BASF, Save the Children partner to explore solutions for food security

19 February 2015 | News | By Bureau Report

BASF and Save the Children will pool their expertise to develop solutions including improvement of water accessibility and quality in Mumbai, and livelihoods and food security in the Turkana region of Kenya.

The project development partnership will employ a co-creation methodology known as “empathic design”, a research and development technique which fosters in-depth problem observation and interaction with target groups. Using this method, the partners aim at developing better solutions for the most pressing challenges in the target communities in Mumbai and Turkana, Kenya.

As part of the program, a group of experts from BASF, BASF Stiftung (a German charitable foundation) and Save the Children will interact with community members in middle- to low-income households in different parts of Mumbai for one week, contributing to solutions for water challenges. The program will continue in Kenya, where the team aims to develop solutions to improve the nutrition situation of agro-pastoralist communities in Turkana, Kenya. The findings of this project development partnership will be presented at a high-level global conference at BASF’s headquarters in Ludwigshafen, Germany, in November 2015.

BASF and Save the Children executives signed an agreement in January after the two-day Creator Space Summit “Mumbai for Water”, held in Mumbai as part of celebration of BASF’s 150th anniversary. Under the terms of the agreement, Save the Children and BASF intend to further explore the findings, outcomes, and discussions from Creator Space during the upcoming on-site immersion phase in late February in Mumbai.

“We feel that today’s global challenges are too complex for any sector to be addressed alone. We want to work more closely with all relevant actors, including NGOs, governments, local communities and our business partners. We therefore are adopting the ‘empathic design’ method in India and Kenya to facilitate collaborative discussions which lead to a deeper understanding of local challenges and allow us to create better solutions for the target communities,” said Gops Pillay, President, South & East Asia, ASEAN and Australia/New Zealand, BASF, at the signing ceremony.

“We very much welcome the commitment and leadership of BASF to share its knowledge and expertise to create interventions that can improve the living conditions of marginalized groups in Mumbai and in Kenya. Every man, woman and child should have access to safe water and healthy food, now and in the future. By pooling our expertise, influence and resources and by listening to the people impacted, we have the chance to create interventions that achieve wider positive effects in the communities we work with,” said Dr Sudeep Singh Gadok, Director, Programmes, Save the Children India, also at the signing ceremony.

The discussions at the Creator Space Summit in Mumbai centered on improving access to water that is both safe and affordable. Possible solutions include change in technology, policy and behavior, alternate decentralized water sources in Mumbai to ensure equitable distribution, and monitoring the quality of water along its journey through the water pipes. The action points derived from the water summit will be further verified and substantiated by a multidisciplinary team of local, national and international BASF, BASF Stiftung and Save the Children experts using the empathic design method.

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