Citation
Methods for rural development projects

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Title:
Methods for rural development projects
Series Title:
Food security practice technical guide series
Creator:
Hoddinott, John
International Food Policy Research Institute
Place of Publication:
Washington D.C
Publisher:
International Food Policy Research Institute
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
vii, 118 p. : ill. ; 22 x 25 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Food supply -- Statistical methods -- Developing countries ( lcsh )
Rural development projects -- Developing countries ( lcsh )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
statistics ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (p. 115-117).
Funding:
Food security practice technical guide series.
Statement of Responsibility:
edited by John Hoddinott.

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Full Text
FOOD SECURITY IN PRACTICE
Edited by John Hoddinott
International Food Policy Research Institute Washington, DC




ISBN 0-89629-713-6
Library of Congress Cataloging -in -Publication data available.
Copyright02001 International Food Policy Research Institute. All rights reserved. Sections of this report may be reproduced without the express permission of, but with acknowledgement to, the International Food Policy Research Institute.




UContents
Foreword .......................................... vi 4. Rapid Appraisal Techniques for the Assessment,
Acknowledgments .................................. vii Design, and Evaluation of Food Security
1. Introduction: John Hoddinott ................ 1 Interventions: Gilles Bergeron...............47
The Links Between Development Interventions, I thodfo r Lc Ne sA sm n
Household Food Security, and Nutrition ................ 1 RA Methods for Local Nee
Introduction to the Chapters ........................7 Intervention Design, andI
Instruments Guide........................... 49
The Chapters in Brief .............................. 8
2. Measuring Nutritional Dimensions of Example of Conceptual Map..................58
Household Food Security: Saul S. Morris .......... 11 Appendix 4A-Methods for Local Concept Definition. 68
Background: The Role of Nutritional Assessment Appendix 4B-Impact Evaluation Instruments........72
in Meeting the Challenge of Hunger and Poverty ........ 11 Appendix 4C-Summary of Impact Evaluation.......72
Getting Familiar with Measures of Nutritional Status .... 11 5. Constructing Samples for Characterizing Household Using Nutritional Assessment to Improve the Impact Food Security and Monitoring and Evaluating Food
of Rural Development Projects ...................... 13 Security Interventions: Calogero Carletto.......77
Case Study of the Rural Development Plan Introduction ......... ..................77
for the Western Region, Honduras ................... 20 Why Random Samples?..................... 77
3. Choosing Outcome Indicators of Household Food Steps In Constructing a Random Sample..........79
Security: John Hoddinott ......................... 31 A Worked Example .... ...................85
Introduction .................................... 31 6. Targeting: Principles and Practice: John Hoddinott .89
Outcome Measure of Household Introduction ......... ..................89
and Individual Food Security ....................... 32 The Principles of Targeting.................. 89
Exploring Associations Between Different Outcome
Measures of Food Security ......................... 40 The Practice of Targeting ....................97
Developing and Using Outcome Indicators of Household 7. Designing Methods for Monitoring and Evaluating
Food Security in Development Projects ................ 44 Food Security and Nutrition Interventions: Calogero
Carletto and Saul S. Morris................... 103
Introduction ......... .................103
Case Studies ......... ..................107
References .............. .................115
Contributors ............ .................117




Tables, Figures, and Boxes
3.4 The relationship between (log) per capital caloric
1.1 Uses of this material at different points in the project cycle ...6 acquisition and two alternative measures of food security,
2.1 Commonly used anthropometric indices ................ 13 controlling for (log) household size and location......43
3.5a Contingency table of actual and predicted per-person caloric
2.2 Nutritional indicators for needs assessment exercises......15 availability (dietary diversity) .................43
2.3 Nutrition indicators for monitoring and impact assessment .17 3.5b Contingency table of actual and
2.4 Time reference of different nutritional indicators ......... 17 availability (coping strategies) .................43
2.5 Severely stunted first graders per 100 hectares, and 3.5c Comparison of predictive power of dietary diversity and
proportion of severely stunted first graders in the 18 coping index ..............43
depaliamentos of Honduras ......................... 21 4.1 Realization of the village map .................50
2.6 Nutritional indicators, western Honduras ............... 22 4.2 Matrix of household demography, assets, and food security
2.7 Frequency of severe stunting among first graders, and severe rating: Partial listing from Tomba ..............52
stunting score of beneficiary households, western Honduras .24 4.3 Model used for coding compound
2.8 Mean anthropometric status of children under five by survey 4.4 Food security rating ........ ..............54
year and program status, western Honduras ............. 25
2.9 hane i anhroomericstaus etwen ulyAugst 9974.5 Conceptual map of food sources and threats to food
2.9 Change in anthropometric status between July/August 1997 security ..................... ... . . .5
and March/April 1998, adjusted for changes in the age securit..................5
structure of the survey populations, western Honduras 26 4.6 Matrix of threats to food acquisition, with possible actions
2.10 Height and weight velocities of children living in the and their likelihood ...................... 60
PLANDERO 96 and PLANDERO 97 study communities, 4.7 Seasonal food security timelines................ 62
western Honduras, 1997-98 .......................... 27 4.8 Development projects: Multiple timelines form........63
3.1 Comparison of methods in terms of costs, time, and skill 4.9 Monitoring and evaluation of impact............. 65
requirements, and susceptibility to misreporting .......... 39 4A. 1 Concepts to define, approaches to use, and outputs to
3.2 Pearson and Spearman correlation coefficient between obtain ..................71
caloric availability and two alternatives ................. 40 4C. 1 Summary of impact evaluation ................73
3.3a Contingency table of caloric availability and weighted 4C.2 Individuals viewing intervention positively on dimensions
dietary diversity ......... ............... 41 of food security, by gender ... ................74
3.3b Contingency table of caloric availability and weighted 6.1 Example of data necessary for calculating P0, P1, and P2 ...90
coping strategy index ............................... 41 6.2 Errors of inclusion and exclusion




