The Hunger Solutions Institute seeks to identify promising technologies, research, and innovations that have potential to be tested, implemented, and scaled through one of the Institute’s implementing partners. This includes research and related work done by faculty as well as students. The Power for Life project, which brings a proven innovative power and heat generation technology to developing countries, is one example. Another is a student high nutrition product made out of purple hull peas, which is currently in development.
Programs and Practices
Faculty and students at Auburn University, under the auspices of the HSI, are currently undertaking a qualitative research project, systematically analyzing a decade of documentation about the World Food Programme’s emergency response. This will result in independently evaluated data that WFP will use to quantify lessons learned and deploy these best practices to improve future emergency responses.
The HSI is currently working on a Hunger Knowledge Portal that will be a universally accessed repository for resources, information, best practices, and information to help academics, practitioners, and students advance knowledge in the fight against hunger.
Providing Fellows and Internships
The HSI facilitates student internships at partner organizations, such as WFP and the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to help students pursue a career in development and humanitarian work. A graduate level fellowship program, involving opportunities with the UN agencies, will be launched in 2013.
Promoting Teaching, Research, and Outreach
Through the College of Human Sciences, the HSI offers one of the nation’s only undergraduate minors in hunger studies. The multi-disciplinary curriculum encourages students to examine hunger as a complex issue of sustainable human development while fostering competencies in the areas of leadership, advocacy, and global citizenship. The introductory hunger studies course, Hunger: Causes, Consequences, and Responses, is delivered via distance education as well as on campus. In addition, a Hunger Awareness Certificate is available in an independent study format through the Auburn University Office of Professional and Continuing Education.
As part of its mission, the HSI is bringing together faculty from a diverse array of disciplines and academic institutions to conduct research and advance innovation in the creation of dynamic 21st century sustainable solutions to ending hunger. These projects are designed to address the root causes of hunger and food insecurity with a current focus on issues related to enhanced technologies, empowerment of women, access to education, and community development.
Increasingly, universities are being called upon to use their many talents to address the global challenges that affect the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities both domestically and globally. The HSI’s service mandate is one of full engagement with both the public and private sectors. Ending Child Hunger in Alabama, a seven-year campaign launched by the HSI in fall 2012, is a prime example of how the Hunger Solutions Institute is creating multi-stakeholder partnerships and networks that can work toward mutual advantage and strengthen the expertise needed for long-term resolution to hunger and food insecurity.