Abstract for: Mapping Interactions Between Food Security and Poverty

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) present a call to action to overcome some of the greatest challenges in our modern world. This study focuses on the targets in SDGs 1 (poverty) and 2 (food security), which will not be achieved if current trends persist. To propose and implement impactful and long-lasting policies, this study systematically maps interactions between food security and poverty in the literature and develops a causal loop diagram (CLD) on the current understanding of the subject. The CLD includes 13 balancing and 20 reinforcing feedback loops, which shed light on the complexity of the problem and unveil the many causal mechanisms between food security and poverty. Several narratives are mapped onto the CLD and this shows that narratives often focus on only a couple of feedback loops, dismissing important dynamics necessary to plan and implement effective policies. While the SDG framework proposes a richer narrative, it is still incomplete. To create synergies in policy implementation to reach the targets of the 2030 Agenda, policies must take into consideration the whole system to beat its inertia and focus on overcoming thresholds that enable feedback loops to work in a virtuous instead of vicious way.