Systems Thinking

THP Perspective:

  • Chronic hunger lies at the center of a nexus of inextricably linked issues. Only by solving these issues together can we solve any of them. (See our 1995 Essay The New Human Agenda).
  • Systems thinking is critical to sustainability, resilience, gender equality and improving nutrition.
  • THP was born with a systems approach. The Systems Thinking pioneer – Donella Meadows – was a member of the working group that formulated The Hunger Project and served on our board of directors from 1979 to 1992.


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Key Interventions:

  • Systems analysis – looking at the big picture, and mapping a comprehensive set of components.
  • Theory of Change – mapping the sequence of outcomes that lead to the outcomes we want.
  • “Theory U” – a process of collective unlearning and developing insights into complex systems

Key messages:

  • A key question – “if it were working here, how would it work?”
  • Recognizing and building on local capacity and local systems.

Global Campaigns and Initiatives:

Key agencies:

Key reports and data sources:

Must-read books: