CL 125/6


Council

Hundred and Twenty-fifth Session

Rome, 26-28 November 2003

THE REPORTING FORMAT FOR
THE WORLD FOOD SUMMIT FOLLOW-UP

Table of Contents



I. INTRODUCTION

1. In line with the World Food Summit (WFS) recommendations contained under Commitment Seven, the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), at its 24th session in June1998, established a plan of work for monitoring progress in the implementation of the WFS Plan of Action. At its 25th session in June 1999, the CFS developed a Reporting Format for that task at national, sub-regional, regional and international levels.

2. On the basis of the Reporting Format, and in accordance with the plan of work set out by the Committee, Governments submitted, in year 2000, national reports on the progress in the implementation of the first cluster of commitments related to “people-centred” objectives (i.e. Commitment One, Two, Five and the relevant parts of Commitment Seven). In 2002, Governments submitted national reports on Commitments Three, Four, Five and relevant parts of Commitment Seven, relating to “development-centred” objectives.

3. In the process of reviewing the reports, the Committee expressed serious concern over the lack of adequate progress towards the WFS goal of reducing the number of undernourished by half by 2015. Based on 1998-2000 data, the latest estimate of the number of undernourished persons in developing countries in 2002 was 799 million, a decrease of barely 2.5 million per annum over the 8-year period since 1990-92. In response, the CFS, at its 29th Session in May2003, recommended that member countries and the international community take more concerted actions to accelerate the implementation of the WFS Plan of Action. It was felt that better country reporting would help understand why progress in reducing hunger in the developing countries had been so slow.

4. At the 124th Session of the FAO Council in June 2003, the US Delegation (supported by Greece on behalf of the European Community and its fifteen Members States) put forward a proposal to improve the Reporting Format for monitoring progress in the implementation of the WFS Plan of Action. The intent was to develop better country reports which could illustrate best practices in the case of success and indicate possible reasons for slow progress in cases where the implementation process and results were less impressive.

5. The Council endorsed the proposal that the CFS Secretariat, in close collaboration with the Bureau, should:1

6. The Council also recommended that the draft revised Format be developed in consultation with the CFS Bureau, and be submitted to the 125th session of the FAO Council.

7. In an endeavour to analyze the difficulties and underlying reasons for the shortcomings of the current reporting process, the CFS Secretariat has reviewed (i) past documents and comments of the CFS on the reports on the progress in the implementation of the WFS Plan of Action, and (ii) reviewed responses to a questionnaire on the Format sent to Governments of developing countries and countries in transition through the FAO Representatives.

II. THE CURRENT REPORTING PROCESS

8. One major difficulty encountered in the current process is that while most national reports on the implementation of the WFS Plan of Action provided information on policies, programmes and actions taken, few reports provide information on the results of those actions taken or being taken, in terms of reducing the number of the undernourished.

9. In addition, reports are seldom submitted in time in accordance with the deadline set out by the Secretariat. The delay in submission of national reports poses a problem in preparing the synthesis report in time for CFS consideration.

10. Most country reports also did not include information on actions taken on certain key recommendations contained in the Commitments of the Plan of Action. For instance, country reports on the first cluster of Commitments (One, Two and Five) provided scant information on actions relating to: advancing land reform; recognising and protecting property rights, water, and user rights to enhance access to resources by the poor; integrating population concerns into development strategies; and promoting stable employment including off-farm employment in rural areas. In addition, countries affected by natural or man-made disasters seldom reported on steps taken to link post-emergency relief operations to development programmes. Such actions could indeed be key elements and, in some cases, determining factors in reducing hunger and poverty, and thus should be included in reports.

11. As a result of these shortcomings, the synthesis report had been constrained by lack of information on specific actions taken on key recommendations and, in cases where mention was made of actions taken, by lack of information on the impact of such actions in reducing poverty.

12. Countries that made little or no progress in the implementation of the Plan of Action generally failed to provide information on the constraints they faced. In this context, the CFS recommended that in future country reports Governments, inter alia, (i) identify limitations and constraints in the implementation of the Plan of Action, (ii) in addition to reporting on actions taken to implement WFS Plan of Action, indicate the results of these actions2. TheCFS also recommended that national reports provide information on the relative priority of agriculture and food security programmes in national budgets and the impact of those programmes on hunger reduction.

