Reducing trade-offs and increasing synergies associated with improved food security in Lao PDR and Myanmar

a collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute, the national institute of public health in Lao PDR and the Council for Science and Technology, Lao PDR

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a comprehensive set of targets for humanity, and progress towards each of the SDGs is considered a positive development. SDGs can be considered synergetic when progress towards one SDG yields additional benefits towards another SDG. However, in other cases progress towards one SDG might cause trade-offs by limiting the progress towards another SDG, which is not unlikely in a world of limited resources. In this project we will assess how and to what extent improvements towards food and nutrition security (SDG2) is associated with synergies and trade-offs with poverty reduction (SDG1), health (SDG3), climate change (SDG13), and biodiversity (SDG15). We focus on Lao PDR and Myanmar, two developing countries in Southeast Asia where hunger is still prevalent in many locations. We will first create country wide indicator maps for each of the selected SDGs, based on various data sources. Then, we analyze relations between multiple SDGs at the subnational level and select both hotspots (synergies between SDGs) and coldspots (trade-offs between SDGs) for further investigation. These hotspots and coldspots will be further investigated using time-line analyses and other participatory approaches to find the moderating role of policies in these synergies and trade-offs, and use the results to develop computational models that can support the development and implementation of future policies towards sustainable development. Throughout the project we will continue discussing research design and progress with the project partners and other relevant stakeholders (including the local governmental institutions as well as international actors such as the World Bank), to ensure that results are scientifically sound, but also relevant to support further sustainable development in the region.