Facilitator: Naoki Minamiguchi; Rapporteur: Maria Tuazon
Addressing the V in FIVIMS: presented by Christian Lovendal
18. Christian Lovendal noted the importance of the V component of FIVIMS. The Consultation was informed that food security was a dynamic concept and that food insecurity today should be differentiated from vulnerability to food insecurity in the future. The former measures ex post status while vulnerability measures ex ante probability. Specifically, food security determines the physical and economic access at all times to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life at present. On the other hand, vulnerability measures the propensity to fall, or stay, below a given food security threshold.
19. The speaker pointed out that vulnerability is a function of present conditions, risks, shocks and trends and risk management ability. He noted that policy responses to improve food security in the future needed to be based on a thorough understanding of vulnerability and its causal factors.
20. In conclusion, the Consultation was reminded that we should think of food security also in the future and not only in the past. Moreover, reducing food security requires an overall strategy that includes addressing both static and dynamic causal factors. Policy instruments should likewise be comprehensive to include a mix of supportive interventions/ coping mechanisms as well as prevention and mitigation. Finally, reducing food insecurity requires both a longer term rural development as well as interventions addressing immediate food needs.
Identifying Food Insecure and Vulnerable Areas in the Philippines through FIVIMS: presented by Arlene Reario
21. Arlene Reario began her presentation by reiterating the definition of food insecurity and enumerating the objectives of her paper. A composite index based on 12 core FIVIMS indicators had been used to identify and characterize food insecure and vulnerable provinces. Specifically, the Consultation noted that six out of ten provinces in the Philippines were identified as vulnerable to food insecurity at varying degrees. These findings were consistent with the findings of the countrys Sixth National Nutrition Survey.
22. Three provinces which were classified as very vulnerable and eight provinces classified as very very vulnerable were areas of serious concern where there were the highest number of income poor households, high expenditure on food (particularly cereals), lowest access to safe water, highest prevalence of malnutrition among children and adults, highest percentage of working children and lowest cohort survival rate.
23. Expectedly, the Consultation noted that the not vulnerable provinces were composed of more progressive provinces and recognized as Centers of Agro-industry. In general, the Consultation observed a worsening food insecurity and vulnerability scenario using the 12 indicators of the Philippine FIVIMS.
24. The Consultation was informed that results of FIVIMS data have been used by government and non-government institutions/organizations for policy formulation, program/project identification, resource allocation and area prioritization for interventions.
A Food Insecurity Atlas of Indonesia, its Indicators and Usefulness for Vulnerability Mitigation: presented by Iwan Fortuna Malonda
25. Iwan Malonda stressed to the Consultation that food insecurity is a multidimensional issue making it complex and challenging. Of particular interest for a country like Indonesia composed of about 17 000 islands is the spatial heterogeneity e.g. poor people tend to be clustered in specific areas. This is aggravated by the fact that most aggregated national level data hide sub-national variations. In Indonesia mapping a spatial representation and analysis of indicators were therefore important instruments for investigating and identifying social, economic and environmental problems.
26. Food security systems are the concerns of various stakeholders like government, people, producers, distributors and consumers. The system should be maintained at all times. Food surveillance is a system that addresses vulnerability mitigation. Early detection, further detection, and intensive detection followed by rehabilitation efforts and prevention efforts were necessary. The conceptual framework of food insecurity analysis (FIA) was also presented and it was reported that the FIA has been developed within a broad framework detailing all aspects of chronic food insecurity, viz., food availability, livelihood access as well as health and nutrition.
27. The Consultation noted that the National Food Security Council of the Government of Indonesia and the World Food Programme (WFP) of the United Nations (UN) collaborated in analyzing the food insecurity situation and to develop strategies to address the problems. One of the end products of this collaboration is the Food Insecurity Atlas of Indonesia (FIA).
28. Ten indicators were selected to describe chronic food insecurity of which the broad categories of indicators include: food availability, food access, food utilization, and four other indicators for transient food insecurity such as rainfall fluctuation, forest area, flood prone and area damaged by pests and disease.
29. It was pointed out that availability of data was the biggest constraint. Many parts of the country are susceptible to natural calamities, such as volcano eruption, earthquake, tsunami, flood, landslide and drought. This vulnerability to natural disasters and other shocks lead to transient food insecurity, which affect those who are chronically food insecure, as well as others who are food secure in normal times.
30. The composite food insecurity map was prepared by computing a composite food insecurity index that combined the indicators with weights assigned by a statistical method such as the Principal Component Analysis. The composite map shows food insecure areas using a combination of various dimensions of food insecurity. By overlaying the chronic food insecurity map on transient food insecurity indicators, one can see the areas that explain both chronic as well as transitory food insecurity. This will provide the basis for the development of better contingency plans, involving the community in disaster preparedness.
31. Colour coded maps were also developed for showing the degrees of food insecurity which included very high, high and moderately high food insecure areas. These were depicted in three shades of red and moderate low, low and very low under food secure categories depicted in three shades of green.
32. Clarifications were sought on three main issues: the first was on the use of different terminologies or classifications for identifying the food insecure or vulnerable, whether it was necessary to have the classifications so fine tuned and with such a high level of specificity or disaggregation; second, what was the power of prediction, which of those classifications were sensitive, what is the most sensitive indicator for the future; and third, which indicators would be useful for policy applications and extent of FIVIMS data utilization, who are the users and at which level.
33. It was agreed that within vulnerable areas there are households who are not vulnerable and vice versa and so identification on vulnerability by area has its limitations. On the power of prediction, it should be noted that there are a lot of unknowns in dealing with risk assessment.
34. On the definition of terms, the Consultation was also informed that in the Philippines the categorization of areas using FIVIMS data was consistent with data derived from other surveys which used the indicators having a high predictive value. FIVIMS data have been used for policy and program formulation. To attest to this, the President of the Philippines has used FIVIMS data to launch a National Program on Hunger. FIVIMS data enabled prioritization of provinces for action.
35. The Consultation was informed that though three categories of color codes for food insecurity were used in Indonesia, the government officials have requested more specific/detailed categories that would lead to better targeted action. He also mentioned that to date, three food security staff in each provincial food security office in 33 provinces all over Indonesia had been trained in FIVIMS.
36. A query from Bangladesh was raised on how FIVIMS activities are being coordinated and the degree of interlinks with other sectors. It was reiterated that as far as FIVIMS was concerned, indicators related to food access, equity and quality were required. It was also urged that FIVIMS activities need to connect to key policy instruments such as the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP).
37. The Consultation noted that in the Philippines, since the NNC acts as the national FIVIMS focal point, there is participation and involvement from various sectors. There was information sharing among the members of FIVIMS and this information was also shared with other users like NGOs. The same was true for Indonesia. With the multisectoral composition of the National Food Security Council, intersectoral involvement was expectedly inevitable.
38. The Consultation was informed that a three-stage statistical test was used in the Philippines. First, a principal component analysis was done followed by cluster analysis and then sensitivity tests. The need to identify vulnerability at the individual level citing the case of vulnerability due to gender bias was emphasized and shared by various participants of the consultation. In addition to the geographic dimension, social as well as temporal considerations should also be examined.
39. The Consultation was reminded about the FAO FIVIMS Scientific Symposium in Rome 2002 on Measurement and Assessment of Food Deprivation and Undernutrition where different measures of food insecurity were discussed. Five main methodologies were highlighted: how much energy is available in national diets based on food balance sheets; household income data, household food intake data and anthropometric measurement as outcome measures. More recently qualitative methods were being tested and validated for measurement of food insecurity.
40. The Consultation noted that it maybe useful to integrate FIVIMS activities with other national activities/plans being monitored by FAO like the National Plan of Action for Nutrition (NPAN).
Facilitator: Mark Smulders; Rapporteur: R. Selvaraju and Arlene Reario
41. Prior to the commencement of the session, an emphasis was made on the importance of the utility of the information that were being generated and the purpose for which they were generated. The Consultation was reminded of the added value and the cross sectoral/multidisciplinary nature of the FIVIMS approach and how this relates to work at the country level. This was linked to intersectoral collaboration.
Assessment of Food Insecurity and Vulnerability and Development of Vulnerability Forecasting Methodology for Sri Lanka: Presented by Ranjith Desilva
42. The vulnerability of vulnerability assessment methodologies used in Sri Lanka was outlined. In Sri Lanka, the administrative structure is based on 9 provinces, 25 districts, 328 divisional secretariats and 14 016 Grama Niladari Divisions. The sources of data for vulnerability studies come from many institutions and the problem was that some of the data were not directly for the above administrative units but for different spatial units.
43. The analysis includes 17 administrative districts within seven (7) provinces of Sri Lanka excluding Northern and Eastern provinces and districts. The main categories identified are: i) availability of food, (ii) accessibility and affordability of food, (iii) health and nutritional status of people and (iv) proxy variables. Availability of food includes crop production, livestock population and production, total annual rainfall and distribution, population density and agricultural holdings. Some of the production data represents different spatial units such as Mahaweli system H. Rainfall data were based on agro-ecological regions and area weighted values were used to represent rainfall for districts. The data under food affordability and accessibility include road density, railway density, household income and expenditure on food.
44. The analysis was extended to use the actual data and rank variables separately. Further, the analysis included the vulnerability mapping for each main category. Also, the entire set of variables was pooled and analyzed for food insecurity and vulnerability. Factor analysis helps to identity the key variables responsible for food insecurity in each district. This methodology could be extended to forecast the food insecurity and vulnerability using the temporal dynamic of identified key variables.
45. Two different mapping techniques were used which included equal interval and natural breaks. Identification of factors that helps to monitor the dynamics of vulnerability and forecast the status of food security was necessary.
Food Security Phase Classification Concepts and Practice in Somalia: Presented by Nicholas Haan
46. Nicholas Haan from the Food Security Analysis Unit (FSAU) Project, FAO, Nairobi, Kenya outlined the food security phase classification concepts and practice in Somalia. He presented a tool which included the integrated food security and humanitarian phase classification and the methodology that focused on linking information into action. It was pointed out that various levels of food security were required to be linked explicitly to make it actionable. The need to make the food security analysis more rigorous was emphasized. Spatial and temporal comparability were very essential and evidence- based analysis was the foundation of decision-making. Other existing systems having limited indicators were not inclusive of all stages of food security and were not explicitly linked to action.
47. In integrated food security and humanitarian phase classification integrated existing classification of single indicators: Integrated lives and livelihoods, integrated information and action, integrated food and nutritional security. The phases identified were famine, humanitarian emergency, food and livelihood crisis, alert, chronic food insecurity and generally food secure. Each of these phases was associated with responses. The classification system depended on phases, reference characteristics and strategic response framework.
48. In addition to the phase classification, other complementary components to facilitate action are early warning (projected trend, high risk, moderate risk), sustained conditions, key underlying causes, key immediate causes, magnitude, social characteristics and also confidence level. Inclusion of confidence level is very important to make a pro-active decision. Explaining the results of the analysis for Somalia, Nick Haan pointed out that the maps incorporated all immediate causes, underlying causes and magnitude and risks, which served as tools presenting complex information, provided utility for action and also served to compare the food security temporally.
49. While the method increased analytical rigour and consistency, enabled consensus building and allowed comparison over space and time, it also required robust validation. Revisions were made to identify linkages with global initiatives and are now being considered for institutionalization in FAO.
FIVIMS in India - User needs and Links to Government Policy: Presented by Anita Chaudhary
50. Ms Chaudhary informed the Consultation that food availability in India is no longer a problem. The emphasis has shifted to economic and physical access of food. This was being achieved in part through employment generation schemes and subsidized food grains through the public distribution system.
51. There are a number of schemes targeting food and nutrition security. A life-cycle approach has been adopted to cover every phase of food security and nutrition. The outcomes in terms of better nutritional status are yet to be achieved. FIVIMS in India needs to be implemented on a much wider scale. The vulnerability profiling indicators need to be periodically updated and refined. The livelihood approach is not always successful and Ms Chaudhary stressed the importance of multiple approaches. The household economy approach provides key coping strategies and disaggregating of malnutrition on the basis of gender and age. The recent addition is nutrition indicators monitoring, but action related to this indicator has been negligible.
52. In India there are the Atlas on Food Security and Atlas on Sustainability of Food Security, which help understand the overall perspective of the food security at the macro level. Initiatives are being made to use these at the district level. FIVIMS is expected to eventually help gather information at the household level. FIVIMS needs to address the problems related to transitory lack of access to adequate food by taking into account availability of food grains with Food Corporation of India (FCI), its transportation to the fair price shops, variations in food prices, trends in the short term and the long term, to monitoring the well-being of the targeted groups.
53. Coordination and networking within existing information systems such as early warning systems, nutrition and food consumption survey, agriculture production survey, environmental assessment and household budget are necessary. Capacity building is also one of the prerequisites at the ground level. The initiatives need to be linked to the government policies. Disaster management techniques need to be established at the state level to tackle the situation. Village grain bank schemes to be managed by local people need to be situated in food scarce areas, for which FIVIMS results should be able to provide necessary support. Under the public distribution system, food and nutritional security issues need to be combined. Gender and child budgeting are also important. The integrated information system for food grain management needs to be linked with FIVIMS.
FIVIMS in India: Review of Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Mapping Methodologies: Presented by Manish Tiwari
54. Manish Tiwari, Consultant, TCP project FIVIMS in Himachal Pradesh, India and Nepal highlighted the methods and outputs of the FIVIMS project using a livelihood approach. The limitations of the livelihood approach relate to the fact that there are many transitory and structural factors connected to a livelihood. The livelihood approach works well in a simple household economy scenario, particularly when a household economy is based on a single source of income.
55. Brainstorming workshops are very essential to tap available knowledge. Challenges related to implementation during field work, analysis of secondary data and literature were identified. Other factors included personnel and time. Responsive capacity of the state is critical to the success of FIVIMs. Each country and state is different with respect to absorbing capacity. An organizational structure at different levels was proposed.
Classification of Rural and Urban Areas According to the Prevalence of Food Insecurity and Poverty in Cape Verde: Presented by Francoise Trine
56. Francoise Trine reported that Cape Verde is poor in natural resources, prone to drought and with only 10 per cent arable land and is heavily dependent on food imports, sometimes in the form of aid. All rural and urban areas of the country have been classified according to a Vulnerability Index, with technical assistance from the Secretariat of the Inter Agency Working Group on FIVIMS and financial support from the European Commission (EC).
57. The Vulnerability Index measures the prevalence of factors associated with chronic food insecurity and poverty (FIP) among the households. The index is created as a function of the most relevant variables of the 2 000 Demographic Census, using the principal components analysis method. Areas with an index score above a selected threshold level have been classified as vulnerable.
58. A survey carried out in one of the 17 municipalities of the country (400 households) showed the excellent capacity of the method to identify areas with a relatively higher prevalence of FIP according to criteria more directly relevant to food security than those available in the demographic census, including the rates of chronic and acute malnutrition among children, recent drop out rates from school and participation in public labour intensive schemes.
59. The analysis of the results raised important issues on the type of targeting and whether the targeting should be based on the proportion or the number of households in food insecurity. In Cape Verde, where rural migration is very high (more than half of the population is now considered urban), targeting based on the proportion of FIP households will lead to the identification of areas of departure of migrants which are less populated and where living conditions are poor. Densely populated areas with a high number of FIP households (urban of urbanized rural areas around the cities) will only be taken into consideration by this type of targeting if they are characterized by a high density of FIP. In practice, it is useful to offer the two types of targeting to better serve government policy.
60. The classification provides a useful basis to identify areas where households are most likely to have problems to cope with shock but is not sufficient to monitor households vulnerability. Other information needed are on the shocks themselves (prevalence, intensity, frequency) and households strategies to address them, taking advantage of their specific livelihoods and local opportunities.
61. The main advantages of the Vulnerability Index are that it allows the comparison of population groups at any level of aggregation according to identical and objective criteria for the whole country using statistically recognized methods. It is simple to understand and use, and allows monitoring of food insecurity trends and measurement of the impact of the interventions in the medium and long term on each population group using data from newly conducted surveys. The limitations are that it simplifies a reality which is complex. It is therefore important to validate the results in collaboration with people who know the local circumstances.
Food and Nutrition Security in India - Bridging the Gaps in Measurement and Mapping: Presented by Nisha Srivastava
62. The Consultation was briefed on the challenges of Vulnerability Assessment and Mapping (VAM) and the assessment at sub-national and disaggregated levels. The World Food Programme (WFP), India Country Office in collaboration with the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), has brought out the Food Insecurity Atlas of Rural India which was released by the Prime Minister of India in April 2001. This was followed by the publication of the Food Insecurity Atlas of Urban India, released by H.E. the President of India in October 2002. The third publication in the series is the Atlas of the Sustainability of Food Security in India, released at the National Food Security Summit in February 2004. This is a pioneering attempt not only on mapping food insecurity at the country level, but also in understanding the multiple dimensions of food insecurity and evolving a methodology to combine these into a single measure of food insecurity.
63. The VAM Unit of the WFP is currently engaged in using methodologies such as Small Area Estimation Technique to identify poverty and malnutrition at the village level in the state of Uttaranchal. Food Insecurity Profiles for some states for intra-district analysis has also been prepared. Further work on this is planned under the aegis of the Alliance Against Hunger, coordinated by the Government of India (GOI). The WFP is coordinating with the National Sample Survey Organization, an apex government data collection agency, to collect district level data on poverty and access to food assistance schemes.
64. VAM has several strengths in analysis and could benefit from more dynamic data information systems. The Consultation agreed that there was need to harmonize FIVIMS and VAM efforts to achieve desirable common objectives.
Dietary Diversity as a Tool to Measure Food Security - Project Experiences from Asia: Presented by Lalita Bhattacharjee
65. Dietary diversity was highlighted as a tool to measure food security. It was emphasized that eating a variety of foods is very important to fulfill the daily energy, macro and micronutrient requirements for all age groups, including the vital phytonutrients. Dietary diversity is the sum of a number of different foods consumed by an individual over a specified time period.
66. Field experiences from Asia showed that dietary diversity is correlated with energy levels of the diet, seasonal changes in food security and that measures of dietary diversity are highest just after harvest and lowest during the lean season including emergency situations. Measuring household dietary diversity as a proxy measure of household food access can also help better reflect a quality diet along with the number of different food groups consumed.
67. Dietary diversity assessment provides valuable information for identifying and targeting vulnerable populations for food aid and intervention programmes. When dovetailed with integrated livelihoods approaches, dietary diversity assessment has a much better potential to inform appropriate policies and interventions. Incorporating nutrition indicators such as dietary assessment, measures of micronutrient status and anthropometric measurements in FIVIMS would help to strengthen these systems.
Issues raised and discussed
68. Several questions were raised in the session which included the meaning of coping mechanism and the dimensions of coping that are not related to nutrition. Based on the study in India, it was reported that hunger is measured by surveys to probe into peoples perception of hunger, particularly on whether they skipped meals or not and related questions. In these surveys, dietary sufficiency is not measured. Self targeting indicators are used for this type of measurement.
69. With regard to dietary diversity in Sri Lanka, there were likely to be differences in the nutritional quality of diets of Central and Northeast Sri Lanka. Dietary diversity assessment carried out through the WFP post tsunami nutrition survey and FAO project showed poor diversity in the diets of all the tsunami affected populations. It also correlated well with anthropometric measurements. It was pointed out that the national nutrition survey conducted in 2000 also showed high levels of underweight and stunting in the northeast which showed that malnutrition has been a longstanding problem in that region.
70. Dietary diversity as an indicator can be quantified especially if information on the frequency of consumption of different foods is collected. The process included assigning a weighted sum to the frequency of consumption which gives a better picture of the dietary/nutrient profile. Dietary diversity correlates with anthropometric measurements emerge as clear validation outcomes of nutrition.
71. On the issue of whether dietary diversification is better than food fortification, the Consultation noted that both the strategies could complement each other. Food fortification efforts have been demonstrated as cost-effective in reducing micronutrient deficiencies in some countries. A sharing of experiences was suggested and recommended. It was pointed out that dietary diversification is a cheaper method than food fortification and in the long term, is a more sustainable approach to combating micronutrient malnutrition.
72. The Consultation was informed that VAM has helped countries understand vulnerability. FIVIMS promotes best practices to better understand who are the food insecure and vulnerable. A need was identified to integrate VAM and FIVIMS initiatives in India. FIVIMS efforts in the Philippines and Bangladesh have been shared with Central Asia. The Consultation likewise recommended this integration to Southeast Asian countries and those countries which are just starting to adopt FIVIMS methodologies. It was pointed out that a single annual meeting of four days is not enough to present all the current practices since a lot of knowledge needs to be shared. The chairperson emphasized that there was a need to demonstrate to Japanese donors that Asia FIVIMS is moving fast.
Facilitator: Biplab K. Nandi; Rapporteurs: Lalita Bhattacharjee, Jintana Yhoung-Aree
Bangladesh: Presented by Gopal Chandra Sen
73. The Consultation was informed that the National Planning Commission was designated as focal agency for the establishment of FIVIMS with the Chief of the Programming Division as National Focal Point. FIVIMS serves as a tool for measuring the extent of hunger and poverty, and information generated by FIVIMS is intended to be utilized for formulation of food security policies and improve action programmes.
74. FIVIMS Bangladesh functions under the leadership of a 13-member inter-ministerial steering committee with the Planning Secretary as its Chairperson and is backed up by a 39 member inter-ministerial technical committee and 14 member interagency task force.
75. Major FIVIMS outputs to date include the Manual of Operations, Baseline Report on Agro-Economic and Social Vulnerability Assessment, Baseline Report on Nutrition and Health, Data Inventory, Bangladesh FIVIMS. Further, the Consultation was informed that Bangladesh FIVIMS makes use of various data sources generated by various governmental agencies.
76. The most recent publication is the Food Security Atlas of Bangladesh 2004 which is a collaborative effort between the Bangladesh Planning Commission, Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics and the World Food Programme (WFP). The document contains statistical information on food availability, access, poverty and nutrition among others. The document has been prepared on the basis of ten indicators. The document has been prepared on the basis of disaster prone areas such as flood, erosion and cyclone prone areas were also identified in preparing this atlas. It has also been found useful in the preparation of PRSP.
Cambodia: Presented by It Nody and Kuy Huot
77. It Nody and Kuy Huot shared with the Consultation that National FIVIMS in Cambodia was initiated in 1999. FIVIMS moved from the Ministry of Rural Development to the Ministry of Forestry and Fisheries in November 2002. FIVIMS plays an important role in producing quality information which is disseminated to all involved sectors in order to improve policy formulation, management and effective design of intervention programs.
78. In response to addressing food insecurity and poverty and the very high rates of child and maternal malnutrition in some of the provinces, the National Poverty Reduction Strategy and Cambodia Nutrition Investment Plan (CNIP) 2003-2007 was launched as a nationwide plan covering both rural and urban areas and focusing on children and women. Besides that the government has localized the MDGs and launched the Rectangular Strategy in order to meet the MDGs.
79. To date, the achievements of the National FIVIMS of Cambodia include: Compiling of FIVIMS Manual of Operations, establishment of an institutional framework to operationalize FIVIMS, organization of inter-ministerial committee, Technical Sub-Committee and FIVIMS secretariat and National FIVIMS Network, capacity-building of members of Technical Committee and Core Analyst Group on ADDATI, Excel, GIS, SPSS, Drought Monitoring and Assessment and KIDS establishment of FIVIMS website, development of appropriate FIVIMS indicators, establishment of FIVIMS database and compilation and distribution of FIVIMS newsletter to various stakeholders.
80. The Consultation noted that major constraints encountered included lack of funding, time limitation, lack of strong support from government and other agencies and lack of data at some of the provincial and district levels.
81. Data sources and collection include national and provincial departments of various sectors, International Organizations, NGOs and the private sector. These sectors/departments play vital roles in sharing information related to FIVIMS and for its efficient operation. Development of an appropriate mechanism for information providers has been a major challenge for FIVIMS with reporting and dissemination of documents to stakeholders being an important part of the operations.
82. Recommendations forwarded include generating adequate support particularly from involved agencies, conduct of regular meetings for advocacy and sensitization, capacity development, resource generation and integration of FIVIMS into government policies and programs and strengthening cooperation among stakeholders. There is also a need to agree on a common set of indicators for measuring food insecurity and vulnerability.
Lao PDR: Presented by Savanh Hanephom
83. The Consultation noted that the Lao government policy was to liberate the country from the group of least developed countries (LDCs) by the year 2020 through a strategy of growth with equity, eradication of basic poverty and creation of an enabling environment for overall development. Four key sectors were identified to realize this goal, namely, agriculture and forestry, education, health and road infrastructure.
84. The poverty situation in Lao PDR has been improving with reduction of poverty levels from 45 per cent in 1992 to 32 per cent in 2003. The National Growth and Poverty Eradication Strategy (NGPES) includes a comprehensive poverty assessment (with both quantitative and qualitative indicators) and presents a comprehensive framework for growth and development, defining strategies to increase growth and reduce poverty, with a focus to reduce inequity.
85. Vulnerability analysis and mapping (VAM) activities in collaboration with the WFP have been in progress in Lao PDR. VAM analysis is based on eight main indicators including rice production/capita, livestock/household, forest area (ha)/household, per cent of villages within six km of main road, percent of population with no education and crude death rate, malaria and unexpected ordnance (UXO).
86. A national FIVIMS inception and sensitization workshop supported by the FAO -Asia FIVIMS Trust Fund Project was conducted in June 2005 and recommended a series of activities for FIVIMS implementation to establish and operationalize a national FIVIMS. Future activities recommended until the end of 2005 include the MAF unit to assume responsibility of FIVIMS coordination, to define TORs for FIVIMS coordination including a mechanism to share FIVIMS outputs with the Steering Committee, identify core group members, undertake capacity building, designating a FIVIMS focal point in line ministries and defining an operational framework for FIVIMS and determining methodologies.
87. The activities for the year 2006-2007 include capacity building of core group members, operationalization and monitoring of food security under NGPES through development of multi-sectoral strategies; priority for action include: strengthening market information, revising and strengthening implementation of the national plan of action for nutrition (NPAN), regional training on implementation of food security and nutrition and support for the next agricultural census. Specifically, the programmes of NPAN include household food production, promotion of breastfeeding, food supplementation/nutrition education, iodization of salt, micronutrient supplementation, food safety and quality control and water and sanitation.