6.3 Errors of inclusion and exclusion under random draw ..... 93 2.6 Prevalence of stunting in two rnnicipios of western
6.4 Errors of inclusion and exclusion under perfect targeting ...93 Honduras, 1994-97 ..... .................25
6.5 Errors of inclusion and exclusion under "worst case" 2.7 Average height-for-age Z-scores in March/April 1998, by
targeting ........................................ 94 program status ........ ................ 27
6.6 The impact of alternative targeting mechanisms on the 4.1a Zoning of the conceptual map into quadrants........56
percentage and severity of food insecurity ............... 96 4. lb Nodes and pathways in conceptual map........... 58
6.7 Ranking 10 Zone Lacustre villages by percentage of, 4. ic Threats to food pathways ...................58
absolute numbers of, and severity of food insecurity ....... 98 4A. 1 Scree plot of core items ......................69
6.8 Household-targeting mechanisms ..................... 99 4A.2 SWOT matrix ..........................72
6.1 Stylized distribution of food security............. 90
FIGURES 6.2 The benefits of targeting ....................91
1.1 The determinants of household food security ............. 2 6.3 Leakage and undercoverage with perfect targeting......93
1.2 The impact of development interventions on household 6.4 Leakage and undercoverage under "worst case" targeting .94
food security ..................................... 4
2.1 Nutrition security ................................. 12
2.2 Percentage of severely stunted first graders, Honduras, 1996 .20 3.1 Energy content per 100 gra
2.3 Density of severely stunted first graders per 100 hectares, selected foods ..........................32
Honduras, 1996 ................................... 21 3.2 Recommended daily calorie
2.4 Percentage of severely stunted first graders, western Honduras,
199....................235.1 A glossary of sampling terms .................... 79
1996 . . .. .. . . .. . . . . . . .. . .. . . . . 23
2.5 Distribution of PLANDERO beneficiary households and
malnourished first graders, western Honduras, 1996-98 .... 24




he International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), like The authors have sought to makethsbo"fedrkrinl,
many development practitioners, often finds that insufficient so it is not intended as an exhaustivesuvyoalisesrmthd
information constrains its research efforts with partner with respect to food security and nutrito.Rhehemera organizations in developing countries. Solid data are often lacking presented here is designed to provide:asieo seu ehd on the nature of poverty, food insecurity, and malnutrition; the relevant at different points in the projetcl.Athuhahcapr location of food insecure areas; and the causal links between stands alone, I encourage readers to beit ihte nrdcin
potential interventions and outcomes of interest. This absence of which provides an overview of the key sus information adversely affects the design, implementation, IFPRI's mission is to search for polce( ofe h ol n
monitoring, and evaluation of interventions, including those protect the environment. I hope that tisgiewlasstohrwo
designed to ameliorate food insecurity and malnutrition, share our goal by facilitating the targetn n eino
This book, based on JEPRI's field experience and interaction with interventions for maximum effect on fo neuiyadntiin a variety of partner organizations, aims to assist development and by facilitating the development of etrmtosfrmntrn
practitioners in overcoming these constraints. The principal audience and evaluation. is an operational one-multilateral or bilateral aid agencies, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), developing-country Per Pinstrup-Andersen
governments, and other development practitioners actively engaged Director General, IFPRI in food security and nutrition issues. The book provides a framework for thinking about what projects would be most appropriate in a given situation and indicates what types of information are needed in order to maximize project impact. It can also assist by making development practitioners more fully conversant with food security and nutrition concepts.




Acknowledgments
uch of the material presented here was originally outstanding work of Juan Manuel Medina Banegas (Honduras), Luc
produced for the International Fund for Agricultural Christiaensen (Mali), Sidi Guindo (Mali), Abdourhamane Maiga
Development (IFAD) in the form of a series of technical (Mali), and Charles Masangano (Malawi). In Washington, we were guides for operationalizing household food security. Specifically, I ably assisted by Lynette Aspillera, Ginette Mignot, Jay Willis, and funding for data collection and analysis was supported by IFAD's Yisehac Yohannes. We would also like to acknowledge the guidance
Technical Assistance Grant 301-IFPRI. In addition, this work has and enthusiasm of Lawrence Haddad and the valuable contribution
been aided by comments and advice we received from a number of of Detlev Puetz.
IFAD staff: Mona Fikry, Shantanu Mathur, Annina Lubbock, Enrique Most important, the data used in this volume came from
Murguia Oropeza, Sana Jatta, Gary Howe, and David Kingsbury. The hundreds of men and women in Honduras, Malawi, and Mali who,
authors gratefully acknowledge this funding. with good humor, patiently answered many questions on their own
Some of the material also draws on work undertaken for The food security and nutrition. We recognize that the hours they spent
United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under with us represented a genuine opportunity cost; we hope that in some
grants 688-C-00-98-00151-00 and 698-0478-G-00-5-272-00. In way they will benefit from this work.
particular, we would like to acknowledge, with thanks, the support of The ideas and opinions presented in this volume are the sole Roger Bloom and Kevin Sturr. responsibility of the authors.
We would also like to record our appreciation to the research staff
who worked with us in the field. It is a pleasure to commend the
Food Security in Practice vii




i 64 ........... ...........
OWs
. .. .. .......
~~.. .. ...... :
..........i.: ..
..l :. ... ... .. .. .... :
. "5a S
. .. ..
.... ..
7>P




