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«Comprehensive Food Security & Vulnerability Analysis Guidelines January 2009 G first edition Comprehensive Food Security & Vulnerability Analysis ...»

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Food Security

& Vulnerability



January 2009 G first edition


Food Security

& Vulnerability



January 2009 G first edition

Comprehensive Food Security & Vulnerability Analysis Guidelines

© January 2009, World Food Programme (WFP), Food Security Analysis Service

These Guidelines have been prepared by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)

for use by staff and its partners. All rights are reserved. Reproduction is authorized, except for commercial purposes, provided that WFP is acknowledged as the original source.

United Nations World Food Programme Via Cesare Giulio Viola 68/70, Parco de’ Medici, 00148 Rome, Italy Food Security Analysis Service Chief: Joyce Luma Tel: +39-06-6513-2168 E-mail: joyce.luma@wfp.org or wfp.vaminfo@wfp.org CFSVA Guidelines Project Manager: Jan Delbaere, Deputy Chief Tel: +39-06-6513-3265 E-mail: jan.delbaere@wfp.org first edition Citigroup Foundation and ECHO provided financial support for the development and production of these guidelines.

Foreword Fighting hunger in a changing world demands that we stay vigilant in our efforts to collect, analyze and disseminate information that is so very critical for designing and implementing hunger solutions which can save lives in emergencies, as well as putting the hungry poor on the path to food security.

Understanding food security and vulnerability has always been challenging. Yet the emergence of relatively new phenomena such as the recent high food and fuel prices, the global financial crisis, and climate change, all highlight the need to better understand the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable populations so that effective policies and actions can be implemented to save lives and address the root causes of hunger.

To tackle hunger, we first need to understand three key factors: how food is made available to people; how they economically and physically access food; and how they utilize the food. Understanding the constraints underlying each of these factors is a necessary condition for designing and implementing appropriate and effective hunger reduction strategies.

The Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis (CFSVA) is a unique tool designed to understand these factors. It describes the profile of the food-insecure and vulnerable households, identifies the root causes of hunger, and analyzes risks and emerging vulnerabilities among populations. It provides crucial information on the type of interventions that would be the most effective in reducing hunger, targeting the neediest, informing preparedness and developing contingencies. The range and depth of information provided by CFSVAs are invaluable, not only for WFP, but for the entire humanitarian and development community.

Over the last four years WFP, along with partners, has completed 27 CFSVAs worldwide. This was in large part made possible due to generous support from the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO), the Citigroup Foundation and the Gates Foundation.

This document, built on this experience, will guide WFP food security analysts, programme officers and partner's staff as they undertake Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analyses.

–  –  –

Acknowledgements The Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis Guidelines were made possible thanks to the generous support of the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO), which provided funding also for consultation meetings.

The Citigroup Foundation supported one preparatory technical meeting.

The guidelines were written mainly by WFP staff and by Tango International, under the umbrella of the Strengthening Emergency Needs Assessment Capacity Plan. The purpose of the plan (2004–2007) was to reinforce WFP’s capacity to assess humanitarian needs in the food sector during emergencies and their aftermath through accurate and impartial needs assessments. The effort was funded from internal and external sources, among them, ECHO, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the Citigroup Foundation, the UK Department for International Development (DFID), and the French, Danish, German, and Belgian Governments.

These guidelines benefited from several peer-review and consultation mechanisms. An initial workshop was held in April 2007, in Rome; a second one, in March 2008, in Cairo. The participants were mainly CFSVA practitioners from within WFP.

A draft of these guidelines was thoroughly reviewed by John Hoddinott (International Food Policy Research Institute), Nancy Mock (Tulane University), and Dan Maxwell (Tufts University), and most of their important comments and suggestions were taken into account in the final version.

WFP expresses special thanks to the many VAM staff, in headquarters and in the field, who in writing these guidelines provided their invaluable knowledge of food security analysis, based on many years of experience in a large variety of countries where food security is an issue.