Myanmar: Presented by Soe Win Maung
88. The Consultation was informed that in Myanmar, FIVIMS was viewed as both an information and mapping system. The first FIVIMS map came out in August 2002 which identified food insecure and vulnerable townships. Several indicators related to availability, access, utilization and outcome were used. Data revealed that most of the townships in delta, flat plains areas are not so vulnerable as compared to the townships in hilly and mountainous areas.
89. As regards food and nutrition activities, the Central Board of Food and Nutrition (CBFN) had been formed since November 1995. A Food and Nutrition Policy of Myanmar was laid down and National Plan of Action for Nutrition (NPAN) was formulated. Currently, it is focusing on improving household food security, food quality and food safety, improving nutrition related health care services and prevention of malnutrition and nutrition promotion actions.
90. Recommendations included establishment of food and nutrition information system, organization of focal point for management of the information system, improving FIVIMS methodologies, capacity-building, information sharing and awareness raising on FIVIMS.
91. FIVIMS was yet to be established in Myanmar. There was a need to undertake a number of activities to review methodologies, select indicators and determine its practical applications.
Thailand: presented by Montol Jeamcharoen and Songsak Srianujata
92. It was shared with the Consultation that the National FIVIMS in Thailand became fully operational in 2002 with the Office of Agricultural Economics (OAE) as focal point agency. The Government through the OAE has been actively participating and supporting the FIVIMS program with the assistance from FAO-RAP and Asia FIVIMS. A multi-agency National FIVIMS Committee (NFC) and a Technical Sub-Committee (TSC) were likewise established and tasked to draft the Manual of Operations and these were approved by the NFC. Likewise, the roles and responsibilities of the various committees were mentioned.
93. The Consultation was shown the Conceptual Framework of Food Insecurity and Vulnerability which served as a guide for the identification and selection of indicators. To date a total of 37 (from an initial list of 60) indicators has been selected. These indicators are already being collected by various agencies. Data sources and level of disaggregation have also been identified. The Technical Analyst Working-Group (TAWG) was also established to perform statistical data analysis. The available data sources were used for a test run and the resulting tables and mappings of various levels of vulnerability areas were presented.
94. The FIVIMS operational framework from data source to data banking and management to information dissemination and transfer and data utilization was likewise presented.
95. The processes of communication and advocacy have been carried out through the stages of development. Capacity development, networking and linkages were identified as the main enabling mechanisms to facilitate the implementation of FIVIMS. Future activities have been identified and presented to the TSC and NFC which are intended to further strengthen and disseminate FIVIMS information nationwide. Further advocacy activities have also been planned, especially for the policy-makers at ministerial and cabinet levels.
Issues raised and discussed
96. The Consultation was reminded that in most of the presentations on national FIVIMS there are references to achieving MDGs. It was pointed out that of the 48 indicators under the MDGs, 33 are in the list of Selected National Indicators for FIVIMS. This shows that there is a high degree of overlap and agreement on key indicators across sectors, which further justifies the need for multi-collaboration at the country level.
97. The role of the NGOs in FIVIMS was also raised. In countries like Bangladesh where NGOs play a very important role, NGOs like Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC) and Grameen Bank have been involved. The Consultation noted that the countries were at different stages of establishment of FIVIMS. This can be partly due to different priorities of the government which translate to funding support given to FIVIMS activities. In Bangladesh, for example, the government is more concerned with PRSP while Cambodia and Lao PDR have mainstreamed FIVIMS in their national effort. It seems it is more advantageous if FIVIMS can be integrated with other national initiatives particularly in policy formulation.
98. It was noted from Thailand that FIVIMS tools and methodologies have led to the production of information products, which were shared with the policy-makers. There was a need to know better how FIVIMS information can be more often utilized by the policy-makers. There was a need to dialogue with the end users and also examine how FIVIMS is being evaluated. The cost effectiveness of use of FIVIMS products needs to be examined as also how FIVIMS can contribute to success. Policy-makers need to first better understand who the food insecure and vulnerable people are and then what should be done. This understanding can guide policy and programme formulation and action as well as promote importance and utilization of FIVIMS outputs.
99. The Consultation recognized that advocacy plays an important role in the establishment and implementation of FIVIMS and as such is an integral component of the entire process. It was pointed out that increased FIVIMS data utilization should also be one of the deliberate outcomes of National FIVIMS.
100. Another issue highlighted with regard to the FIVIMS outcome was how national systems are designed and if the scope of indicators could be broadened to include educational and social components apart from spatial and temporal dimensions of food security. Strengthening of capacity building through FIVIMS was also raised and was viewed as being central to FIVIMS and related initiatives.
Facilitator: Christian Lovendal; Raporteurs: Naoki Minamiguchi, Ranjith Desilva
Application of Climate Information for Reducing Vulnerability to Food Insecurity Associated with Natural Disasters: Presented by R. Selvaraju
101. The presentation focused on the need and approach for climate forecast application in the context of food security and resource management. It was noted that timely and usable localized climate information would be useful for any proactive management strategies to reduce the vulnerability to food insecurity at the household level. The need for an integrated approach for climate forecast applications in addressing food insecurity issues was stressed and this involved need and capacity assessments, assessment of available technology, capacity building through partnerships, institutionalizing end-to-end climate forecasts application and monitoring and evaluation.
102. The importance of translating generic climate information produced at national and policy level into location specific impact outlooks and management plans was underlined. The current food production systems in Bangladesh were highlighted. These were more vulnerable to the natural disasters due largely to crop intensification efforts started in the 1960s. Consequently, mono-cropped areas were converted to multi-crop area and rice occupied the major crop seasons. As a result, rice has become increasingly susceptible to natural disasters and there are fluctuations in production and ultimately food insecurity. Crop intensification with cereals has replaced the traditional legume and oilseed based crop systems leading to ill balanced diets affecting nutritional security.
103. Consequently, food and nutrition insecurity aggravated through crop intensification can be effectively addressed through providing climate information to national policy-makers, food and agriculture programme officials, extension officers and farmers.
104. In Bangladesh, irrigated rice is being grown in dry seasons and has replaced pulses which have low water requirements. The appropriate strategy to address this issue would be to re-concentrate the rice cultivation in the monsoon season and cultivate pulses and oilseeds during the dry season. Rice production during the monsoon season could be improved further by using weather and climate information. Given the current forecasting systems in Bangladesh, there is need generation of site specific climate information that can serve as an important step to address the household food insecurity issues in smallholder farming systems.
105. A sound understanding of the causes of climate variability and knowledge on developing decision alternatives based on forecasting was stressed as being essential for effectively managing food production systems under variable climates.
Food Security and Safety Policy and Vulnerability Relief: Presented by Shobar Wiganda
106. Food security evaluation in Indonesia highlighted the food security status in 2005 which was noted to be satisfactory. It was noted that there is relatively enough food availability, but food accessibility for poor people continues to be a challenge.
107. The Consultation noted that the Government of Indonesia expressed strong commitment to strengthening the food security and safety system in the country. Indonesia continues to search and develop any regulation which will be beneficial to developing food security and safety systems as well as for mitigation or emergency relief from a hazardous natural disaster or social riot risk in the country.
108. Among the Indonesian experts in food security and safety area there is a strong desire to apply Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) for small and medium-scale industries, even though basic knowledge of hygiene and sanitation, not to mention Good Agriculture Practices (GAP) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), the pre-requisites for HACCP are often absent. Therefore, much attention is being given to the role of the Government in disseminating knowledge on food safety and to consumers and other stakeholders involved in dealing with the process of food safety policy.
Ensuring Nutritional Security during Disasters - Philippine Experience: Presented by Arlene Reario
109. The Consultation was informed that FIVIMS can play an important role in the prevention and reduction of risk to vulnerability during disasters. Through FIVIMS, high risk areas and groups for malnutrition can be identified and prioritized. FIVIMS can also facilitate continuous monitoring of the nutritional status of the affected population. The case of the municipality of Infanta, in Quezon depicted the worst hit areas when a series of tropical cyclones occurred in the Philippines in the latter part of 2004. Landslides which resulted in loss of lives, damage to properties, crops, schools, fisheries and health facilities were reported.
110. Recognizing that access to food and maintenance of adequate nutrition is critical to survival in emergencies, the Save the Children Alliance, in collaboration with the Philippine Society of Nutritionist Dietitians, Inc., Balay Rehabilitation Center, Inc., Kapwa Ko, Mahal Ko Foundation, Inc., Southern Tagalog Regional Executives, Inc., Food and Nutrition Research Institute and the National Nutrition Council conceptualized and implemented the Project NIDI (Nutrition Intervention in Disaster-stricken Infanta). The project aimed to improve the nutritional status of underweight preschool children and their parents in Infanta, Quezon.
111. Project NIDI adopted a holistic approach to achieve nutrition improvement. A rapid nutritional assessment was conducted where the immediate effects of the disaster to nutrition was assessed and validated. Supplementary feeding for six months using standardized menu developed by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute-DOST and which provided 1/3 of recommended energy and nutrient intakes was conducted for children and mothers. Micronutrient supplements and multivitamins were given for three months. These interventions were complemented with a psychosocial training for health and nutrition workers to address mental and well-being of children and parents. Long term measures such as training on Food Always in the Home (FAITH), Pabasa sa Barangay, growth monitoring, organization of the Municipal Nutrition Commission and Municipal Disaster Coordinating Council and training on Epi-Info were conducted to ensure sustainability.
