Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Jeff Unsicker


The global food price crisis of 2007-2008 has pushed the number of people who suffer from hunger and malnutrition to more than 1.02 billion. This has prompted the international community to re-evaluate the importance of agricultural investments as a primary strategy to address issues of hunger and poverty. Development professionals and researchers have also responded to the crisis by calling for further examination of the root causes of food insecurity. The Hunger Project (THP), a global, non-profit, strategic organization committed to the sustainable end of world hunger, has been active in current policy debates by advocating for the empowerment of women as a key component to sustainable development.

The first section of this capstone paper is an historical overview and analysis of the current trends and shifts in development policy surrounding gender and food security. Framing the issue with a rights-based approach to development highlights the linkages between gender inequality and food insecurity. THP and their allies hope to educate the public and influence the current policy debate by raising awareness about the linkages among gender inequality, malnutrition and food insecurity. The second section of this paper is an analysis and evaluation of THP‘s strategic approach. As a strategy & impact intern at THP I worked on several papers, briefs and factsheets aimed at influencing global food security policies to implement a more cross-cutting approach to gender equality. Together with THP staff and partner organizations, I produced three critical documents which contributed to THP‘s overall outreach and influence strategy; 1) a supplemental section to THP‘s strategic approach to development in Africa, 2) a factsheet released on International Women‘s Day, and 3) a policy response to the World Bank‘s proposed Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP). The third section of this capstone paper is a critical evaluation of the effectiveness and impact of these three contributions and lessons learned throughout the process.


Agricultural and Resource Economics | Public Policy