HCP researchers James Sgro, Bruce Frayne and Cameron McCordic publish article on urban food security and the SDGs in Journal of Sustainability Research

Background: It has been theorised that there are a network of relationships linking the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), whereby achieving one SDG may have spillover effects for other SDGs. This discussion is relevant to the multidimensional stressors experienced by poor urban households in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Methods: We evaluate whether variations in the gender of a household head (SDG 5), education level of a household head (SDG 4) or household wages (SDG 8) are predictive of household food security (SDG 2) among over 6000 poor urban households surveyed in eleven cities in Southern Africa. These comparisons are made using regression analysis and machine learning techniques while controlling for, and comparing against, the contribution of household size, the age of the household head, and the number of household dependents to household food security prediction.

Results: Of the variables investigated, our study finds that household wages and the education level of the household head are important predictors of food security among the surveyed households. This investigation also identifies a potentially indirect relationship between the gender of the household head and household food security when other variables are controlled.

Conclusions: These findings suggest a predictive relationship between SDG 4 (Quality Education), SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) and SDG 2 (Zero Hunger) while highlighting a curious indirect relationship between SDG 5 (Gender Equality) and SDG 2 among poor urban households in Southern Africa. By understanding these relationships, it may be possible to chart efficient policy pathways towards SDG achievement in Southern African cities.

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