13. The complexity of the WFS Plan of Action, comprising seven commitments, each with a series of sub-objectives and recommendations, which total 27 sub-objectives and 181 recommended actions, also contributes to problems in the current reporting process. The Plan of Action covers a wide array of areas ranging from a commitment to create enabling political, social and economic environment to commitments to formulate and implement policies and action programmes for (i) eradicating poverty and inequality, (ii) promoting sustainable food, agriculture, fisheries, forestry and rural development, (iii) ensuring that food, agricultural trade and overall trade policies are conducive to fostering food security for all, (iv) preventing and being prepared against natural disasters and man-made emergencies, and (v) promoting optimal allocation and use of public and private investments to foster human resources, sustainable food, agriculture, fisheries and forestry systems. In addition, the WFS Plan of Action includes a commitment under which governments have committed to take a series of recommended actions to implement and follow-up the Plan of Action at all levels in cooperation with the international community.

14. Reporting on actions taken and on the results obtained across this broad spectrum of social, economic and political issues indeed is not an easy or a straightforward task. It would appear that the reporting process would benefit if it focussed on the main theme/themes of each commitment, thus reducing the burden placed on countries while possibly contributing to better quality reports.

III. COUNTRY COMMENTS ON THE REPORTING FORMAT

15. In an attempt to understand the impact of the Reporting Format on the current reporting process, the Secretariat sent a questionnaire in August 2003, soliciting countries’ views and comments on the format .3As of 15 September 2003, a total of 51 countries had sent responses.

16. A total of 21 countries considered the Reporting Format difficult to complete. They stated that the information required was very broad and needed to be gathered from a wide variety of sources. They stressed the need for a clear and explicit guide providing examples of the types of information required to complete the Reporting Format.

17. Several other countries stated that the information requested was clear, but that it was the actual process of gathering the information that presented a difficulty. For most countries, the length of the Format was not an issue, but it was the structure that presented difficulties. A number of countries stated that there was a need to develop a qualitatively useful comprehensive Format.

18. Twenty-nine countries reported that they had no Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping Systems (FIVIMS) but, of these, sixteen stated that they had an alternative monitoring system that could provide some, if not all, the information requested. Some countries did have a FIVIMS set up, but one that was not yet fully active.

19. A majority of countries that responded to the questionnaire expressed the desire to discuss the WFS Plan of Action at the regional level. Many countries considered such a discussion essential.

20. Eighteen of 51 countries indicated the desire for financial assistance and stressed the need for technical assistance and training to better monitor hunger and thus enable them to complete the Reporting Format. Some countries felt that it would be useful to give increased publicity to the Format. A majority of countries stressed the importance of sharing lessons learned on successful strategies to reduce the number of undernourished and thus recommended that this be emphasized in the Reporting Format and subsequent conferences. More precisely, countries wished to see which policies worked and which did not in the reduction of the number of hungry. It was noted that conferences at regional levels would allow countries more direct access to this information.

21. On the whole, most countries did wish to exchange information but, due to the breadth of the Plan of Action, found it difficult to identify the key issues and themes being addressed by any one country to reduce hunger. To this end, countries expressed a wish to focus on a few key issues that specifically addressed the problems of poverty and hunger in their countries.

22. There was a clear consensus among countries that completing the Reporting Format was useful but that the Reports should focus on the exchange of experiences among countries. Thirty-nine of 51 countries stated that reporting on all seven commitments was preferable although this was qualified by the proviso that countries should only comment on those that were strictly pertinent to them. It was also pointed out that individual countries should, within this broad framework, focus on those areas where they have made some progress. While AIDS/HIV is not explicitly covered in the WFS Plan of Action, many felt that it should be included in the Reporting Format.

IV. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

23. The attached draft revised Reporting Format has been prepared in line with the request of the FAO Council (as noted in paragraph 6), in consultation with the CFS Bureau. In preparing the revised Reporting Format, the following have been taken into account: (i) issues raised in past documents and comments of the CFS on the reporting process when it reviewed the progress in the implementation of the WFS Plan of Action in 1998, 2000 and 2002 and (ii) comments of Governments in their responses to the questionnaire sent out by the Secretariat in August 2003.

24. The draft revised Reporting Format is divided into four sections, viz (i) Background information on each country, (ii) Priority food security issues and the implementation of the WFS Plan of Action, (iii) Measures taken to implement specific objectives and recommended actions under each commitment, and (iv) Lessons learned – a review of best practices or constraints encountered in reducing hunger.