John Hoddinott
his book is principally aimed at individuals in multilateral or estimating simple linear regressionmdl.Tid eso o
bilateral aid agencies, nongovernmental organizations project designers can use this infaiont nesadtentr
(NGOs), developing-country governments, and other of food security and nutrition probesi agtitretosmr
development practitioners who are actively engaged in food security effectively, and develop simple butecivetosfrmntrn n or nutrition issues. These practitioners often are knowledgeable about evaluation. Fourth, we try to avoiusnjagnotehcl general development issues and have substantial managerial prowess, language; where we do, we define hs em nawyw oei but lack materials that could provide a bridge between the academic accessible. Finally, alongside theprsnainothemtodw literature on these issues and the operational concerns associated present examples to make the maeilmracsib. with designing, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating projects. This introduction attempts to(ototig.Frt tpoie
The purpose of this book is to help bridge this gulf between brief introduction to the conceptofodseuiy(Ainrucont
theory and practice. To begin with, project staff often face nutrition concepts and issues is fdIn hpe totie h
information and resource constraints. That is, information is often links between a variety of developmn rjcsad hi mato lacking on the nature of the food security and nutrition problems food security and nutrition. By donsitpvdeafrmwkfr facing a country, or region within a country; the location of food- thinking about what projects woudbmotapprteiagvn insecure areas; and the causal links between potential interventions situation and indicates what typeso nomto r eddi re and food security outcomes. Further, there is neither the time nor to maximize impacts on food secuiy( eod titoue h
money to launch detailed, lengthy, quantitative household surveys. material in this book, showing ho tcnasitsafinesn h
Even if such surveys could be launched, it is simply not feasible to information constraints they oftenfc.B(on si hudb apply sophisticated statistical analyses to these data. possible to improve the targeting fitretosudrtn hi
The material presented here recognizes these constraints. One of likely effects, and develop improve oioigadeauto our objectives is to outline a number of relatively quick methods for methods. obtaining information on food security and nutrition. A second is to keep the statistical requirements associated with using these data to a THE LINKs BETWEEN DE\EOMN NTRETO
minimum. To apply the material and methods discussed in this HOUSEHOLD FOOD SECURYAD URTO
report, all that is needed is access to a spreadsheet program such as Excel or Quattro and a rudimentary understanding of a few statistical Having established the relevantdiesosffodecrthenx techniques, such as computing means, testing hypotheses, and step is to outline a framework thalikthcoepsffodeury




Figure 1,1 The determinants of household food security
l Ca ital I Hu ar c L
r .. .. ( La n d to o ls liv e sto c k H u gm a n t c a i oa =
,.................... ..... ....................................................................!!!! k .! .!! !!.......... ......................... .......":::::::::............................................ ........................................................................................................
I t
... .. ... - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
wor, king capta
Oosthel dp Food product income-gen rating Care b.hav ors e..........u
, .................................................... ......................... ......................... .. .. ........................................ ....................................-.......
: .............................................................. o
,~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~. ... ... ............................................ ............................................]O...
.............o ..e r n v uanmi bni y
......ecurit ........H e h o rheh........... o...... .........
'~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~I I I 0 v'nr 1 rO................... .................. .........................
. ....................nw....men.. Ntritioal status-L
Food intake
. .Househ o
......................... .L........................ -.................................................. / o d Iit lz t o
.... ...... ....................... .........' .... .. . .. . .. ..
----- -rc .... ...... ............-.------'-:s ~ ~ ~ ~ ...... i .-.od afete ii ..[......d
................ ........ ................ ................ .. ... .. ........ ........ ........
...... Other oods food acquisition
.................................................
S'ourc: Devel"oped b author from iawl and Franibrer (1992 25)
to typical development interventions. This is shown in Figures 1.1 The physical environment plays a large role in determining the
and 1.2. We begin with Figure 1.1. As it is a little complicated, it is type of activities that can be undertaken by rural households.
helpful to consider it in several steps. Government policies toward the agricultural sector will have a
strong effect on the design and implementation of household
1. The diagram is "framed" by the physical, policy, and social food security interventions. For example, a pricing policy that is
environment. The purpose of this framing is to remind the hostile toward agriculture will discourage production.
analyst that household food security issues cannot be seen in Interventions that ignore this fact are unlikely to succeed. The
isolation from broader factors. Examples of these presence of social conflict, expressed in terms of mistrust of
"environmental" issues are as follows: other social groups or even outright violence, is also an
important factor in the design and implementation of
2 Food Security in Practice