112. The positive outcomes were weight improvements of children by 50% and better coping mechanisms of families during and following the disaster. The Project NIDI demonstrated that strong partnership among stakeholders, community participation, and implementation of an integrated health and nutrition interventions are critical elements to achieving and sustaining nutrition improvement during and after emergencies.
Issues raised and discussed
113. As regards the choice of crops to ensure nutrition security in Bangladesh, it was pointed out that the focus should be to identify the most suitable areas for boro cultivation and not threatened by hazards like hailstorms. The yield of monsoon season rice which is constantly affected by natural disasters could be improved by applying climate information. Short duration pulses and oilseeds may be considered for winter in the place of boro, to ensure balanced diets and nutritional security.
114. The driving force in making the analysis on decision cycles are to understand when, where and how to use the forecast information to make decisions. Further identification of leverage points where data on climate can be provided on a continuous basis was important. Such need analysis helped to convert forecasts into impact outlooks and management plans. It was also emphasized that effectiveness of forecasting depends on understanding the needs of various stakeholders.
115. The consultation also noted that the prediction skill and lead time varies with geographical region eg. Indonesia has high prediction skill with long lead time. The prediction scheme depends on the indices, which explains most of the variation in climatic conditions. It was noted that communicating probabilistic forecasts to end users is highly challenging and can be successfully carried out in many countries.
Regional Cooperative Mechanism in Space Technology Applications to Reduce Vulnerabilities and Risks to Disasters in Asia and the Pacific: Presented by Nokeo Ratanavong
116. The application of the space technology and role of various agencies in the region were the main theme of Mr. Ratanavongs presentation. The concepts of disaster risk reduction and critical infrastructure including disaster mitigation through structural and non-structural measures were introduced. The links of poverty alleviation, food security and disaster management scenarios which cover sustainable development agenda were also discussed. The Consultation was informed that ESCAPs initiatives on Early Warning Networks including Mekong river commission are promoting regional participation. Use of Remote Sensing and GIS tools in this regard were highlighted.
117. Nokeo Ratanavong also presented the details of Typhoon Committee which used a sophisticated technology to monitor typhoons. Panel of Tropical Cyclones was also focused.
118. Flood management, drought monitoring, Malaysian National Disaster Management programme, Multi-Hazard Management programme of Malaysia using space technologies were detailed. In this respect, major challenges related to technologies, data quality and data sharing facilities in developing countries were identified.
119. The need for capacity building for disaster management in Asia and the Pacific was stressed and the activity plan already established in the region covering floods, droughts and other natural hazards were shared. An emphasis on the paradigm shift from traditional disaster relief approach to disaster preparedness was discussed as also was the incorporation of vulnerability reduction as a part of the development planning.
120. Twenty two nodal disaster management agencies in the region were identified. The Consultation was informed of the proposed strategies towards regional co operative mechanisms through the participation of national agencies. The need for active dialogue between information providers and end users was stressed. As part of the proposed strategies towards regional cooperation, satellite based emergency communications and rural information centres as community based hubs were highlighted. The deliveries of web based products for disaster management were seen as a challenge in these endeavors.
121. It was proposed to strengthen national risk assessment capabilities through a regional cooperative approach. The activities must include setting up of regional/sub regional network for risk assessment (Asia Pacific Risk Assessment Network) covering areas vulnerable to floods and droughts.
The Application of Geospatial and Disaster Information for Agricultural Drought and Food Insecurity Monitoring and Assessment by the FAO GIEWS and Asia FIVIMS: Presented by Naoki Minamiguchi
122. The Consultation was shown statistics from several studies to prove the importance of drought as a cause for food emergencies in most of the countries in Asia. The Advanced Real Time Environmental Monitoring Information System (ARTEMIS) and data users including GIEWS and the Asia FIVIMS Project GCP/RAS/170/JPN were introduced. It was pointed out that the data from Meteosat, NOAA AVHRR and SPOT VEGETATION for environmental monitoring have been used extensively in Africa and Asia for drought monitoring. There were two main categories of satellite images which can provide near real time imagery and show that the low spatial but high temporal resolution images are useful for large area monitoring.
123. The images used for early warning systems were presented which attempted to estimate rainfall from counts of cold precipitation cloud hours. Normalized Difference Vegetation Index derived from NOAA and SPOT sensors for drought monitoring were discussed. Common satellite data analysis techniques such as visual interpretation and comparison, time series analysis, statistical modeling, image clustering, and the use of these data in agromet models were described.
124. A case study in Afghanistan was presented to show production estimates and associated decisions on food imports into the country. FAOs intervention in controlling the situation, early warning and alerts and response from donor communities were highlighted. In terms of constraints, Naoki Minamiguchi stated that CCD data provides only proxy estimates of rainfall and NDVI provides crude estimates.
125. The extension of the knowledge and information gained in these exercises under Asia FIVIMS to Cambodia, Mongolia, Sri Lanka and Thailand to assess the drought situations was also discussed. The Consultation was informed that necessary tools can be downloaded from FAO websites for agricultural drought monitoring and assessment.
Assessment of Short Term Food Insecurity and Vulnerability in Sri Lanka with emphasis on impacts of drought: Presented by Wasanthi Wickramasinghe
126. Wasanthi Wickaramasinghe presented to the consultation the sectoral dimensions of the population falling into rural, urban and estate sectors in her introductory remarks. She emphasized that food production is fundamental in attaining household food security. It was explained that the farming population in the rural agriculture sector is vulnerable to hazards like drought, war, civil unrest. Statistics on drought occurrence was presented in terms of hydrological and agricultural drought.
127. She emphasized the use of Remote Sensing (RS) techniques such as NDVI as an index of drought. In the FIVIMS initiatives, it was explained that an attempt is made to develop agricultural drought indicators. One such attempt would be to look at the deviation of cumulative rainfall in the early stages. The usefulness of Early Warning Systems was also discussed. She concluded by informing the consultation that in the national FIVIMS, a model to forecast food production and prices at national level would well be developed. The specific objectives identified were establishment of early warning systems, population profiling based on degree of vulnerability, identification and mapping of recurrent drought prone areas, forecasting food production and prices at national levels.
128. The Consultation expressed the need to include social indicators in the assessment of food insecurity and vulnerability. The same can be said in dealing with disasters. The social expects of community - based disaster management should also be looked into.
129. The Consultation noted that combining space technologies with ground realities was important. A detailed explanation as to how the advanced technologies could be used to improve social factors was provided. Further, the need to make use of web products in decision making and the need to educate those who are involved in this was emphasized. It was also stressed that the social aspects can be integrated through community based disaster management. Most of the technology available now is providing global information than at local level.
Development of Snow Covered Maps to Monitor Severe Winters Causing Food Insecurity in Mongolia: Presented by Junichi Kudoh
130. Mongolia is faced with drought which has a negative impact on the social and economic life of the country. As a result of drought and major winter disasters (dzud in Mongolian) over the last few years, local people have faced difficulties through the lack of consumer products, a decreased raw material supply for national manufacture, a decline in export products as well as increased unemployment and poverty. During this time over 10,000 families lost their animals and livestock. In this situation for the early precaution and reduction of food insecurity caused by dzud, monitoring with remote sensing satellite becomes crucial.
131. A method to extract the snow coverage information in Mongolian using NOAA AVHRR images for the early precaution and reduction of risks was discussed. This would make it possible for alerting nomads about the snowfall information on a daily basis by extracting this snow region information from the satellite images. An effective method to extract the snow coverage information was proposed.
132. Snow data was first collected from the NOAA images by visual observation and through the development of a snow database. The number of snow pixels was not enough and image pixels showing other than snow are also accumulated by mistake. An understandable shape of snow category on three-dimensional histogram was modeled which was used to detect snow covers from the AVHRR images. The Correct Classification rate refers the difference between the snow area detected by the proposed method and specialists classified data (as standard) divided by the specialists classification. This rate for the proposed method became about 75.6% for the snow region and 96.8% for other regions. 68.7% was noted for the snow region and 90.6% for other regions when the ISODATA method was used.
133. The snow region in Mongolia was extracted by using this method and compared with the snowfall map that announced by Mongolian Environment Agency. About 94.6% of 685 meteorological observation points were detected successfully by this method and it was able to extract snow region information from the satellite images for the early warning of dzud and risk reduction in Mongolia.
134. Dzud winters are different from normal winters and often follows drought in the summer that prevents grass from growing above the expected snow height level and subsequently reduces the geographical extent of feeding grounds for livestock during the Dzud winters. It was pointed out that the development of an algorithm to accurately measure the snow depth was a challenge of the study.
