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Needs assessment

Needs assessment

Accurate and timely situation and needs analysis is a critical building-block for effective responses to crises

FAO works with stakeholders to define food security and livelihood responses. Information-gathering tools to support FAO’s role include:

  • Crop and Food Supply Assessment Missions (CFSAMs)
    GIEWS, usually in cooperation with the World Food Programme (WFP), conducts Crop and Food Supply Assessment Missions for countries facing widespread food emergencies.
    The main purpose of these missions is to provide details on imminent food security problems, allowing action by governments, the international community and others.
  • Livelihood Assessment Tool-Kit (LAT) and Livelihood Assessment and Response System (LARS)
    Development of the LAT is a joint effort between FAO and the International Labour Organization.
    The LAT gives information on people’s ability to make a living after disasters such as floods, earthquakes and tsunamis. Eventually it will extend to other types of emergencies.
    The LAT is part of a larger institutional and response planning context, under the umbrella of the LARS. The system also includes assessment preparedness and livelihood response planning.
    The LAT consists of three assessment tools:
    • livelihood baselines compiled at national level, targeting areas prone to natural hazards
    • initial livelihood impact appraisal within 14 days of a disaster
    • detailed livelihood assessment within first three months
  • Integrated Food Security and Humanitarian Phase Classification Scheme (IPC)
    The IPC tool is a standardized scale integrating food security, nutrition and livelihood details. It states severity of a crisis and the implications for humanitarian response.
    IPC has been applied by FAO in Somalia and is being rolled out in six other African countries.
    Situations are classified into one of five phases:
    • generally food secure
    • chronically food insecure
    • acute food and livelihood crisis
    • humanitarian emergency
    • famine/humanitarian catastrophe
  • Food security analysis in the Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP)
    FAO has a collaborative approach to food security assessment, in partnership with WFP. CAP strengthens assessment and response links.
  • Sector specific needs assessment tools
    FAO assesses needs by sector, and has developed related guidelines for seeds, pest and pesticides management, livestock, fisheries and nutrition.

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