interventions. In such circumstances, maximizing beneficiary Together, these four sources dtinhosolicme
participation becomes especially problematic. For example, 4. Households face a set of priciest eemnetelvlo
wealthier groups may take control of projects for their own consumption that can be suppre yti lvlo noe
benefit, to the exclusion of poorer members. Alternatively, social 5. Consumption is divided between hs od htafc
conflict may encourage groups excluded from an intervention household and individual foodscrt n alohrgos
to take active steps to subvert it. A certain degree of social 6. Goods that affect food securitinldfodcsuponath cohesion is necessary if group activities, such as group-based household level (referred to a odacs nmc ftefo
microcredit schemes or collective work on an infrastructure, are security literature); goods diretyrltdt eat ae uha to succeed. medicines; and goods that affcl h elhevrnet uha
2. The resources, or endowments, of households can be divided into shelter, sanitation, and water.Teetregosioehrwt
two broad categories: labor and capital. Labor refers to the knowledge and practice of goo( urtoa ndhat rcie
availability of labor for production. it incorporates both a (called "(care behaviors") andtepbihalhnvrmnt(o
physical dimension-how many people are available to work- example, the availability of pIcypoieptalwtr)
as well as a "knowledge" or human capital dimension. For an affect illness and individual foditkwih ntr eeae
agricultural household, this knowledge includes formal nutritional status or food utilzto.Neththipatfte
schooling and formal training in agricultural production. It also diagram is exactly the same a iga eciigtecue includes informal knowledge obtained via trial and error, past of malnutrition found in Maxwl n rnebre 19,2)
farming experiences, discussions with friends and relatives, Stars are placed beside the houeodfoicustofo
observations made about practices on neighbors' farms, and so intake, and food utilization boeI oepaieta hs r
on. Capital refers to those resources-such as land, tools for food security and nutrition coms
agricultural and nonagricultural production, livestock, and 7. Finally, note that food securityi o ttcoe ie hr r
financial resources-that, when combined with labor, produce second-round, or feedback effcsl eoe yth ahdlnsi
income. Figure 1. 1. Suppose a donorfudaprjcthtiroete
3. Households allocate these endowments across different activities provision of agricultural extenin hscnb huh fa
such as food production, cash crop production, and project that increases the humncptlothhusod.I
nonagricultural income- generating activities (such as wage turn, this raises income. Someon hsicm mgtb sdt
labor, handicrafts, food processing, services, and so on) in acquire additional capital stocsc sarclua mlmns
response to the returns each activity generates. In addition, In turn, this raises householdinoeisueqntya.
households may receive transfer income from other households, Allocations of food, expenditures dcto, n elhwl
from some public body such as the state, or from an NGO. affect the level and distributioofhmncptlwhite




Figure 1.2 The impact of development interventions on household food security
New technologies Agrcural extension Skills training
*Is...... ................ ....... I .... ... .........I ......... ........f ...........
,, i Ca Ia
PP
a e t r l a b o ... .. ... .. ..... .. .. ... ............. .. .........
Food p .rod .ctioc ........... .a ...........- .erat. Ca..e betawos .. H
Hso h, = .... .Y. nA I
cnvroop Prsats ducy ... ...... ........... ...... ......................... i.......................... .................................. ................: .... ........ .............. '........................................ J.............. : :.. ... ... .... .
. . ........................................... o
. . ..- --- ..... ..... .................... ............. . ..... ..........
... ... .. .. .. .... ....................... ] H u e o d e ih .... ... "t....
[ 1 nvironm .nt [ J/ ~~~~ ~~~~.... ........................................ ...... 1 . .i y L
r ~................................................... ii .L
Prices 7 Goods affect, 1/ ...............-...-..L
f oo security Healt1h care /
.. ... .. .. . . ...r........................................... ...................'t .. l....... .
. .. u : 'o ................................................................................................ O r d fo od a c u t
..~~~~~~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ .............. .. ............ ... ...................... .... t rg od o d a q i !i
S ,rco: Developed by author from Maxwsr and r nb ..nr ( 9 25
household. These investments will also affect the household's It is now possible to uncover the links between development projects
ability to generate income in subsequent years. In other words, a and household or individual food security In Figure 1.2, these
well-designed intervention has the potential to set in train a interventions (written in bold) are superimposed on Figure 1.1. They
virtuous circle of development, whereby increased income are placed within the diagram at the point where their direct impact
generates greater wealth, which in turn generates higher levels of is observed.
income, consumption, food security, and nutrition. But it is also A. A series of interventions are designed to improve the broader
worth noting that not all these feedback effects are benign. environments that affect household food security. Examples of
Increased income generation may induce an offsetting reduction these include: in the environment area, field operations such as
in private transfers received from other households, a soil, water, and forest management; in the policy area, providing
phenomenon known as "crowding out." an appropriate institutional environment for private agriculture;
4 Food Security' in Practice




and, in the social area, strengthening small farmers' not favorable. A second cause is ignorance. Households and
associations. individuals may simply not be aware of all the components of a
B. There are interventions that increase the level of and returns to healthy diet or of good health practices. The third reason for these
capital. Examples include the rehabilitation of irrigation weak links is that households, and individuals, face many competing
facilities, the provision of credit, and the development of new demands for their limited financial resources. They may want to
technologies. increase the level or quality of their food consumption, but they may
C. There are interventions that increase the stock of knowledge or also want to reduce labor drudgery, be better dressed, be able to send
human capital. Examples include literacy training or extension their children to school, and so on. In those projects that emphasize
services that provide new technical skills in the nonagricultural beneficiary participation, beneficiaries might choose interventions
sector. that have their largest impact on an outcome other than food
D. There are interventions that improve rural infrastructures, security or nutrition.
notably roads. Reducing transport costs improves household food An attraction of the framework here is that it provides some prior
security in two ways: by increasing the returns from production indications as to which interventions are most likely to have such an
activities and by reducing the costs of obtaining food and other impact. For example, interventions directed at strengthening local
goods for consumption. institutions are unlikely to have a direct impact on nutritional status.
E. There are interventions to improve knowledge of good health care Further, greater beneficiary involvement in project selection, design,
and nutrition practices. and implementation may also result in interventions that do not
E There are interventions that improve the health environment, address food security and nutrition concerns. Put another way, the
such as improved access to safe drinking water and health principal concerns of beneficiaries may relate to objectives that differ
services. from those of the project designer who seeks to improve food security
and nutrition. Such observations do not necessarily invalidate
It is worth noting that many development interventions attempt approaches such as greater beneficiary participation, but do highlight
to improve the broad environment in which households exist or to the challenges associated with linking these to food security and
raise levels of human or physical capital. These do not directly affect nutrition. food security outcomes. Instead, they raise incomes. One should not It is also important to note that the strength of these links is not
assume, however, that there is invariably a strong link between constant across all households within a given population. As many
higher income and food security and nutrition outcomes. development practitioners are aware, women often face particularly
In the case of nutritional status or food utilization, food is not the severe constraints or have access to weaker productive assets. There is only input. Increased food access will not necessarily improve food reasonable evidence to suggest that they devote a larger share of
utilization when other factors, such as the health environment, are resources under their control to food security and nutrition objectives.
Food Security in Practice 5