–  –  –

Acronyms ADRA Adventist Development and Relief Agency AET Actual Evapo-Transpiration AIDS Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome AIS AIDS Indicator Survey AMS AgroMetShell ANOVA Analysis of Variance AoE Area of Estimation ART Anti-Retroviral Treatment BSS Behavioural Surveillance Survey BMI Body Mass Index CBO Community-Based Organization CCA Common Country Assessment CDC United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CED Chronic Energy Deficiency CFSAM Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission CFSNS Comprehensive Food Security and Nutrition Survey CFSVA Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis CGIAR Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research CFW cash for work CHS Community and Household Surveillance CI Confidence Interval CIDA Canadian International Development Agency CO Country Office CRED Centre for Research on Epidemiology of Disasters CRS Catholic Relief Services CSB Corn-Soya Blend CSI Coping Strategies Index CSPro Census and Survey Processing System CTC Community-Based Therapeutic Care DEM Digital Elevation Model DFID Department for International Development (United Kingdom) DHS Demographic and Health Survey DOT Direct Observation Therapy DOTS directly observed treatment, shortcourse DTP Desktop Publishing Applications EFSA Emergency Food Security Assessment EMOP Emergency Operation EM DAT Emergency Events Database EMF Enhanced Metafile EOS End of Season EPI Expanded Programme on Immunization FANTA Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance FAO Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations FCG Food Consumption Group FCS Food Consumption Score FEWS NET Famine Early Warning Systems Network FFW food for work FGD Focus Group Discussion FSMS Food Security Monitoring System GAM Global Acute Malnutrition GDDS General Data Dissemination System GDI Gender-related Development Index GDP Gross Domestic Product GEM Gender Empowerment Measure GER Gross Enrolment Rate GIS Geographic Information Systems GLM General Linear Model GMR Global Malnutrition Rate GMR Global Mortality Rate GPS Global Positioning Systems GTZ German Agency for Technical Cooperation HAZ height for age HBC Home-Based Care HDDS Household Dietary Diversity Score HDI Human Development Index HDR Human Development Report HH Household HIC Habitat International Coalition HIC Humanitarian Information Centre HIV/AIDS Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome HLS Household Livelihood Security IASC Inter-Agency Standing Committee IDP Internally Displaced Person IFPRI International Food Policy Research Institute ILO International Labour Organization ILWIS Integrated Land and Water Information System IMF International Monetary Fund IOM International Organization for Migration IUGR Intrauterine Growth Retardation JMP Joint Monitoring Programme LCA Logistics Capacity Assessment LGP length of growing period LSMS Living Standards Measurement Survey MCDA Military and Civil Defence Assets MCH Mother-and-Child Health MICS Multiple-Indicator Cluster Survey MTCT Mother-to-Child Transmission MUAC mid-upper arm circumference Comprehensive Food Security & Vulnerability Analysis Guidelines NCHS National Center for Health Statistics NDVI Normalized-Difference-Vegetation-Index NER Net Enrolment Rate NGO non-governmental organization NHDR National Human Development Report NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration OCHA Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs ODAN WFP Emergency Needs Assessment Service OEN WFP Needs Assessment Unit OLS Ordinary Least Square OMXF WFP Food Security Analysis Service OVC orphans and other vulnerable children PCA Principal Components Analysis PDA Personal Digital Assistant PET Potential Evapo-Transpiration PLHIV people living with HIV PMTCT prevention of mother-to-child transmission PPS Probability Proportional to Size PRA Participatory Rural Appraisal PRRO Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation PRSP Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper PSU Primary Sampling Unit RB Regional Bureau RFE Rainfall Estimate SADC Southern African Development Community SAF Standard Analytical Framework SAM Severe Acute Malnutrition SD Standard Deviation SENAC Strengthening Emergency Needs Assessment Capacity (project) SO Special Operation SOP Standard Operating Procedure SOS Start of Season SRS Simple Random Sampling SSE sum of squares for error SSU Secondary Sampling Unit SWOT Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat (analysis) TANGO Technical Assistance to NGOs TB tuberculosis TFC Therapeutic Feeding Centre TOR Terms of Reference UNCCS United Nations Common Coding System UNCT United Nations Country Team UNDAF United Nations Development Assistance Framework UNDP United Nations Development Programme UNHCR Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNICEF United Nations Children’s Fund UN-ISDR United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction UNU United Nations University USAID United States Agency for International Development USDA United States Department of Agriculture USGS United States Geological Survey USU Ultimate Sampling Unit VAM Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping VAM-SIE VAM Spatial Information Environment VBA Visual Basic for Applications WFP World Food Programme WHO World Health Organization WAZ weight for age WHZ weight for height WR Water Requirement WRSI Water Requirement Satisfaction Index

–  –  –

Glossary Analysis plan – A plan, based on the key hypotheses to be tested, detailing how the collected data will be analysed. It may also guide which data need to be collected from primary sources and which from secondary.

Asset – Anything considered valuable or useful, such as a skill, a quality, or a person.1 In the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework, the following six categories of assets are


• human: health and nutrition status, physical capacity, skills, level of education, etc.;

• social: household, gender, kinship and other networks; community groups; values and attitudes; etc.;

• financial: income; credit and loans; savings; liquid assets; etc.;

• physical: productive items such as tools and equipment, stores, housing, livestock, and infrastructure;

• natural: land, water, forests, etc.;

• political: power relationships, access to – and influence over – local and higher-level government processes.

Chronic food insecurity – A long-term or persistent inability to meet minimum food requirements.

Cluster sampling – A sampling technique in which the sample is defined in two or more stages. The population of interest is first divided into groups (clusters), usually according to geographical area or location (e.g. villages are used as clusters). Second, a random sample of clusters is selected. Third, households or individuals from the selected clusters are then randomly sampled. There can be additional stages.

Sampling units in the second and subsequent stages are selected from within the selected clusters from the previous stage – e.g. households from within a sampled village, or individuals from within a household.

Community group discussion – A discussion with a mixed group of community members that includes men, women, and young people from all subgroups within the community – village, camp, urban neighbourhood, etc.

Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis (CFSVA) – A study, typically conducted in a crisis-prone food-insecure country, that describes the food security status of various segments of the population over various parts of a country or region, with the purpose of indicating the broader underlying causes of vulnerability, and recommending appropriate interventions to deal with problems identified.

Coping strategies – Activities to which people resort to obtain food, income, and/or services when their normal means of livelihood have been disrupted.

1. Chambers Compact Dictionary, Edinburgh, UK: Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, 2005.

Coping strategies index (CSI) – A quick and simple indicator of household food insecurity behaviour that reveals how households manage or cope with shortfalls in food consumption.

Two CSI have been proposed in the literature: a context-specific CSI and a reduced CSI. While the first is based on a series of context-specific strategies and contextspecific severity scores, the second always relies on the same short list of (five) coping strategies and the same severity weights.

Data – Information collected from primary or secondary sources.

Design effect – In the context of sampling, the loss or (exceptionally) the gain in precision of statistical estimates when sampling design differs from simple random sampling.

Focus group discussion – A structured discussion to obtain qualitative information on a particular topic (the focus) with people who are knowledgeable and who have experience in that topic.

Food access – A household’s ability to acquire food regularly through one or a combination of home production and stocks, purchases, barter, gifts, borrowing, and food aid.

Food availability – The food that is physically present in the area of concern, through all forms of domestic production, commercial imports, reserves and food aid. This might be aggregated at the regional, national, district, or community level.

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