093 Bridging humanitarian and sustainable development objectives in food security monitoring

Differences and complementarities among the array of indicators used by international organizations to assess and report on food security

Organizers

  • Permanent Interstate Committee for drought control in the Sahel – CILSS
  • Government of Sudan
  • FAO Statistics Division

Abstract

The transformational vision embedded in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda demands new ways of thinking, doing and measuring. The agenda is country-owned and universal, involving countries of all income levels, each defining their own priorities and monitoring their own progress. The recently adopted global SDG monitoring framework includes two internationally comparable indicators for monitoring SDG Target 2.1 - Ensuring access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food for all: the Prevalence of Undernourishment and the Prevalence of moderate or severe food insecurity based on the Food Insecurity Experience Scale. However few countries have used these indicators to monitor food security in the past; many are more familiar with other food security analysis and classification approaches, such as the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), which has been successfully promoted by FAO together with other UN agencies and is widely used to identify populations in need of urgent action, especially in Africa and Asia. The Cadre Harmonisé is a regional framework adopted by the Permanent Interstate Committee for drought control in the Sahel - CILSS to identify populations affected by food crises and guide measures to improve their food and nutrition security. National governments and regional organizations have called for more clarity on the different approaches to food security assessment and better coordination among international agencies around food security indicators and classification. Coordination must be improved to bridge humanitarian and sustainable development objectives. This side event will provide a space for country-level officials and representatives of regional organizations to discuss the challenges they face in dealing with an array of food security indicators and international agencies, including FAO. Differences and complementarities among the different food security indicators will be clarified, and actions will be identified to improve coordination among UN agencies to support countries and regional organizations in monitoring and/or analyzing their own food security situation.

Key speakers/presenters

  • Jose Moncayo Rosero, Director of the FAO Statistics Division
  • Carlo Cafiero – FAO Statistics Division
  • Jose Lopez – FAO, IPC Global Support Unit
  • Nabeel Ahmed Saad – Ministry of Agriculture and Forests of Sudan
  • Baoua Issoufou - Permanent Interstate Committee for drought control in the Sahel - CILSS

Main themes/issues discussed

The global SDG monitoring framework includes two internationally comparable indicators for monitoring SDG Target 2.1 “Ensuring access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food for all”: the Prevalence of Undernourishment (POU) and the Prevalence of moderate or severe food insecurity based on the Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES). However many countries are more familiar with other food security analysis and classification approaches already in use before the 2030 agenda, such as the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), originally developed to identify populations in need of urgent action.  Differences and complementarities among these food security indicators were discussed, and actions were identified to improve coordination among UN agencies to support countries and regional organizations in monitoring and/or analyzing their own food security situation.

Summary of key points

  • The scope, methods, purpose and meaning of the numbers produced in the context of SDG 2 monitoring, IPC and Cadre Harmonisé (CH) all differ; nevertheless, they complement each other.
  • SDG indicators 2.1.1 (POU) and 2.1.2 (Prevalence of moderate or severe food insecurity based on the FIES) are for global, regional and national monitoring of the extent to which people are able to access food, within the context of monitoring development achievements.
  • They are rigorous quantitative indicators that are globally valid and comparable across countries
  • IPC acute food insecurity analyses aim to identify populations in need of urgent action, to support emergency response planning
  • They are based on convergence of evidence from a number of available sources, each of variable reliability, and many often of limited reliability.
  • They aim to identify where people are in need of immediate response and are action-oriented
  • IPC chronic food insecurity and CH analyses aim to identify populations in need of urgent action to support developmental response planning.
  • IPC and CH analyses consider more solid evidence on structural phenomena to better understand the severity, magnitude and causes of persistent food insecurity and guide development-oriented action.
  • IPC Chronic analyses need to promote and fully integrate the perspectives of statistical rigor that inform SDG indicators and the work that FAO and its partners have dedicated to statistical capacity development.
  • Some data that inform SDG indicators are considered in the IPC Chronic Classification, when available, including household food consumption data (used to calculate the PoU, SDG indicator 2.1.1), the FIES (used to calculate SDG indicator 2.1.2), income data (used to calculate % below poverty line), and child anthropometry (used to calculate the percentage of Child Stunting, Wasting and Overweight).
  • The FIES is an important innovation to fill the existing gap in timely, reliable and globally comparable data on household food insecurity. When analysed with other data collected in population surveys, the FIES can shed light on the drivers and consequences of food insecurity at different levels of severity, ranging from moderate to very high.

Key take away messages

It is important to understand the differences between the indicators: IPC is for targeting areas in need of urgent intervention; SDG indicators (POU and FIES-based indicators) are for monitoring development achievements.

CFS Side Event 093 - Bridging humanitarian and sustainable development objectives in food security monitoring