Monitoring and evaluation

Bioenergy development, through its environmental and socio-economic impacts, may have positive or negative effects on food security. Once the bioenergy sector is in place, it is important to monitor, evaluate and respond to the impacts of bioenergy on food security at both national and project levels.

With regard to the national level, the BEFS Approach includes an indicator for assessing the effects of bioenergy use and domestic production on the price and supply of a national food basket . This indicator is part of a set of twenty-four sustainability indicators for bioenergy that were internationally agreed under the Global Bioenergy Partnership (GBEP).

With regard to the project level, the BEFS Approach comprises the Operator Level Food Security Assessment Tool, which can be used to monitor the impacts on food security of agricultural operations with a bioenergy component, including a specific module on bioenergy production from residues.

In addition, the BEFS Approach includes a range of possible responses to address the impacts of bioenergy on food security at both national and project levels.

The BEFS Approach also includes a set of tools and methodologies for monitoring, in addition to food security, other environmental and socio-economic impacts of individual operations or of the bioenergy sector as a whole.  

To review the risks related to investment BEFS have a set of web-based tools known as Bioenergy and Food Security Operator Level tools (BEFS OLT).


The BEFS OLT is a tool that can provide a preliminary indication of potential risks and benefits for food security from agricultural/bioenergy investments. This tool can be used by national and local authorities to screen proposed investments; by development banks in the evaluation of investment proposals and by investors as an ex-ante self-assessment tool.

The second tool, the BEFS OLT (agricultural residues) tool has been developed to do the initial screening of the environmental and socio-economic sustainability of specific bioenergy projects. It looks at the utilization of crop residue and/or livestock residues for energy production. The tool can be used by various groups of users such as private investors, financial institutions, governmental institutions and NGOs.