Sustainable Agricultural, Economic, and Social Development

By Kristine Lykens, Mathias Akuoko, Lakshmi Balasubramanian, Ahmad Sharif, Sejong Bae and Karan P. Singh.

Published by The International Journal of Sustainability in Economic, Social and Cultural Context

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The recent famine in the Horn of Africa has focused world attention on tens of thousands of young children dying of starvation with many more expected. This situation is tragic and calls for immediate and sustained response. Yet the current “crisis” is merely the “tip of the iceberg” of a long-standing tragedy of child under-nutrition in much of the developing world. The majority of child deaths in these regions have an underlying cause of under-nutrition. Some improvement has occurred in this problem in recent decades; however, these improvements have been slow and are fragile, causing the potential for “crises” to occur. A former Secretary General of the United Nations, among many others, has called for a “green revolution” in Africa similar to that experienced in South Asia in recent decades. However, child under-nutrition remains higher in South Asia at 43% in 2009, than in sub-Saharan Africa at 22% in the same year. Although agricultural development is clearly needed in these areas, the problem and solutions are clearly more complex. We propose to examine a number of agricultural, economic, and social development factors which contribute to the problem of adequate nutrition for young children, and thus are potential candidates for a comprehensive solution to improve the lives and health of children. These factors include: GDP growth, land ownership, food vs. cash crops, food prices, percentage of population which is rural, governance, primary education, and gender parity in primary education. Thoroughly understanding the complex causation of undernutrition will help guide better policies and programs for a solution.

Keywords: Child Nutrition, Agricultural Development, Economic Development, Social Development

The International Journal of Social Sustainability in Economic, Social and Cultural Context, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp.99-112. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 696.325KB).

Dr. Kristine Lykens

Associate Professor, School of Public Health, Department of Health Management and Policy, University of North Texas, Fort Worth, Texas, USA

Dr. Lykens is an associate professor of health policy in the University of North Texas Health Science Center, School of Public Health. Her Ph.D. is in political economy from the University of Texas at Dallas. She teaches courses in health policy and public health ethics. Her research interests are related to child health, both in the U.S. and globally. She has published several peer-reviewed articles in both these areas. She also conducts evaluation research related to public health.

Mathias Akuoko

School of Public Health, Department of Health Management and Policy, University of North Texas, Fort Worth, Texas, USA

Mr. Akuoko is a Ph.D. student in pubiic health sciences with a concentration in health services and policy research at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, School of Public Health. He received his MPH in health management and policy from the UNTHSC. He has a Bachelors degree from Ghana. His Master's thesis addressed child nutrition issues in the United States and sub-Saharan Africa.

Dr. Lakshmi Balasubramanian

Assistant Professor, Health Science Center, School of Public Health, University of North Texas, Fort Worth, Texas, USA

Dr. Balasubramanian is an assistant professor of health management and policy at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, School of Public Health. She received her Ph.D. in finance from the University of Texas Pan-American. She teaches health finance courses in the Department of Health Management and Policy. She receive her Bachelors degree in India. Her research interests are in health care economics and finance.

Dr. Ahmad Sharif

Health Science Center , School of Public Health, University of North Texas, Richardson, Texas, USA

Dr.Sharif has a Medical degree from the Ukraine and received his Master of Public Health degree from the University of North Texas Health Science Center, School of Public Health, with a concentration in health management and policy. He has practiced medicine in Pakistan, which is his country of origin. He has interests in global health and has published an article regarding global child health.

Dr. Sejong Bae

Health Science Center, School of Public Health, University of North Texas, Fort Worth, Texas, USA

Dr. Bae is a professor of biostatistics at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, School of Public Health. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in biostatistics. Dr. Bae teaches data management and biostatistics courses. He has published broadly on public health, including two peer-reviewed articles regard child health in developing countries.

Dr. Karan P. Singh

Professor and Chairman of Biostatistics, Health Science Center, School of Public Health, University of North Texas, Fort Worth, Texas, USA

Dr. Singh is a professor and chairman of the Biostatistics Department at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, School of Public Health. He has a Ph.D. in biostatistics. He has taught biostatistics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of North Texas Health Science Center. He has an undergraduate degree from India. His research interests include biostatistics applications in public health, medicine and biomedical sciences. He has published extensively in public health, medical, biostatitics, and biomedical journals. He has published two peer-reviewed articles on global child health.