A 2010 study by Miranda Bernstein and Georgia Duerst Lahti of Beloit College, Wisconsin -available at https://www.beloit.edu/polisci/publications/ – has enabled SIP to more accurately identify the impact of its activities. That impact is summarised below using the criteria of the Millennium Development Goals.
MDG1 – Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger
The Beloit study shows that women involved with SIP experience an alleviation of their respective poverty level. 37% of the population in the Lubombo Region where SIP is active live in extreme poverty and hunger; interviews show that the majority of the kernel income is spent on food.
MDG2 – Achieve universal primary education
Currently only the first 3 years of primary school in Swaziland are free of school fees. Families still have to pay for the obligatory school uniform and the further 4 years of primary school. School fees are the 2nd most mentioned use of kernel income by SIP’s suppliers.
MDG3 – Promote gender equality and empower women
Statements by many SIP suppliers interviewed for the Beloit study show that they gain self esteem from contributing to their family’s survival or improvement, from meeting and exchanging advice with other women in similar circumstances at the procurement meetings, and that they feel in a stronger negotiating position.
MDG4 – Reduce child mortality
Several SIP suppliers told the researchers they feel better equipped to “deal with” HIV and AIDS, 75% stated improved nutrition for the family thanks to kernel income. In SIP’s own impact interviews, ability to access health care for their children is a frequently stated result of the kernel income.
MDG5 – Improve maternal health
No specific data on maternal health, but it can be assumed that not only the children’s, but also their mothers’ health, benefits from the stated improved nutrition and better access to health care.
MDG6 – Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
Swaziland currently has the world’s highest recorded rates of both HIV/AIDS and TB infection. Several of the respondents in the Beloit study stated they feel better equipped to defend themselves against HIV (e.g. able to negotiate condom use, no longer dependant on “sugar daddies”) or AIDS (e.g. ability to comply with ARV treatment thanks to regular nutrition).
MDG7 – Ensure environmental sustainability
Swaziland’s indigenous forests, where marula grows, are threatened by deforestation and overgrazing, the environment in general by inappropriate waste disposal. The marula value chain combined with education and tree planting campaigns conducted by SIP contribute to the protection of the natural resource.
MDG8 – A global partnership for development
That is what SIP represents: Transforming Swazi renewable natural resources, in Swaziland, under fair conditions and with developmental impact, into products that offer consumers around the world both functional and emotional benefits. Purchasing the products enables a continuous contribution to the Millennium Development Goals.