to restrict themselves to causal factors that fall solely under the financial, political and economic variables. As such, solutions aimed at intervening to minimize hunger and poverty in India become reductionist and focused on quantifiable data from the financial and economic capital domains of the community capitals framework (CCF) (Emery & Flora, 2006; Pigg et al., 2013).

The current study will, thereby, expand the conceptualization of poverty and hunger eradication in India to the remaining CCF domains. We shall expand the conceptualization of capital to include environmental, political, social, and health domains in the analysis. Such a comprehensive analysis of poverty eradication should assist the researcher and the engaged parties to better conceptualize and ideate for sustainable community development frameworks (Emery & Flora, 2006).

Furthermore, the project shall employ non-reductionist approaches to problem inquiry to the eradication of poverty and hunger in India. As most currently applied methodologies are limiting and biased, we shall attempt to develop better-defined, asset-based methods of analysis. While involving the critical components of the local community, a holistic view of the poverty scourge shall help form a basis for completely changing the thread that holds the society and engaging all available players. The members of the local community shall, as such, play an essential role in the development process (Barnidge et al., 2012; Emery & Flora, 2006).

Most recent studies continue to ignore the pro-active participation of the key contributors in the intervention processes – the citizens. The organizations and societal systems involved in hunger alleviation continue to treat the local poor populous as nothing if not uneducated third rate citizens. The decision making for such solutions teams, thereby, appear overly bureaucratized and top-down. As said aptly by proponents, it is improbable to effect long-lasting systemic change unless we first change the mindset of the people within the system (Emery & Flora, 2006).

The current study thereby departs from the overdone liability-focused array of studies and pays attention to the futuristic assets and strengths-based approach to the analysis of societal problems. Above all, the study pays attention to the overlap rather than independence of the various poverty alleviation subsets and interventions. Community resilience and adaptability, as well as contextualization (through such focused analysis as emergent design), will serve as core factors in the study of poverty and hunger endeavours (Ali et al., 2018).

While staying grounded on available studies, this project will collect empirical data that is personal and empathetic. Such data will serve to uncover the specific underlying gaps that exist between the current interventions and the required contextualized methodological approaches for poverty and hunger alleviation.

Such immersion techniques will serve various purposes in the study. First, they will allow for sustainable and widely acceptable change trajectories within the community. Various modernistic analyses widely acknowledge the need to ultimately involve the local populations in solutions aimed at solving local situations. Humanization of the poverty alleviation efforts will allow the locals to take initiatives and engage proactively in self-outlined interventions. The study shall thereby, engage the local experts and citizens as co-researchers and active participants (Banerjee et al., 2019; Emery & Flora, 2006).

The second purpose of the complete immersion studies shall be to gain a more contextualized knowledge base. The process of increasing the authenticity of investigative efforts entail better contextualization of the study efforts. To add to the research into the poverty alleviation efforts in India, it is essential that the analyst completely engages with the cultural, political, environmental and economic contexts of the country. The final output from this study shall intend to leverage the strengths in the different community capitals to result in better-conceptualized frameworks for better-localized solutions.

Conceptual Model

As already implied in the previous section, this study will adopt an adaptation of the community capitals framework model by Emery and Flora (2006).

Figure SEQ Figure \* ARABIC 1: Conceptual model: Adapted from the Community Capitals Framework (Mulema, & Damtew, 2016).

While adapting the community capitals frameworks model, we shall adopt the capital domains will to reflect the poverty eradication goals indicated by the Sustainable development goals (UNDP, 2020). Sustainable intensification will represent the goal of combating poverty. The project shall attain its goal at the exact intersection of all the possible Community Capitals.

Natural capital represents the environmental assets that enhance such activities as sustainable agriculture and horticulture. As the study continues, the rest of the Capitals will be clarified and reintegrated into the provisions in the Poverty and Hunger Problem mind mapping outline and the sustainable development goals.

Goals, Objectives, and Strategies

The eventual aim of the proposed project is to help in better understanding and contextualization of the hunger and poverty eradication processes in India. In order to achieve the goal, we shall clearly outline specific objectives for the project. First, the researcher and designers will aim to convince the various players in poverty eradication efforts in India of the importance of contextualized interdisciplinary efforts. Secondly, through the PhD educational journey, the author will learn to raise awareness through non-linear and integrated systems and seek additional resources from all involved participants to help India. Next, the researcher will also aim to involve the actual target group in the proposed interventions. The cyclicality of community capitals shall be leveraged to ensure all the participants are involved as part of the solution to poverty and hunger.

Some of the tangible strategies that the researcher aims to adopt to realize these objectives include:

Joining a mission group to plan mission trips to India on breaks from college. Such mission visits shall allow the author to completely immerse themselves into the local situation and understand the real challen...

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