This provides the potential for a clear win-win scenario. Interventions need to obtain and interpret information on the following questions:
directed toward women both relieve constraints on a particularly Who is food-insecure or at nutritional risk? Or, where should
disadvantaged group and have maximal impact on food security and this intervention be located in order to maximize impact on
nutrition indicators, these indicators?
Accordingly, an attraction of this conceptual framework is that it Why are they food-insecure or at risk? Or, what interventions
encourages project staff to consider carefully the likely impact of a will have maximal impact on improving these indicators?
proposed intervention on food security and nutrition. A second How best can this intervention be monitored and evaluated?
attraction is that it indicates that staff, when designing interventions, Or, how can staff assess how well the project is working?
Table 1.1 Uses of this material at different points in the project cycle e proe c e
Chapter Title Brief description
2. Measuring nutritional dimensions of Outlines different measures of nutrition and explains how V V V
household food security these can be implemented
........................... ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................. ..............................................................................................................................................................................................
S Choosing outcome indicators of household Outlines different measures of food security and explains V V V
food security how these can be implemented
4, Rapid appraisal techniques for the assess- Outlines community-based methods for the assessment and V
ment, design, and evaluation of food secu- monitoring of food security
rity interventions
........................... ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................. ..............................................................................................................................................................................................
5. Constructing samples for characterizing Reviews different methods of selecting a sample for needs V V
household food security and monitoring assessment, monitoring, and evaluation
and evaluating food security interventions
........................... ............................................................................................................................................... .............................................................................................................. ............................................................................... .... .............................. .................
6. Targeting: Principles and practice Reviews different methods for targeting interventions V V
7. Designing methods for monitoring and Outlines rigorous, yet simple to implement, methods for V V
evaluating food security and nutrition project evaluation
interventions
Source: Conmpilpdd by autIor
6 Food Security in Practice




The next section introduces the material that provides answers to than comprehensive also enabled sti rt hre;adw hn these questions. more manageable, volume withchpestacnberdeiers
stand-alone pieces or as a whole.
INTRODUCION TO THE CHAPTERS Set against these advantages aesvrldsdatgs isw
have no doubt missed some topicsta tlat n eeomn
In addition to this introductory material, this book contains six practitioner would have included. chapters on different aspects of operation alizing food security and Second, the selective nature oftic aeilmgtmk tapa nutrition in development projects. Table 1.1 provides a list of these somewhat disjointed. However; we(atyrciyti ocr yntn chapters and indicates where, within the project cycle, they can be that the chapters that follow canbegopdythibacfutonn used. terms of assisting project staff inobangfodscrtadnuiin
Some explanation of the particular topics chosen is warranted. and aiding in interpreting this infrainChpesttexnivl Our focus on food security and nutrition reflects, in part, our own discuss issues and techniques for otiigifrainaeCatr background and experience with development projects. But this does (nutritional dimensions of food secrt) cosn ucm not mean that this book is only for practitioners in these fields. We indicators of food security), 4 (rapdarisltcnqe)ad hope that readers with a related interest, such as livelihood security, (constructing samples). Chapters ta mhsz h nepeain will also find this book useful. The material we present is the use, and analysis of this informatinae2(urtoaliesoso outcome of our interactions with project staff in multilateral and food security), 3 (choosing outcomincaosffodeurt)6 bilateral donor organizations, NGOs, officials in developing country (targeting), and 7 (designing metosfrmnoigad governments, and project beneficiaries over the last three years. evaluation). Working with these groups on project design and implementation Alternatively, these chapterscabegopdcorigtth
helped improve our understanding of the largest gaps between theory questions, listed at the end of the rvosscin htte nwr and practice. This material attempts to fill these gaps. However, it Specifically, the following chaptercabeudto does not pretend to be comprehensive. For example, although we *identify who is food-insecureo tntiinlrs-hpes2
discuss the design of survey instruments to obtain information on 3, 4, and 5;
food security and nutrition (Chapters 2 and 3) and sampling 0 identify causes of food insecuiyadntiinlrs n h
methods for the implementation of such surveys (Chapter 6), we do interventions that will allevit, hs ass ti
not discuss the logistics of survey implementation because (1) our introduction, plus chapters,( nd4
sense is that this is well-known territory for many development o design monitoring and evautowehnsm-hpes23
practitioners and (2) there are a number of excellent reference 4, 5, 6, and 7.
materials already in widespread circulation. Being selective rather




