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Sociology×

Van Hall Larenstein, University of Applied Sciences, Full Time Masters Degrees in Sociology

We have 2 Van Hall Larenstein, University of Applied Sciences, Full Time Masters Degrees in Sociology

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Food security exists when everybody has access to sufficient, nutritious and safe food at all times. However, various predictable and unpredictable challenges around the globe, including changes in climate (i.e. Read more

Local food security in a globalising world

Food security exists when everybody has access to sufficient, nutritious and safe food at all times. However, various predictable and unpredictable challenges around the globe, including changes in climate (i.e. rising/falling temperatures, droughts and floods, diseases and pests), market tendencies, insufficient access to food for households, unequal distribution of resources and opportunities and inadequate food distribution channels, prevent the realisation of this idealistic and often oversimplified term.

Despite a growing number of large-scale, high-external input farms and enough food production to feed the world, post-harvest losses result in less optimal yields and (locally) produced foods are often used for other purposes, such as animal feed or biofuel. Consequentially, 795 million1 undernourished people around the globe do not have access to this lost and wasted food.

Ensuring access to food for everyone is the key to ending hunger, which will require improved collaboration between various stakeholders - producer (organisations), the private sector, governments, traders and development organisations. Structures, policies and programmes must be continuously adapted to a variety of external factors, such as the economy, environment and current social structures. Rethinking of informal rules and habits is another essential step in attaining food security, considering even members of the same household are not guaranteed equal access to food. In light of these external factors and challenges, this specialisation presents various interventions needed to combat hunger and ensure food security for everyone.

Competences

At graduation, you will have the ability to:
• define the economic, commercial and marketing needs, constraints and opportunities of those in rural communities who produce for local and regional markets
• analyse food security at a local and global level
• apply tools for diagnosing food security
• analyse the livelihoods of farmers who produce for local and regional markets and understand farmers' coping strategies
• select, explain and design an appropriate development intervention leading to food security
• develop support programmes for farmers, producers and other groups
• mainstream food security within Agricultural and rural development programmes
• define the economic, commercoal and marketing needs, constraints and oppertunities for small-scale producers in rural communities
• formulate and recommend any organisational adjustments that are needed within service-delivery organisations.

Career opportunities

Rural Development and Food Security specialists explore effective responses to mal- and undernourishment, by defining needs, constraints, coping strategies and opportunities for small-scale producers in rural communities. In selecting appropriate context-specific interventions, which reflect understanding of the local context in its wider context, they consider stakeholder relationships and how collaboration could be organised to each stakeholder’s benefit while helping farmers to safeguard their ability to ensure local food security. In the face of globalisation, slow economic growth and political instability, specialists may design and implement responses for (non-)governmental organisations or partners in the private sector, in the form of projects, programmes, market structures or policies.

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While governments around the world have committed themselves to fighting poverty, poverty can only be eradicated once marginalised individuals and groups experience equality, regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity, disabilities or age. Read more

Linking sustainable development to social inclusion

While governments around the world have committed themselves to fighting poverty, poverty can only be eradicated once marginalised individuals and groups experience equality, regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity, disabilities or age. That is why discussions on sustainable development and reversing poverty often refer to social inclusion. Development organisations and government agencies can contribute to inclusive transformation processes that improve circumstances for marginalised people and allow them to take part in society and benefit from social services and various political, social, physical and market spaces.

Youth are particularly important drivers of innovation, entrepreneurship and prosperity in developing countries and engaging them in the agricultural sector and keeping them in the rural areas should be a priority. To ensure context-specific inclusive transformation processes, development professionals and organisations need to understand and define marginalised peoples’ needs, interests, constraints and possibilities, as well as understand their roles in decision-making processes at household, economic and societal levels.

The Rural Development, Social nclusion, Gender and Youth specialisation equips students with competences needed to understand and define these contextual factors, reduce inequities and improve social and economic conditions for everyone.

Competences

By the time you graduate, you will have developed the ability to:

• identify opportunities for systemic change and to enhance opportunities and interests of youth, men and women in rural environments
• promote social inclusion and mainstream gender and other socialequity issues in rural development
• recommend changes that will bring about gender equality in organisations
• develop a personal strategy for enhancing empowerment, social inclusion, youth involvement and gender equality in your own profession and organisation.

Career opportunities

Specialists in Rural Development, Social Inclusion, Gender and Youth contribute to inclusive transformation of social processes that improve circumstances for marginalised people to take part in society. Recognising that equal access to markets and social services, influence over decisions affecting one’s life and young people as key drivers of innovation, entrepreneurship and prosperity will increase security over livelihood and improve social economic conditions for everyone, specialists may design interdisciplinary projects to mainstream social inclusion and reduce inequities. As agents for community development, they may be managers, coordinators or consultants in a (non-)governmental organisation or in the private sector.

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