25. One major attribute of the revised Reporting Format is that, under Section II, each country is expected to give a short statement on the state of food security in that country in the context of its performance in terms of the implementation of the WFS Plan of Action and progress towards the WFS objective of reducing hunger. A list of food security, economic, social and health indicators is provided in the draft Format with a view to obtaining both qualitative and quantitative information.

26. Under Section III, countries are requested to report on the policies and action programmes they are pursuing to implement the Plan of Action, with each country focusing on the commitments and themes pertinent to its situation. A major attribute of the Format under this Section is that the reporting should focus on major themes and on the impact of policies and actions undertaken to reduce hunger. Taking into account the request by the CFS and individual member countries, the draft Format under Section IV also requests information on best practices/or constraints encountered in reducing hunger for exchanging lessons of experience among member countries.

27. It will be recalled that the CFS, at its 24th session, in setting out its work programme for monitoring the implementation of the WFS Plan of Action, had decided to undertake its review of the commitments in two clusters (as indicated in paragraph 2). However, in responding to the Secretariat’s questionnaire on the existing Format, several countries indicated their preference to report on all seven commitments at one time, stressing that each country should report on the commitments most relevant to its situation. The draft revised Reporting Format has been prepared taking into full account the desires expressed by member countries.

28. Given the importance and relevance that countries attach to reviewing progress in the implementation of the WFS Plan of Action at the regional level, the Council may also wish to consider the viability of a sequential approach in reporting on WFS follow-up – first at FAO Regional Conferences and subsequently at CFS. The revised Reporting Format could be used to report on progress by individual countries at Regional Conferences. These documents and the summary of the outcome of the discussions at the Regional Conferences would form the basis for the global report on WFS follow-up, thus allowing the CFS monitoring mechanism to be solidly based on regional analyses and recommendations. By taking into account country, sub-regional and regional constraints in implementing the WFS Plan of Action, this approach should allow formulation of corrective or ameliorative measures at a more disaggregated and meaningful level for specific actions and could thus enhance progress in reducing the number of undernourished.

29. In conclusion, the Council may wish to:

 

DRAFT REVISED REPORTING FORMAT

SECTION I: BACKGROUND INFORMATION

1. Country:    
2. Reporting institution or unit:    
3. Contact person:    
  a) Name and Official Title:    
  b)  Telephone:  E-mail:  Fax: 
       
4. Institutional arrangements established for the follow-up of the WFS Plan of Action
(if any):

 

SECTION II: PIORITY FOOD SECURITY ISSUES AND THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE WORLD FOOD SUMMIT PLAN OF ACTION

Please provide a description (no more than 500 words) of the state of the country’s food security situation, in terms of food availability, stability of supplies and access to food, providing relevant data on the indicators listed below. Please give an indication of the progress made in the implementation of the WFS Plan of Action and in reaching the WFS goal of reducing the number of undernourished by half by 2015. In the case of a lack of progress, please indicate the most pressing constraints the country faces. Countries are encouraged to use the attached list of statistical indicators4.

Member countries wishing to provide information on their external assistance programmes, may wish to submit a separate statement providing a brief description of these programmes and their impact on hunger and lessons learned.

FOOD SECURITY AND RELATED INDICATORS5

INDICATORS

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

Source

1. Food security and economic indicators

Availability

per person dietary energy supply (kcal)
production index
supply per person
protein supply per person
of food imports/export earnings
service ratio
of gross investment in agriculture (in USD)
Stability
price index
of variability of food production
Access
of growth in real GDP per person/per year (%)
index of income distribution
of population living below national poverty line (%)
of population living on less than $ 1 a day (%)
of income spent on food (%)
price index
number of undernourished people
of population undernourished (%)
of children under 5 that are underweight (%)
of children under 5 that are stunted (%)
of children under 5 that are wasted (%)

2. Health and social indicators

Life expectancy at birth (age)

Under-5 mortality rate (%)

Net school enrolment in primary education of children aged 5-12 (%)

Ratio of girls to boys in primary education

Total number of doctors, nurses and other health personnel per 100 000 people

Infant mortality rate (%)

Adult morbidity rate (%)

Adult mortality rate (%)

3. Infectious diseases and HIV/AIDS indicators

Death rate from infectious diseases (%)

Death rate from from HIV/AIDS (%)

Percentage of population orphaned (%)

Percentage of child-headed households (%)

Average age of household head (age)

Rate of population with HIV/AIDS infection (%)

 

SECTION III: RECOMMENDED ACTIONS FOR EACH COMMITMENT AND MEASURES TAKEN

The WFS Plan of Action recommends a variety of actions that countries should undertake to meet the WFS target of reducing the number of undernourished by 2015.

