During the last decade, FAO statistics has assisted many countries in various domains of food and agricultural statistics. For food security, we provide support to enhance the collection and analysis of data on the production, trade, and utilization of food commodities, and to derive food security statistics from National Household Surveys (NHS).
Specifically, the purpose of the technical support is to:
• Promote FAO standards, methods and tools to analyze food acquisition / consumption data.
• Improve the capacity of National Statistical Offices (NSOs) and other national stakeholders to generate food security statistics by applying updated methodologies to national household surveys. Statistics include parameters for estimating the prevalence of undernourishment (MDG 1.9 indicator).
• Strengthen coordination between the national institutions involved in the collection and analysis of food security and nutrition data and support the multilateral taskforce in using food security statistics for policy-making.
The ultimate objective of our capacity development activity is the reduction of food insecurity at country level.
How do we work? Training and technical support
In collaboration with local institutions, we organize five-day regional and national training workshops to enhance countries' capacity to generate food security statistics from NHS data and to interpret the findings. The trainings are primarily intended for countries that have already collected food consumption / acquisition data through NHS. Although the training workshop is the core event, capacity development goes beyond, as participants are requested to prepare data before the training (following our guidelines), process the data during the training and prepare a national food insecurity report afterwards.
Regional training workshops on deriving food security statistics from NHS
The regional training workshops target several countries from the same region. Two participants per country are usually invited to participate: one from the National Statistical Office (NSO) and one from the national institution who is in charge of monitoring food security.
National training workshops on deriving food security statistics from NHS
The national training workshops target NSO statisticians and national experts of food security. Countries involved in national trainings get comprehensive technical support throughout all phases of activity (ie., from data preparation to report writing). National training workshops are typically attended by fifteen participants (ie., staff from NSO, Ministries of Agriculture, Health, Food Security and Nutrition, national and international NGOs, UN agencies, etc.).
Ad-hoc technical support on deriving food security statistics from NHS
We can provide technical support on analyzing food consumption data from National Household Surveys and in report writing. This can be particularly appropriate for those countries that, having been trained in the past, need support in analysis of new data.
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Training: facts and figures
• Twenty countries received our technical support through a national training workshop since 2003
• Ten of the countries targeted through national training were from Asia, seven from Africa, three from Latin America and Caribbean
• Since 2002, eight regional training workshops were delivered worldwide, with an average participation of eleven countries in each.
As a result of our technical support:
• Countries’ representatives become familiar with the FAO methodology to estimate the prevalence of undernourishment.
• Local technical officers learn the steps needed to derive food security statistics from food consumption data. In particular, they learn which variables are required to derive food security statistics, how to express food quantities into metric unit of measurements, how to estimate missing quantities/expenditures, and how to get nutrient conversion factors for the food items collected in the National Household Surveys.
• Countries’ technical officers learn to use the ADePT-FSM software for analyzing food consumption data.
• Countries’ technical officers learn how to better design appropriate food consumption modules, thus improving the quality of the future data.
• Countries benefit from improved coordination between the national institutions working on food security.
• Countries produce food insecurity reports with national and sub-national estimates.
In pursuing these outputs, we want to empower countries to process food consumption data and encourage cooperation among all countries.
How we work: The software
The ADePT-Food Security Module (FSM) is a free stand-alone software developed jointly by FAO statistics and the World Bank’s Computational Tools team, Development Economics Research Department. It facilitates the processing of food consumption data collected through NHS by producing a set of food consumption statistics at national, sub-national level. The Statistics Division uses ADePT-FSM for all food security analyses from NHS, including training workshops.
How we work: Training material
The training material includes a set of lectures, the ADePT Manual and guidelines on how to process food consumption data from NHS. Lectures are being revised and translated into French, Spanish and Arabic. In the future, we plan on developing an e-learning package and to translate the ADePT Manual into French and Spanish.
Other areas of technical support and future projects
While training workshops are meant especially for countries that collect food data from National Household Surveys, technical assistance can also be provided in other areas of food security statistics. In particular:
• Technical advice for the collection of food consumption data and food security statistics through household surveys and
• Technical advice for a gender sensitive analysis of food security survey data.