135. The output snow cover maps are produced by processing a series of NOAA-AVHRR images received by satellite data receiving stations in Japan and Russia. The whole swath of multiple images (i.e. about 15 image scenes per day) is being used for map generation.
136. The National Remote Sensing Center of the Ministry for Nature and the Environment in Mongolia also produces snow cover maps on a regular basis. Yet, the Center neither fully comprehend how the maps have been utilized nor identify map data users. The snow detection method or algorithm developed by Tohoku University will be compared with that by the Center in an effort to further improve the methodologies to measure the extent and depth of snow in Duzd periods affecting food security among livestock farmers and pastoralists. Dialogue between the Center, Tohoku University and the Asia FIVIMS Project have recently started to identify areas for collaboration on reducing food insecurity caused by the severe winters and help the information reach target beneficiaries.
137. The study is expected to help produce improved digital snow cover maps as well as information on the regions covered by deep snow. Such information would be disseminated through the recently established nationwide radio network to livestock farmers, especially pastoralists of younger generations who have less experience in finding feeding grounds during the severe winters.
Facilitator: Lalita Bhattacharjee; Rapporteurs: Arlene Reario, Wasanthi Wickramasinghe
Viet Nam: Presented by Nguyen Cong Khan
138. The Consultation was informed that the integration of nutrition objectives into the socio-economic development agenda of the country has been actively pursued. Investments have been made in projects aimed at achieving the proposed national nutrition goals. By 2000, many of the important objectives were achieved which was followed by the formulation of the National Strategy for Nutrition (NSN) 2001-2010, a policy document that provides directions for food and nutrition actions and identifies a set of comprehensive objectives to be achieved for the first decade of the 21st century, and Plan of Action which is ratified by the Government of Viet Nam.
139. The nutrition activities conducted in Vietnam following the ICN in 1992 included ensuring food security by increasing food availability at the household level using the VAC (home gardening, fish culture and animal husbandry), improving nutrition education and communication; prevention and control of micronutrient deficiencies and protein-energy malnutrition control and prevention; school nutrition, strengthening of the nutrition surveillance system; preventing newly emerging problems of overweight/obesity and non-communicable chronic diseases, improving diet therapy and ensuring food hygiene and safety and capacity building. These activities are being implemented through the NSN. Government has allocated the fund for nutrition programme with the fund being increased each year. The plan for the period 2006-2010 has already been approved. In addition, the Consultation noted that food safety programmes were included with multi sectoral involvement. Linkages with international agencies like UNICEF, WHO, FAO, Japanese International Cooperative Agency (JICA), Global Alliance for Improving Nutrition (GAIN), Institute of Rural Development (IRD), Task Force for Capacity Strengthening in Nutrition in Asia (CASNA) and Groupe de recherche et dchanges technologiques (GRET) were also established.
140. While achievements have been made in improving the nutritional status of Vietnamese population, it is still essential to effectively implement the master plan for the implementation of the National Strategy for Nutrition in close cooperation with national and international agencies particularly for resource mobilization and development of the new strategy from 2010 onwards.
Thailand: Presented by Emorn Wasantwisut
141. The Consultation noted that Thailand is going through a period of nutrition transition. Most of the activities undertaken were in line with the agenda set up by the government and have contributed to the attainment of many of the goals identified by the ICN and WFS. However, there are still some areas that need attention. For example, the iodine status of pregnant women continues to be a problem when the revised cut off level of urinary iodine excretion (UIE) is applied. From a national standpoint, iron is one of the micronutrients that has to be addressed with specific reference to the role of iron in related disease conditions like malaria, etc.
142. Other conditions of dietary excesses such as obesity are emerging problems. Among under fives and school children, the prevalence of obesity is a problem. Other problems include accidents, hypertension, various types of cancers of liver, lung, breast/cervical and diabetes (which is also observed in rural populations).
143. Human resource and community development are high on the national agenda. However, an important consideration is the budget. Food and microbiological safety are also emerging problems like bird flu and related conditions. Thailand is presently monitoring this down at the community level.
144. Healthy Thai strategy is part of the Prime Ministers platform. The components of the overall strategy include promotion of physical activity, community based model of Thailand, food production integrated with nutrition, provision of healthy snacks, to name a few. These will serve as the backbone for attaining food and nutrition security.
Sri Lanka: Presented by Chandrani Piyasena
145. The Consultation was informed that following the global consensus arrived in 1990 and National Plan of Action for Nutrition (NPAN) which is a follow up of International Conference on Nutrition (1992), Sri Lanka continued to implement programmes toward improving health and nutritional status of preschool children and women. National programs to control and combat micronutrient deficiencies have been strengthened and have included dietary diversification strategies through nutrition education, micronutrient supplementation for target groups through Public Health Care (PHC) services and food fortification (iodine) to reach a wider population.
146. A number of guidelines are now being reviewed. The national guidelines on infant and young child feeding are being revised to give special attention to the energy and micronutrient density content of complementary foods and improving frequency of feeding. Educational tools have been developed and programmes are being conducted. In addition, the breast feeding code for Sri Lanka has recently been updated to monitor the regulatory aspects of young child feeding and safeguard child feeding. The Child Health Development Record (CHDR) was revised for effective growth monitoring and promotion of the CHDR and implemented through mother and child health (MCH) centers. In addition, all multi faceted needs of children are integrated with Early Childhood Care and Development activities as part of a holistic, integrated approach.
147. The high prevalence of non-communicable diseases as well as smoking, alcoholism and related conditions are also being addressed by the Ministry of Health (MOH) through health and nutrition education activities. In terms of safety issues, the problem of arsenic contamination in water such as in Bangladesh, was raised. Isolated cases of contamination relating to industrial wastes and bacterial contamination were reported from Sri Lanka and these are addressed by local authorities.
148. The issue of the role of genetics and nutrition was also raised. The Consultation noted that while genetic factors have a role to play in terms of determining growth, external factors where nutrition is included equally play very important roles.
Philippines: Presented by Elsa Bayani
149. The Consultation noted that the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN) continues to be implemented nationwide. Since its proclamation in 1993 consistent with the nine themes adopted by the ICN, PPAN advocates for the integration of nutrition considerations into national and sectoral plans and programs. Nutrition and related programs like anti-poverty and supplementary feeding were focused on improving household food security and providing assistance to the socio-economically deprived and nutritionally vulnerable groups. Promotion of exclusive breastfeeding, prevention and management of illnesses as well as the conduct of nationwide micronutrient supplementation among the at-risk groups were likewise implemented.
150. The National Nutrition Council (NNC), as the countrys policy making and coordinating body on nutrition, continually conducts annual monitoring and evaluation of local level plan implementation (MELLPI) in all regions, provinces and cities and municipalities of the country. Through this activity, best practices in nutrition program planning and management by local government units were documented and duly recognized.
151. The process adopted for the formulation of the successor plan was also presented to the Consultation along with the salient features of the Plan. These included the strategies, core programs and facilitating activities that will be implemented in the next six years. Among the strategies that would be adopted in the PPAN 2005-2010 implementation period are: food-based intervention, focus on nutritionally vulnerable groups and areas, and complementation with other development programs and projects.
152. Core PPAN programs include home, school and community food production, food assistance, micronutrient supplementation, food fortification, nutrition information, communication and education, livelihood assistance, and nutrition in essential maternal and child health services. The facilitating activities consist of human resource development, nutrition advocacy, resource generation, research and development, and policy and standards formulation. Food and nutrition improvement efforts are geared towards contributing to the achievement of ICN/WFS:5yl and MDG.
Nepal: Presented by Siddhi Ganesh Shrestha
153. The FIVIMS assessment methodologies adopted in Nepal were presented to the Composition. Basically, the data available were disaggregated data focused on a single aspect of food security and nutritional vulnerability. The available data showed food insecurity and nutritional vulnerability in terms of availability of and access to food as well as the environment, market, nutrition and health risks differed by ecological belts, residence, and age group of the people. These indicate the need for building assessment methodologies based on these realities for a complete and comprehensive assessment of food security and nutritional vulnerability in the country.
154. There is wide variation in the availability of and access to food with the greater influence of risk factors. Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives has time series production data of all the districts updated regularly. District clustering based on their location in the ecological belts is closer to reality. Importantly, districts and Village Development Committees or municipalities are the administrative units for various development initiatives.
155. The Consultation noted that there is need for food security assessment methodology to be efficiently and effectively integrated with the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives production information system with the addition of information on household expenditures (to assess access to food), growth monitoring and body mass index sample survey (to assess the nutritional vulnerability). This can be undertaken together with the information on natural calamities, market, health and sanitation to analyze risks. There is need for defining and institutionalization of assessment methodologies and processes for the overall food security planning at the district, regional and national levels.
Lao PDR: Presented by Bounthom Phengdy
156. Twenty two percent of the Lao population was reportedly undernourished as per FAO estimates in 2000-2002. Food insecurity is mainly explained by chronic poverty and is predominantly seasonal with one fourth of the Lao population experiencing rice deficit four months a year. Droughts and floods are frequent. The prevalence of food insecurity is especially high among the rural population living in mountainous areas, where ethnic minority groups are concentrated. Yet, information on the food insecure and documentation of malnutrition problems is generally available only at national or regional levels.