Please elaborate policies pursued and/or action programmes implemented with respect to each commitment, demonstrating, where possible, their impact in terms of contributing to overall social and economic development, poverty alleviation and hunger reduction. Countries may focus on those commitments and themes that are most pertinent to them. Developed countries and international agencies are requested to provide information on their support to developing countries to help them implement the WFS Plan of Action, and to reduce hunger and poverty.

COMMITMENT I

Policies pursued to create an enabling political, social and economic environment. Please give details of strategies or initiatives undertaken by your country with respect to:

  1. Strengthening democratic political systems and broad-based participation;
     
  2. Improving human rights;
     
  3. Preventing conflict and creating a peaceful environment;
     
  4. Enhancing gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Specify what has been or is expected to be the outcome of the strategies implemented.

COMMITMENT II

Policies pursued and actions taken to eradicate poverty and inequality and to improve physical and economic access to food by all. Please give details of strategies or initiatives undertaken with respect to:

  1. Specific policies and targeted interventions to generate income and employment for the poor;
     
  2. Provisions made to develop social safety nets, if any, to meet the needs of the poor, including those affected by HIV/AIDS:

in rural area;

in urban areas;

  1. Measures taken to ensure access to basic education and primary health care.

Specify what has been or is expected to be the impact on the food insecure.6

COMMITMENT III

Measures taken to pursue participatory and sustainable food, agriculture, fisheries, forestry and rural development policies and practices and to combat pests, drought and desertification. Please give details of strategies or initiatives undertaken with respect to:

  1. Policies and actions taken to intensify and diversify food production;
     
  2. Actions taken to combat environmental threats to food security, in particular:

drought and desertification,

pests,

erosion of biological diversity, and

degradation of land and aquatic based natural resources;

  1. Transfer and use of agricultural technologies;
     
  2. Formulation and implementation of integrated rural development.

Specify what has been or is expected to be the impact of each of these actions on income, food availability and food access.

COMMITMENT IV

Measures taken at national level to ensure that food and agricultural trade and overall trade policies are conducive to fostering food security. Please give details of strategies or initiatives undertaken with respect to this commitment.

COMMITMENT V

Measures taken to prevent and to be prepared for natural and man-made disasters. Please give details of strategies or initiatives undertaken with respect to:

  1. Institutional arrangements for early warning and advance information on possible emergencies;
     
  2. Mechanisms in place to combat disasters and to provide rehabilitation for people affected;
     
  3. Watershed management strategies put in place.

Specify what has been or is expected to be the impact of these actions on food availability and access to food.

COMMITMENT VI

Measures taken to promote optimal allocation and use of public and private investments to foster human resources, sustainable food, agriculture, fishery and forestry systems. Please give details on:

  1. Share of the national budget dedicated to agriculture and fisheries;
     
  2. Nature and extent of investment in infrastructure aimed at improving access to markets and food;
     
  3. Initiatives undertaken and resources allocated to promote technology transfers for improved production;
     
  4. Strategies for sustainable watershed management and associated investments.

Specify what has been or is expected to be the impact of these actions.

COMMITMENT VII

Steps taken to facilitate the implementation of the WFS Plan of Action. Please indicate the progress made in establishing:

  1. Institutional arrangements at national and local levels to implement the Plan of Action and monitor the progress of implementation;
     

  2. Food for All campaigns to mobilize stakeholders and their resources at all levels of society in the implementation of the WFS Plan of Action; and
     

  3. Mechanisms to ensure the progressive realization of the right to food for every person in the country.

 

SECTION IV: LESSONS LEARNED A REVIEW OF BEST PRACTICES OR CONSTRAINTS ENCOUNTERED IN REDUCING HUNGER

1. Countries that have succeeded in reducing the number of the undernourished are requested to highlight the policies and action programmes that have contributed to the improvement of food security at local and national levels and indicate the process of implementation that made it possible.

2. Countries that have faced difficulties in implementing the WFS Plan of Action effectively and in reducing the number of the undernourished are requested to provide information on the constraints they face.

EXPLANATORY NOTES ABOUT THE INDICATORS

1. Food security and economic indicators

Average per person dietary energy supply (kcal/p/day)
Food available for human consumption, expressed in kilocalories per person per day (kcal/person/day). At country level, it is calculated as the food remaining for human use after deduction of all non-food consumption (exports, animal feed, industrial use, seed and wastage).