THE CHAPTERS IN BRIEF followed by an explanation of how these different measures can be
compared, illustrated using data collected in the Zone Lacustre
Chapter 2.: easuring Nutrittonal. Dimensions of region of Mali. The guide also proposes a possible sequence of
HousemlId Food Security activities that would use these indicators at different stages of the
Many development projects intended to improve nutrition are project cycle.
constrained by a limited knowledge base. In particular, it is not clear
whether the constraining factor to improved nutrition is poor access Cl a teo 4: Ra pid Appraisal Tech i e I" fr the to food; weaknesses in the provision of health care, child care, or in AssessimenI, Design, and Evaluation of Food Seenri y the general health environment; or some combination of these. This Inerventions
chapter explains how such knowledge bases can be expanded using Participatory appraisal techniques are "a family of approaches and
the principles of nutritional assessment. It answers the following methods to enable rural people to share, enhance, and analyze their
questions: What is nutritional assessment? How can nutritional knowledge of life and conditions, to plan and to act" (Chambers
assessment assist the process of targeting projects to those most in 1994). These include mapping activities, transect walks, seasonal need? How can nutritional assessment direct the selection and calendars, wealth ranking, and analytical diagramming. Unlike
sequencing of interventions? How can nutritional assessment guide traditional, more extractive data-gathering methods, participatory
project monitoring and evaluation? rural appraisal (PRA) techniques are premised on the notion that
local people have an enormous amount of local knowledge. Rather
Chapter .: Choosing Outconme Indlicators of Household than merely appropriating this information, in PRA local people
Food Securifty dominate the agenda, decide how to express and analyze
Any commitment to improve food security and nutrition carries with information, and plan and evaluate.
it an important implication, namely the need to measure food This chapter outlines the advantages and disadvantages of rapid
security outcomes at household and individual levels. Measurement appraisal techniques in the context of food security interventions.
is necessary to characterize the severity of the food security problem These techniques are low-cost; provide information quickly; require and to provide a basis for measuring impact. This chapter shows how little equipment; and by deliberately seeking local opinions, provide to construct four measures of household and individual food security: insights that might be missed by mor conventional methods. But individual intakes, household caloric acquisition, dietary diversity, they require highly skilled personnel and are not suitable for and coping indices. For each, an explanation is given regarding what targeting purposes. Six rapid-appraisal methods are outlined: concept this indicator measures, how the data is collected, and how indicators definition; community mapping; household food security ratings; of food security are calculated. Each description ends with a seasonal time lines; conceptual mapping of threats to food security;
commentary on the strengths and weaknesses of the method. This is and the evaluation of interventions.
8 Food S'eCur/v inz Practice




Chapter 5: Constrcting Snies for Charac teri "Zg Cia i~ter 7: Designing Met d MoW rig ad
H-oiseh.ld Food Securi-y and Moi.toring and Evat.uath g Evaloating FTood Securit-y and ot :itioi l.t yen dos
Food Security Intervelotv i-s In recent years, many development agencies have made intensive
Reliable information on household food security is a prerequisite for efforts to improve their efficiency and increase their impact on rural the accurate and effective design, monitoring, and evaluation of poverty. At the heart of this new strategic management process is the
projects. But collecting data is not a costless exercise. This chapter measurement of performance. But poorly thought-out evaluations discusses how random-sampling techniques-methods that use may inadvertently act as an incentive to target better-off groups,
some mechanism involving chance to determine which farms, which offer higher returns and promise faster disbursement of project
households, or individuals are to be studied-can economize on the resources. In addition, there is a clear danger of placing a higher
costs of gathering information while increasing the likelihood that it priority on more easily measurable outcomes or indicators, which fail will be both accurate and available in a timely fashion. to provide the information necessary to address broader objectives or
to enhance the effectiveness of rural development projects for "the
Chapter: 'lgeting: Pi-in cit s and Pr die poorest of the poor.'
Many development agencies have a mandate to direct their This chapter emphasizes the design of quantitative impact
investments toward the poor; that is, there is an explicit requirement evaluation exercises for household food security and nutrition. that projects are targeted. This chapter introduces the principles It provides development practitioners with the basic principles on
underlying targeting, stressing that targeting only makes sense when why, when, and how to choose and implement a particular the additional costs of doing so are outweighed by the additional evaluation system. Two key features of a good impact evaluation
benefits in terms of reduction in poverty or food insecurity. It also study are stressed: the availability of accurate baseline information introduces the practice of targeting, beginning by distinguishing and a properly thought-out control group, which allows before-after
between two forms of targeting: administrative and self-targeting. and with-without comparisons. The chapter also illustrates why the
Administrative targeting is the process by which project staff involvement of the evaluation team in the earliest stages of project
determine eligibility criteria. Under self-targeting, the intervention is, design is the most suitable way to ensure a proper and accurate in principle, open to anyone who wishes to take part. However, it is evaluation without having to rely on more complicated statistical designed in such a way that it is only attractive to certain households. techniques, as well as permit a sound learning process to ensue from The chapter explains how these methods can be implemented as well the evaluation exercise.
as their strengths and weaknesses.
Food Security in Practice 9




........
... .. .... ...
::: :: ::.:, :: .: i' @ 1! :'" ...... ...............




2. Measrin Nuritioa i I eso fHuehlI
Saul S. Morris
evelopment projects and practitioners can play a critical BACKGROUND: THE ROLEOF URTOA
catalytic role in overcoming the nutrition problems of the ASSESSMENT IN MEETINGTH HA ENEO UNE
rural poor, either by strengthening the household resource AND POVERTY base for food and good health or by enhancing target groups' control and management of these resources. Nutritional assessments are measrmnsobdyizoy
Unfortunately, many practitioners do not have all the composition, or body function intner odans igeo
information they need to maximize the nutrition impact of rural multiple nutrient deficiencies. Somtmsntiioa(seset
development projects. This chapter outlines methodologies that will consist of highly controlled techiclmaue ntwienohr assist practitioners to improve the nutrition impact of development circumstances, they may be condutdi( atcptr anrta
activities. The methodologies described here are jointly referred to as fosters community involvementanowesioftepjctsa nutritional assessment. The chapter begins by explaining what is whole. Findings may be interpreted ttelvlo h niiul u
meant by nutritional assessment and how it can reinforce linkages are commonly aggregated overacomntdsrtrsuainl between nutrition and agricultural development. It then considers region. how nutritional assessment can be used in rural development Frankenberger et al. (1993) hv hw htmaue eie
projects for beneficiary targeting and project formulation, as well as from nutritional assessments ma e iwd sth iloia for practical project monitoring and evaluation, manifestation of Nutrition Securtya"odto htcmie
Nutritional assessment has great potential for geographical having access to adequate food,benwllcrdfbadnjyga
targeting at little additional cost. In addition, it is also a useful input healthy environment." The conceta(oe dvlpdb into project formulation. It is invaluable at the monitoring and Frankenberger and colleagues isreodcdiFgue21Ints
evaluation stage because it offers the possibility of directly measuring model, rural development projectateptodrclinuneth the human-welfare impact of development activities, and also household's resource base, and thsoueldfdscriy
because the information generated cannot easily be manipulated by interested parties. in the final section of the chapter, the theoretical GETTING FAMILIAR WITH ESRSO discussions are illustrated using data from Honduras. NUTRITIONAL STATUS
Those interested in reading about these topics in more detail
should consult Gibson (1990) and WHO (1995). There are numerous different msresourtoa tts ayn
with respect to their ease of measueet eaint itr nae




