Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities
Meet the researcher

With a critical eye on food security quantification

Thor Olav Iversen's doctoral project seeks to develop a critical framework for assessing food security quantification. We had a quick talk with the PhD candidate.

The Sustainable Development Goals are UNs most important tool for promoting development and sustainability.

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What was your relationship to SVT before the PhD period?

I had studied and done a master in economics at the University of Bergen and lived in Bergen on and off for over a decade. With regards to SVT, I had done a PhD course in Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) before I started my PhD.

Why and how did you become interested in your research theme?

Through development research and practice. I worked at Chr. Michelsen Institute for a couple of years after finishing my masters degree and then in the World Food Programme (UN). This raised my interest in the role statistics plays in development and humanitarian work.

How was your first meeting with SVT?

The course I took in RRI was highly interesting and stimulating. It therefore peaked my interest in the research and teaching interests of SVT.

What is the (working) title of your project?

Food security indicators: Measuring a multidimensional concept

Please tell us about your project in 3-5 sentences.

Food insecurity and hunger is still endemic in developing countries. According to the most used food security indicator, 800 million people remain undernourished globally, down 170 million from two decades ago. Such estimates however depend on the methodology used to quantify food security. Measurement methods also impact the form, targeting, scale and timing of an aid response. This doctoral project seeks to develop a critical framework for assessing food security quantification.

How is your research relevant to the public?

My work includes taking a critical look at the choice of and process of selecting indicators for the SDGs, which are the UNs most important tool for promoting development and sustainability in the coming decade.

What would you like to do after your PhD research period?

Continue working in academia or in the development sector.

Thor Olav in the media

Feature stories


Bergen Global, 1 November 2019: 

Thor Olav in conversation with Silvio Funtowicz about the "the crisis in science" and the origin of post normal science.

Thor Olav chairing Funtowicz' lecture "On the rhetoric of sustainability". This was a lecture in a series of meetings with relevance to UiB’s engagement with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals: Making sense of global challenges. It was a collaboration between Forum for Science and Democracy, SDG Bergen and Bergen Global.