The solutions to problems are often implicit in the way they are framed. If I tell you my car won’t start, you might tell me to consult a mechanic. If I tell you I can’t find my keys, well, we have a completely different problem. In public policy, frames often conflate symptoms with causes, other times, such as with the example I gave, they just obscure a possible solution.
But frames turn out to be fundamentally important to the problems’ solution. As Albert Einstein once said, “If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first fifty-five minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.”
As a report recently released by Christian Aid shows, this is the case with world hunger. One of every eight people in the world—that’s nearly 868 million people—are hungry. This number has come down a bit over the last few years, down from a high of 1.02 billion in 2009 and 925 million in 2010. Of course, we’re still a long way off from meeting the United Nation’s 2001 Millennium Development Goal of eradicating hunger. Specifically, the organization hoped—and still hopes—to halve, between 1990 and 2015, the number of people who suffer from hunger.