Figure 2.1 Nutritional security and velocity of change following shocks or improvements in the
OUTCOME individual's environment. There are three major classes of measures.
physiologicali) The first class uses clinical examinations to detect signs and
O M NUTRITIONAL STATUS symptoms of advanced nutritional depletion. Examples are surveys of
OUTCOME
~(social) goiter to detect iodine deficiency, or eye examinations to detect
..........._ ioc.h .a t...tor.s vitamin A deficiency. With appropriate training, lay inquirers can be
INDIVIDUAL LEVEL .............. ..................used to determine levels of these conditions in the community.
Adequate Adeuuate Ae te In contrast, laboratory methods are usually invasive (involve
Adequate !I otat
TR, "U and ta tio taking samples from sites of the body that are not immediately
IN T R A H O U S E H O LD .................................................., ............... .................................
(processes} accessible) and therefore poorly suited to routine use in a program
AFocatiion a resources arrong situation. These methods are used to detect decreased levels of
d ffe.ent needs and distribution
within ru househod to ensure nutrients in body tissues or fluids, or decreased activity of an enzyme
individual fiod security ard
sa-tisfaction oft heal!th-r.,elated that is nutrient-dependent. One example of a laboratory method with needs of individual mrnembers
SCONTROL AND MANAG(EMENT potential for more general use is the detection of anemia by
OF RESOURCES
WITHIN THE HOUSEHOLD hemoglobinometry (see below).
................................................. ................................................ T e t i d c a s n h a n f c s o h s c a t c i
The third class, and the main focus of this chapter, is A C C E S S T O R E S O U R C E S A T .- - - - - - --.. . .
HOUSEHOLD LEVEL Capacity to obtain adequate anthropometry, or the measurement of body size and gross body
resources for livelihood needs
HOUSEHOLD FOOD SECURITY composition. The basic principle of anthropometry is that prolonged
AND OTHER BASIC NEEDS or severe nutrient depletion eventually leads to retardation of linear
.................................................. .................................................o e e e n t i n e l t o v n u l
(skeletal) growth in children and to loss of, or failure to accumulate, HOUSEHOLD RESOURCE
BASE muscle mass and fat in both children and adults. These problems
Access to productive assets can be detected by measuring body dimensions, such as standing
* employment opportunities
* income generation height or upper-arm circumference or total body mass (weight).
Suc.:: support metvic arms All of these measures are expected to vary by the age and sex of the
*, soc ati support mec.han~isms
-........ _person measured, so that there is a need for the measurements to be
standardized for age and sex before they can be interpreted.' Easy-tosoR-urce an;,ero a 9 use computer applications are available for these conversions.
The five most commonly used anthropometric indices are
described in more detail in Table 2.1. There is a strong emphasis
here on children under five years of age, because children are
1 2 Food Security in Practice




especially vulnerable to adverse environments and respond rapidly to implications for their future productivity. On the other hand,
changes. In particular, when children do not receive the nutrients although adults also lose weight in response to severe energy deficit,
they need, their growth is rapidly compromised, with long-term this effect can be very difficult to distinguish from their genetic
potential. The selection of appropriate measures for different
Table 2.1 Commonly used anthropometric indices programmatic purposes is described in later sections of this guide.
Anthropometric measurements are subject to a number of sources
Indicator Age group Requiremets of error, including instrument error, investigator error, and recall
eit-for-agLqt-for- Extnsiv train require error (for measures based on age). These sources of error need to be
Heightdor-age/Length-for-age Exte ns ive tr aini ng req uire d
"Height" measured as recumbent t 'or measurement of recumr controlled, since they can easily lead to overestimates of the
length for under 2-year-olds. bent length of infants and frequency of malnutrition or underestimates of the effectiveness of
Measure referred to standard for Up to puberty young children. Accurate wellnourished individual of same age information required interventions. Special standardization procedures have been
age and sex (usually National (often misreported in non- developed to minimize measurement error (Habicht 1974).
Center for Health Statistics (NCHS]. literate societies).
Weightfor-age Accurate age information USING NUTRITIONAL ASSESSMENT TO iMPROVE THE
Measure referred to standard for required (often misreported
wellnourished individual of the tin nonliterate societies), iMPACT OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
well-nourishe~d indidial of the Up to puberty
same age and sex (usually
NCHS).
In the following sections, we show how nutritional assessment
Witor- itWeigi-for-eigt Extenive training require methods may be used to improve project formulation, beneficiary
Weightdor-beight/Weight-forlength Extensive training required Weight measure referred to for measurement of recum- targeting, monitoring, and evaluation. Many of the approaches take
standard for well-nourished individ- bent length of infants and advantage of the increase in the availability of nutritional data that
ual of same height and sex (usually Infancy id young children. Two differNCHS). "Height" mrneasured as childhood ent body meaurements has occurred since 1990 (see Chapter 4). Other approaches require
recumbent length for under required. collection of new data; interested readers are strongly advised to
2-year-olds.
2earolds. consult Chapter 6 before undertaking data collection activities.
Mid-upper arm circumferece Relatively little training
Special insertion tape used to required. Co try Strategy Proect Inception, ad F mulati
identify midpoint of upper arm and All ages Currently available data on nutritional status may be especially
measure circumference at this
measrpom. crcmfrence at this valuable at the country strategy and project inception stages, both for
Body ma.ss idex Two different body targeting subnational regions and for needs assessment.
Weight (kilograms) divided by Adult measurements required. Where nutrition security is a priority, identifying the geographic
height (meters) squared, areas of a country most in need of rural development interventions is
Source: Compled by author :
Food Security in Practice 13




