Discussion Paper

No. 2017-51 | August 14, 2017
An evidence-based approach to ending rural hunger
(Submitted as Global Solutions Paper)


Progress toward food and nutrition security (FNS) needs to be sharply accelerated in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal for ending hunger and malnutrition, especially in rural areas. The G20 should target interventions and investment opportunities to maximize impact on people and transformation of rural areas. Currently, few G20 countries map investments, technical assistance, capacity building and policy support in a data-driven way. Such tracking of needs, policies, and resources could include G20 countries’ domestic efforts alongside countries they support with development assistance. The G20 could develop such a methodology to identify countries and interventions where additional resources could have a lasting impact. They could then systematically track and streamline FNS actions taken across international organizations and initiatives to efforts to help ensure the SDG is achieved.

JEL Classification:

F01, F02, F35, F53, F63, Q18


  • Downloads: 118


Cite As

Homi Kharas, John W. McArthur, and Joachim von Braun (2017). An evidence-based approach to ending rural hunger. Economics Discussion Papers, No 2017-51, Kiel Institute for the World Economy. http://www.economics-ejournal.org/economics/discussionpapers/2017-51

Comments and Questions

Jiddah M.A. Ajayi - An evidence based approach to ending rural hunger
August 15, 2017 - 09:53

This is indeed a very wonderful,focused and an all out paper, so enriching to all, seriously minded people.
It brings to the fore the dire need for the G20 to re-engineer strategies,on ending rural/urban drift, unemployment,growth & development,food and nutrition sufficiency on the global platform,thus improving the nutrition,peace stability and ...[more]

... self sufficiency in ...
It is quiet a fascinating article.

Manfred Wiebelt, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, Germany - Referee report
August 28, 2017 - 09:40

Although efforts to combat hunger and malnutrition have advanced significantly since 1990, ending hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition by 2030 will require intensified, focused and concerted actions by local governments and international development cooperation. This holds especially true for Africa, where achieving SDG 2 of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable ...[more]

... Development would require ending hunger for approximately the same number of people in 15 years as happened in Asia over the past 25 years.

Starting from recent trends in development of undernourishment, malnutrition, agricultural productivity, and resilient agricultural production modes, this paper suggests a quantified approach towards targeting of G20 investments with priority setting guided by each country’s needs, policies, and available financial resources. I guess that most readers would subscribe to the general conclusions: “The higher the needs, the stronger the case for the G20 to target each country. The better the national policies and proven commitment the stronger the case for targeting international effort to support it. The more resources are available in a country the weaker the case for targeting the country to receive additional resources” (p. 8). However, while needs and financial resources are easily quantified, assessing national policies, such as, e.g. land reform, trade and investment policies, or institutional reforms is not an easy task.

The major strength of this paper is that it (i) advocates an evidence-based approach towards achieving SDG 2, (ii) highlights priorities for G20 support of national policies, and (iii) identifies areas of donor coordination. By doing so, the paper complements other quantitative work undertaken, e.g., by the International Institute for Sustainable Development and the International Food Policy Research Institute* to prioritize countries and interventions in an attempt to eradicate poverty at minimum public cost. The latter is based on a dynamic multi-country multi-sector computable general equilibrium model that is combined with household surveys.

In any case, donor cooperation and cooperation between donors and local stakeholders is necessary to identify the specific interventions needed to ensure the additional investments are the most effective and efficient way possible, and to turn the evidence-based approach into real commitments to ending hunger until 2030.

*Laborde, D., L. Bizikova, T. Lallemant, and C. Smaller (2016). Ending Hunger: What it would cost? Briefing Note. International Institute for Sustainable Development and International Food Policy Research Institute.