157. Some activities have been undertaken by WFP and Asian Development Bank (ADB) in collaboration with the Government to document food insecurity and poverty through VAM and Participatory Poverty Assessment. It was only recently that FIVIMS activities were initiated in a more coordinated manner.
158. The first National Plan of Action (NPAN) was drafted in 1995 and a most recent one was published in 2001. However, neither of the Plans was formally endorsed by the Lao Government, nor did the Government establish cross-ministerial collaboration for its implementation. Similarly, a Food Security Strategy was drafted but was also never formally endorsed. Food security is a top priority in the Governments key strategies such as the Strategic Vision for the Agricultural Sector and the National Growth and Poverty Eradication Strategy (NGPES). Yet, coordinated inter-ministerial action plans on how to address food insecurity and malnutrition are not yet in place. At the programme level, there have been successes in terms of reaching nationwide iodized salt coverage (83%) and ensuring national level rice sufficiency.
159. Multi-stakeholder collaboration for both nutrition and food security strategies are now being planned with key government stakeholders such as Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Ministry of Health, UN agencies and other stakeholders.
160. The Consultation emphasized the need for advocacy and resource generation in support of the NPANs. The former is a very challenging concern considering that many sectors have to be involved and coordinated. On the other hand, considering that so many programs have to be implemented in response to addressing the malnutrition problems, resource generation has to be pursued aggressively. Governments should look at both internal and external sources of funds to fuel the NPANs. The Consultation also, recognized that there is no one general prescription for identifying focal points (be it for FIVIMS of NPAN). This has to be done within the specific country context.
Indonesia: Presented by Hardinsyah
161. The Consultation was informed that much effort has been exerted on reducing food insecurity and nutrition deficiency problems in Indonesia during the last decade. In particular, the Government of Indonesia (GOI) set up a new structure for food survey called State Ministry for Food in 1992 which was then changed into National Food Security Agency, under Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) in 2000. For the needed multi-sectoral approach for addressing food security, A National Food Security Council, a policy coordinating body, was formed in 2000, which is now chaired by the President.
162. National workshops on food and nutrition (NWFN) were conducted every five years by the National Planning Agency, National Research Institute, Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Health, Food and Nutrition Society of Indonesia, and Nutritionists Society of Indonesia. These workshops served as venues for generating innovative ideas and guidelines for formulating food and nutrition programs. The NWFN in 2005 formulated the new recommended dietary allowances (RDA) and guidelines for nutrition labeling.
163. In 1994, the food-based dietary guidelines of Indonesia containing 13 core nutrition messages were formulated and published. Further, the Food Act of Indonesia was enacted in 1996 followed by the issuance of several regulations (e.g. Food Label and Advertisement regulation, Food Security regulation, Food Quality and Food Safety regulation, etc).
164. The Food and Nutrition Plan of Action 2000-2005 for Indonesia was published in 2000 while the successor plan is being formulated. Revitalization of food and nutrition surveillance system (SKPG) and revitalization of integrated village health post (Posyandu) were carried out in 1999-2000. The Ministry of Health continued to fulfill its mandate by controlling malnutrition, and conducting nutrition monitoring and survey as part of nutrition surveillance system. On the other hand, the Central Agency of Statistics continues to conduct national survey in food consumption and nutrition. Food Security Agency is now responsible for the analysis of food availability and distribution, food consumption and safety, and its programmes coordination.
165. In order to accelerate the reduction of food insecurity and nutrition problems during the five year crisis, the Government of Indonesia took a loan to have a social safety net (SSN) programmes on food (rice for the poor and complementary food for the poor child), nutrition supplement and basic health services for the poor, and strengthening the capacity of related institutions, including local government on food and nutrition surveillance, basic health services, women movement organization (PKK), and integrated health post (Posyandu). After the crisis, the Government continued to strengthen and expand the food and nutrition programme.
166. The Consultation also noted that food and nutrition programs were strengthened with food fortification, poverty alleviation and special programs for food security, feeding programme, emergency programmes in the disaster areas, income transfer, Nutrition Awareness Family Program, food and nutrition research as well as nutrition advocacy and capacity-building including training.
India: Presented by Jai Singh
167. The Consultation was informed that the achievements under the National Nutrition Policy have been reviewed and the vision for the next decade proposed as part of the terms of reference of the National Nutrition Mission set up in July 2003 under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister. The Executive Committee of the National Nutrition Mission met on 3rd September 2004 under the leadership of Minister of State for Women and Child Development. This was followed by a core group meeting on 6th October 2004 and the main agenda for the meeting was finalization of National Nutrition Mission.
168. National Guidelines on infant and young child feeding were released on 6th August 2004 in Hindi and English language, which are now being translated into regional languages for circulation in remote areas of the country. Nutrition advocacy and awareness generation were intensified and media campaigns were organized during national nutrition events celebration in the Country.
China: Presented by Pi Guozhong
169. The Consultation noted that the Chinese Government pays particular attention to the safety of food supplies and related issues. The WFS in 1996 and 5yl conference in 2002 were good venues for improving the safety of Chinas food supplies. The Chinese government developed several policies and steps to enforce the guidelines on food safety in 2005.
170. Enhancing the overall productivity of cereals is the first and foremost important agricultural task for 2005, and included improvements in outcomes and utilization of farmland, technological innovation and utilization, agricultural equipment, processing of farm product and opening new market, and comprehensive agricultural support. Promoting the policies of reducing agricultural tax and subsiding for farming were the next priorities followed by optimizing agricultural economy. Effective measures have been taken to eradicate the extreme poverty before 2010, including building harmony-rich villages, training the poor labourers and supporting the enterprises to help them.
171. The Consultation noted that several departments in China were involved in the drafting of the plan on FIVIMS since 2002. Target groups and regions identification for poverty alleviation utilizing FIVIMS data was facilitated. Importantly, policy makers are seen to be addressing food security problems within the FIVIMS context and framework.
Bangladesh: Presented by Mirza Altaf Hossain
172. Nutritional objectives and considerations have been incorporated in the sectoral policies in Bangladesh and several nutrition indicators are used to assess the success of the programs and projects. Health, Population and Nutrition Sector Program (HPNSP), National Nutrition Program (NNP) have been undertaken by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare while the Integrated Horticulture and Nutrition Development Project, Special Program for Food Security, Household Food Security through Nutrition Gardening, Poultry for Nutrition, Bengal Black Goat Project, Fish rearing for Poverty Alleviation are some of the projects directly related to nutrition and have been undertaken by the agricultural sector.
173. Nutrition has been included in the course curricula at the primary and secondary school levels. Likewise, the Ministry of Home Affairs in collaboration with the Bangladesh Standard and Testing Institute (BSTI) and City Corporation Authority have recently introduced a strong monitoring mechanism in the country to ensure quality and safety food of the consumers.
174. Vulnerable group feeding program, old age allowances, old age homes, widows allowances, food for work, food for education and free education for girls up to higher secondary level, etc are now in operation for the socio-economically deprived and nutritionally vulnerable groups. For prevention and control of specific micronutrient deficiencies, vitamin A capsules, folic acid and iron tablets are being distributed along with immunization. For promoting appropriate diets and healthy lifestyle, food based dietary guidelines have been prepared and are disseminated to the public through different media. Anti- smoking campaigns are also being implemented. Various surveys such as National Nutrition Survey, Iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) survey, Anemia survey, Household expenditure survey and child nutrition survey, are being carried out for assessing, analyzing and monitoring nutrition situation in the country which helps further planning.
Issues raised and discussed
175. There was need to enhance awareness about food and nutrition issues and nutrition indicators in respect to FIVIMS. The NPANs serve as valuable policy instruments and it is necessary to facilitate the identification of areas and sectors whose responsibilities impinge on the strategic solutions to the problem of food insecurity. Nutrition linked indicators which point to the need for proper targeting of food insecure households and populations, timely and appropriate multi sectoral action need to be adapted, as necessary.
176. The Consultation was reminded that at the country level, multisectoral collaboration should be strengthened. In particular, those who come to the ANFN meetings for the first time should try to link up with the focal points of either FIVIMS or NPAN to ensure that national initiatives are well documented during the ANFN meetings. It was also mentioned that the efforts of those who have been attending the ANFN on a regular basis should be recognized and lauded.
177. Three working groups were formed to discuss the following topics to improve operationalization of FIVIMS: (1) review of findings from the methodologies used; (2) identify the strengths and weaknesses of FIVIMS methodologies; and (3) provide suggestions for strengthening FIVIMS approaches to improve the identification and targeting of vulnerable populations / areas as well as effective interventions. The terms of reference and names of group participants of the working groups are given in Appendix VI.
