Committee on World Food Security
 

Sessions

The Round Table discussion will be organized around three main themes, each being the subject of one session, followed by a final session in which the outcome of the discussion will be summarized and specific recommendations advanced.


Session 1 - Food security in the broader economic contexts

12 September

This session will focus on the way forward to (i) broaden the scope of analysis and monitoring various dimensions of food security, and (ii) effectively report results and ensure the broadest access possible. Specific issues to be discussed may include:

a) how to identify indicators needed to capture the various dimensions of malnutrition;
b) how to model the complex relationship existing between economic poverty and interactions with the various forms of malnutrition;
c) discuss the potential for, and the usefulness of developing an FAO based platform to effectively report data and estimates on the various dimensions of malnutrition.

The discussion could address the following issues: (i) the dual importance of sufficient food quantities and dietary quality (food diversity, combination of macro and micronutrients, etc.);  (ii) the “double burden” of malnutrition, linkages of under- and over-nutrition; (iii) the diverging trends between poverty and hunger over the longer-term, including  an analysis of the relationship between income growth and food consumption in general and the limited price and income responsiveness (elasticities) of demand in particular; (iv) the impact of economic crises and short-term price hikes on hunger and malnutrition. The FAO secretariat has started analyzing some of these issues. So far emphasis was placed on capturing the effects of income changes and of volatile food prices on various measures of food insecurity; based on these analyses, this session affords an opportunity to first discuss the results of this efforts and then identify the need for further work.

Session 2 - Gauging food deprivation: Key indicators, scope, limits and needs to improve existing metrics

12 September

In this session, the fundamental elements informing the definition and calculation of FAO PU indicator will be discussed.

The purpose of the session is to gain a common understanding of:

a) what the FAO indicator measures;
b) how to calculate the indicator for an individual country;
c) how improve its quality (timeliness, reliability).

During this session the theoretical bases for the definition and the methodological aspects of the calculation of the FAO hunger measure will be presented. A practical demonstration will help identify the exact data requirements, highlight the importance of data quality, explain processing algorithms and present the software to be used for the actual computations. The appropriate division of labour and the respective roles of the FAO secretariat and individual countries will be an important part of the discussion.

Expected outcomes of the session are shared views on:  (i) the scope and limits of the FAO indicator; (ii) the potential for broadening the range of indicators that can be easily produced within the existing methodology; (iii) options and space to improve the quality of elementary data on production, trade, and consumption for food balance sheets; and (iv) the potential role of data from household surveys.

Session 3 - Capacity development and the fundamental role of countries in providing data for evidence based policy making

13 September

The third session will focus on how to strengthen the role of countries in measuring and monitoring food security. This includes the need to handover ownership of method and parameters to countries as well as a commitment by countries to provide more reliable information on the basic data used to produce the estimates of undernourishment, i.e. estimates on food production, access to food and the evolution of the social and demographic indicators; it would also include a capacity development process that ensures that data and parameters are selected and applied in a way that is consistent with the methodology. The discussion will be organized around three major objectives to identify:

a) data needs for existing and new indicators (reference is made to the outcomes of session 1 and 2);
b) needs for information processing, data storage, and communication to effectively produce and distribute the suite of indicators;
c) initiatives and options to enhance the capacity of Member countries in collecting, validating, processing and publishing data and indicators.

To initiate this process, FAO will present the analytical tools that are already available and discuss new methods, algorithms and software developments. Particular attention will be given to practical examples that demonstrate the impact of data inaccuracies and raise awareness of the importance of data quality more generally. The focus will be on food availability (derived from food balance sheets), access to food (from household income and expenditure surveys), conversion factors, local price monitoring, etc.

Further initiatives, in addition to those already conducted by FAO in improving data collection, validation, processing and dissemination methods and efforts (such as CountrySTAT, National Demonstration Centers for Food Security Indicators, etc.) will be discussed.

Session 4 - Measuring Hunger: What is required for policy-making?

September 13

This session will wrap-up the main conclusions from discussion in the previous sessions and consolidate them into a set of recommendations for further action.

12 September

10:15 – 12:30 - Session 1
Food security in the broader economic contexts

14:30 – 17:30 - Session 2
Gauging food deprivation: Key indicators, scope, limits and needs to improve existing metrics

13 September

9:30 – 12:30 - Session 3
Capacity development and the fundamental role of countries in providing data for evidence based policy making

14:30 – 16:30 - Session 4
Measuring Hunger: What is required for policy-making?