Methods for Estimating Comparable Prevalence Rates of Food Insecurity Experienced by Adults throughout the World

Food Security, M&E
Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO)
Carlo Cafiero, Mark Nord, Sara Viviani, et al.
Resource Publication Date:
May, 2016
Content Format:

This report presents a detailed description of the methodology and first results from FAO's Voices of the Hungry project. It provides the theoretical background and detailed description of the statistical methodology used to develop the Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES)--a new metric to assess food access at household and individual levels--and allows food security analysts to evaluate the statistical soundness and adequacy of the methods described. 

Application of the FIES in the Gallup© World Poll in 2014 enabled FAO to calculate comparable estimates of the prevalence of moderate and severe food insecurity in 146 countries covering nearly 90% of the world population. The FIES has been selected by the UN Statistical Commission as a monitoring indicator for SDG Goal 2--End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture--and in particular for Target 2.1 on access to food. This implies that in order to fulfill their monitoring obligations, countries will start to collect nationally representative data using the FIES or similar food security scales, such as the Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS), the Latin American and Caribbean Food Security Scale (ELCSA), the Brazilian Food Security Scale (EBIA), or the US Household Food Security Survey Module (US HFSSM).

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