178. The outputs included an update on National and Regional FIVIMS and key related activities, identification of key strengths and constraints to the use of methodologies with possible options for resolving and addressing them, promoting effective interventions and strengthening policy support for FIVIMS. Recommendations for strengthening the currently used FIVIMS approaches with emphasis on improving the identification and targeting of food insecure and vulnerable groups, populations and/or areas were also given. A need was recognized to strengthen the integration of FIVIMS activities into food and nutrition programmes and interventions so as to address issues of food and nutrition security.
179. All the three working groups discussed the various methodologies adopted by FIVIMS that were grouped under broad categories such as data collection, identification, assessment and vulnerability reduction. A matrix of FIVIMS related programmes and activities and the methodologies used for each of these categories were identified and are given in Appendix VII.
180. The major programmes and activities identified were primary and secondary data collection, identifying vulnerable areas and populations, selection of indicators, agricultural disaster monitoring and assessment including untimely floods, drought and severe winters, estimating flood availability levels, identification of nutrition interventions, mapping, crop area assessment and early warning.
181. The Consultation discussed specific methodologies used under different categories, programmes and activities. The data collection methodologies included survey, livelihood profiling, reviews and documentation. The methodologies adopted for identification of vulnerable areas and populations are advanced statistical analysis such as Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and K-means and cluster analysis. The food security and vulnerability assessment methodologies include the use of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) for transitory food insecurity analysis, Food Balance Sheet (FBS), Ranking, Geographical Information Systems (GIS), Discriminate Analysis and Descriptive and Correlation Analysis. The methods identified under food insecurity reduction are the use of the NDVI, snow mapping, crop area forecasting and hazard early warning.
182. The groups also identified the purpose and broad areas of application of these methodologies. The utility of the methodologies are related to analysis, policy and programme formulation, selection of indicators for vulnerability analysis, identifying vulnerable groups and targeting, emergency preparedness, policy decisions on imports, consumption and trade, targeting food security programmes, assessing extreme climate events and early warning.
183. The Consultation discussed various strengths and weaknesses of the methodologies adopted for different applications in FIVIMS. Major strengths of primary data collection identified are that they are accurate, objective-oriented and allow inclusion of additional variables. The weaknesses are that they are expensive, time consuming, human resource intensive, less frequent and require a sampling frame. The strengths of using secondary data are that they are easy to use, are readily available and cheap, allow comparison and high spatial coverage, while the weaknesses are related to difficulty in accessing and updating of data and requirement of statistical processing and lack of disaggregation to local levels. The multivariate statistical methods such as principal component analysis and cluster analysis are used for developing composite indices from large number factors impacting food security status. The methods also facilitate the identification of dominant factors responsible for vulnerability and are primarily data reduction methods. However, the Consultation felt that some of the methods are not necessarily identifying core causes of vulnerability and food insecurity.
184. The assessment methods that utilize the NDVI and GIS were found to be useful for frequent monitoring and spatial analysis every 10 days. The products derived from these methods facilitated the visualization of areas facing food insecurity caused by drought and the crop failures. However, the weaknesses included difficulty to distinguish crops and other vegetation and requirement of specific skills. The food balance sheets can be prepared for all crops as data are readily available, but minor crops and household level food security are not available. Methods such as ranking of variables are simple, but only very few variables are used for vulnerability analysis. Multivariate methods like K-means clustering, discriminate analysis, descriptive and correlation analysis are used to identify outliers and for data interpretation, but the results are subjective.
185. Satellite derived mapping techniques are highly useful for vulnerability reduction and these images do not require ground infrastructure. The satellite maps sometimes cannot determine the intensity of particular events such as snow depths and rainfall and requires specific skills for interpretation. Forecasting and early warning of impending disasters are highly useful to make any proactive decisions for reducing food insecurity and vulnerability and also for emergency preparedness. The Consultation agreed that the information is available largely for macro levels and thus requires specific skills for interpretation and translation.
Discussions Arising Out of Working Group Presentations
186. The Consultation noted that food safety issues need to be integrated into FIVIMS inasmuch as it forms part of the definition of food security and has health and nutrition implications.
187. It was suggested that it might be useful to position FIVIMS high in the national agenda and define clear goals and milestones for FIVIMS. National ownership should also be promoted. However the Consultation was reminded that FAO can only play a catalytic role. It is still the government that is expected to take the lead.
188. Prioritization of uses of FIVIMS and consensus building should take place at the country level. As a guide, the Consultation may want to consider the five (5) key questions that FIVIMS should address which are: who are the food insecure and vulnerable, why are they food insecure, where are they, how many are they and what can be done? These questions are people-focused, cross-sectoral and lead to a critical analysis of food insecurity and vulnerability and link information to action particularly policy making.
189. In addition to these questions, the Consultation also suggested inclusion of questions like: what will happen if there is no action and who should be responsible. It was also emphasized that at some point national FIVIMS should mature. It is expected that at the country level a healthy and continuous dialogue regarding food insecurity and vulnerability should take place in the future.
190. It was also suggested that the countries represented in the consultation should take time to familiarize themselves with FIVIMS Tools and Tips as well as other methodological guidelines. The State of Food Insecurity in the World (SOFI) 2005 focuses on linkages between hunger reduction and MDGs. Additional indicators related to MDGs have been incorporated in SOFI 2005 which address issues regarding harmonization of indicators for monitoring progress on MDGs.
191. The role of FIVIMS focal points was discussed by the Consultation. Some examples where the focal points have played a catalytic role and facilitated the National FIVIMS initiative were presented by the participants of the Philippines and Sri Lanka.
192. The Consultation also recognized that the standardization of methodologies was not possible but suggested that the IAWG-FIVIMS set common indicators to measure and track progress as well as country needs.
193. The Consultation noted that in terms of value added, FIVIMS has contributed a lot to the development of a Community of FIVIMS best practices. Agencies which did not communicate or speak with each other before are now interacting and working together.
194. The Consultation was reassured by Naoki Minamiguchi that he will take concrete suggestions as a challenge for the project and will continue to dialogue with national FIVIMS focal points and working groups to further strengthen ASIA FIVIMS activities.
195. Lastly, the Consultation was requested to communicate to the IAWG-FIVIMS secretariat their comments on the FIVIMS website to improve access and make it more user-friendly. Likewise, the Consultation was informed that a global business plan is now being developed and inputs from countries as to which directions to take will be most valuable and welcome.
The Consultation made the following recommendations on key areas of concern and future initiatives.
196. Enhancing awareness on FIVIMS should be pursued as part of national and regional FIVIMS initiatives. There is need to adopt and promote some of the FIVIMS methodologies for improved identification of the food insecure and vulnerable and more effective and timely interventions.
197. Capacity building strategies on FIVIMS should be an on-going component of the FIVIMS activities. Training needs and requirements should be assessed at various levels with the levels of participation being enhanced. Accordingly, capacity in formulating food security policies, strategies and programming based on food insecurity and vulnerability information should be strengthened and reinforced.
198. Wide dissemination/promotion of FIVIMS tools, briefing kits and manual of operations should be carried out to guide the policy/planners and the field staff to adapt to responsibilities and needs at national sub national and local situations, respectively.
199. There is need to increase utilization of FIVIMS data for policy/programme formulation and for monitoring and evaluation of food security related information and interventions. While reporting of progress relating to FIVIMS, more focus needs to be given to evaluation of the different strategies implemented at the country level. Documenting the best practices on what works and does not work at the country level should be continuously carried out.
200. Knowledge exchange and sharing among national/regional FIVIMS focal points should be strengthened and enhanced through constant utilization of and access and contribution to FIVIMS web sites.
201. FIVIMS focal points should disseminate information regarding FIVIMS in general and food security surveys in particular. Besides there is need to integrate socio economic and cultural dimensions with spatial and temporal dimensions of FIVIMS.
202. There should be a deliberate integration of FIVIMS with other major national instruments like NPANs, Nutrition Investment Plan and PRSPs and Nutrition Programs to ensure that MDGs and the ICN/WFS: 5yl targets are achieved.
203. NPAN/Nutrition focal point should link up with FIVIMS focal point to enhance FIVIMS data utilization. Accordingly there is need to strengthen collaborations between NPAN and FIVIMS focal points to address issues of data collection, analysis and utilization.
204. Nutrition related indicators in FIVIMS should be viewed as necessary tools for monitoring and enhancing the impact of programmes and consequently, there is need to strengthen the effective utilization of nutrition indicators in food security, livelihoods and development programmes.
205. Advocacy aimed at generating political will and top level policy support as well as financial support for FIVIMS and NPAN should be actively pursued at the national and international levels. FIVIMS through its user- friendly environment for sharing and supporting smooth flow of food security and nutrition related data, needs to be strengthened within larger developmental contexts.
 Analisi Dei DATI (Italian
for "Analysis of DATA")|
 Geographical Information Systems
 Key Indicators Data Systems
 Global Information and Early Warning Systems
 Natural Oceanic Atmospheric Administration
 Advanced Very High Resolution Radio meters
 VAC - an acronym of 3 Vietnamese words VAC; vuon :garden/orchard; ao:fish ponds; chuong:animal sheds