Food production index

Cereal supply per person
Kg per capita per year. Please indicate which cereals are included.

Animal protein supply per person.
Protein per capita per day in grams, estimated from food balance sheets.

Value of food imports/export earnings
Ratio of food imports value/exports of good and services.

Debt service ratio
Ratio of total debt service to exports of good and services.

Value of gross investment in agriculture
Outlays in addition to the fixed assets of the economy plus net changes in the level of inventories, also known as gross capital formation.

Food price index
Change in the cost to the average consumer of acquiring a fixed basket of food.

Index of variability of food production 7
Magnitude of fluctuations in a production curve. (OKAY?)

Rate of growth in real GDP per person/per year
A
nnual percentage growth rate of GDP at market prices, converted into real GDB by a price deflator.

Gini index of income distribution
Extent to which the distribution of income (or, in some cases, consumption expenditure) among individuals or households within an economy deviates from a perfectly equal distribution. A Lorenz curve plots the cumulative percentages of total income received against the cumulative number of recipients, starting with the poorest individual or household. The Gini index measures the area between the Lorenz curve and a hypothetical line of absolute equality, expressed as a percentage of the maximum area under the line. Thus a Gini index of zero represents perfect equality, while an index of 100 implies perfect inequality.

Percentage of population living below national poverty line (%)
Share of population earning less than the nationally defined poverty line.

Percentage of population living on less than $ 1 a day (%)
Share of population living on less than $ 1 a day per person.

Percentage of household income spent on food
Share of total household income that is spent on food items.

Consumer Price Index
Change in cost to the average consumer of acquiring a fixed basket of goods and services. (WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THIS AND FOOD PRICE INDEX?)

Estimated number of undernourished people
Total number of people with dietary energy intake less that the nationally established dietary energy supply requirement (e.g. 2100 kcal/person/day).

Percentage of population undernourished
Share of population with dietary energy intake less that the nationally established dietary energy supply requirement (eg. 2100 kcal/person/day).

Percentage of children under 5 that are underweight
Share of children aged under five years whose weight relative to their age is more than two standard deviations below the average for a reference population of well-nourished children.

Percentage of children under 5 that are stunted
Share of children aged under five years whose height relative to their age is more than two standard deviations below the average for a reference population of well-nourished children.

Percentage of children under 5 that are wasted
Share of children aged under five years whose weight relative to their height is more than two standard deviations below the average for a reference population of well-nourished children.

2. Health and social indicators

Life expectancy at birth
Number of years a newborn would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth stayed the same throughout its life.

Under-5 mortality rate
Probability that a newborn will die before reaching age 5, if subject to current age-specific mortality rates.

Net school enrolment in primary education of children aged 5-12
Number of students enrolled in primary school as a percent of the total number of children aged 5-12 years.

Ratio of girls to boys in primary education
Ratio between the numbers of girls aged 5-12 years to boys aged 5-12 years enrolled in primary education.

Total number of doctors, nurses and other health personnel per 100 000
Number of doctors, nurses and other health personnel per 100 000 persons.

Infant mortality rate
Expected number of children who will die before reaching the age of one year, per 1 000 live births.

Adult morbidity rates
Number of people who are sick or have a disease compared with the number who are well, also known as sickness rate.

Adult mortality rate
Proportion of deaths per 100 000 adults.

3. Infectious diseases and HIV/AIDS indicators

Rate of deaths by infectious diseases
Number of people dying from infectious diseases per year per 100 000 people.

Rate of deaths from HIV/AIDS
Number of people dying from HIV/AIDS per year per 100 000 people.

Percentage of population orphaned
Share of orphans out of the total population.

Average age of household head
National average age of head of household.

Rate of population with HIV/AIDS infection
Share of total population infected by HIV/AIDS.

____________________________

1 Council 124/REP, para 41.

2 Council document: CL 119/14, para.30

3 In view of time limitations to prepare the draft format for the 125th Session of the Council, the questionnaire was sent only to countries where there are FAORs.

4 To prepare the description of the overall food security situation, countries are encouraged to use results from existing monitoring and reporting conducted by other UN bodies and from ongoing monitoring activities of the national FIVIMS or information from PRSP, CCA and UNDAF.

5 Please refer to explanatory notes of these indicators at the end of this document.

6 Examples might be social programmes addressed to meet food needs of poor people.

7 Existing methodologies are being reviewed by FAO to improve the measure of this index. (OKAY?)