facilitated by reference to existing sources of nutrition data. The can be enhanced by expressing the numbers on a per-kilometerprincipal nutritional indicator for targeting subnational regions is squared basis. Caution should be exercised when using this measure
proportion (absolute numbers) of children under 5, or in areas where advanced HIV disease is prevalent, since individuals
of school age (6-10 years), with low height-for-age with HIV disease are thin, but not as a result of food insecurity.
(stunting). Regions/communities with large numbers of adults/adolescents
This indicator, more than any other, is recommended for characterized by low BMIs are found in Asia and Africa. Small mididentifying areas of greatest need for targeting economic and health upper arm circumference is sometimes used as a proxy measure for
interventions (WHO Expert Committee 1995). Weight-based measures low body mass. It should be noted that the presence of significant
are, in general, too sensitive to illness and specific childcare practices, numbers of adults (say, 10 percent) with very low BMIs normally and are subject to seasonal variations. Data on stunting are available indicates a need for emergency relief rather than rehabilitation or at the subnational level for virtually all poor countries, from surveys development. (such as the Demographic and Health Surveys) and from school
height censuses. The usefulness of the measure for project targeting Needs Assessmeiit
can be enhanced by expressing the numbers on a per-kilometer- Also at the project formulation stage, nutritional measures can be
squared basis. reviewed to assess the needs of project beneficiaries. Normally this
Regions/communities with large numbers of children process is carried out for the project area as a whole, but where
characterized by low height-for-age are found in Africa, Asia, and possible, it is informative to disaggregate by variables known to be
Latin America and the Caribbean, though the condition is most linked to nutrition security, such as landownership, gender of
common in South Asia (UN ACC/SCN 1998). In Latin America and household head, sanitary/health care resources, and so on. Nutrition
the Caribbean, the prevalence of low weight-for-age (underweight) indicators for needs assessment are described in Table 2.2.
can be used as a proxy measure for low height-for-age (stunting), The needs assessment process should start by collating nutritional
since the two indicators are highly correlated in this region where low data from as many different population-based sources as possible (data weight-for-height (wasting) is not seen. collected at health centers or from currently operating selective programs
Another measure that may be of use in contexts of extreme are much more difficult to interpret because of the inevitable biases).:
poverty is proportion (absolute numbers) of adults and adolescents The information should be arranged by indicator, age group studied, and
with low body mass index (BMI). This indicator identifies areas of year of collection. Conflicting evidence from different sources should be
severe food insecurity. Data are sometimes available at the carefully reviewed with the help of local experts to identify the source of
subnational level from surveys (such as the Demographic and Health the discrepancy. Subsequently, it may be helpful to rank the different
Surveys, which commonly assess the nutritional status of women of problems identified according to their frequency in the population.
reproductive age). The usefulness of the measure for project targeting It is useful to compare the same indicator across different age/sex
1 4 Food Securit, in Practice




Table 2.2 Nutritional indicators for needs assessment exercises groups. For example, stunting in children where adults are also short
Indicator interpretation may be more suggestive of intergenerational deprivation effects than
of current food access or health problems; similarly, while wasting in Prevalence of low height-for- Children's skeletal (linear) growth compromised children may indicate poor feeding practices or health problems, the age (stunting) in preschool or due to constraints to one or more of nutrition, school-age children health, or mother-infant interactions. In some combination of wasting in children and low body mass in adults
populations, these constraints are already indicates a crisis in entitlements to food. Specific nutrient deficiencies
apparent in utero. Quality of diet a more frequent
limitation than inadequate quantity. (for example, iron or vitamin A) are not uncommon in children as a
Prevalence of low weight-for- Children suffer thinness resulting from energy result of poor feeding practices; however, when they are also found in height (wasting)in preschool deficit and/or disease-induced poor appetite, 111adults, a problem of food access sol essetd
or school-agre children maiabsorption, or loss of nutrients. Prevalence of low weight-for- This indicator confuses the two processes It is also important to contrast different indicators. Substantial
age (underweight) in preschool described above and is therefore not a good childhood wasting in the absence of stunting, for example, indicates or school-age children indicator for needs assessment purposes, ~a nutritional crisis of very recent advent. Stunting in the absence of Prevalence of low body mass Adults suffer thinness as a result of inadequate index (BMI) in adults or energy intake, an uncompensated increase in wasting, on the other hand, indicates a complex and deep-rooted
adolescents physical activity, or (severe) illness, nutritional problem, sometimes not directly related to food
Prevalence of low mid-upper As above. Restricting analysis to the arm has the availability at the household level. Similarly, specific nutrient arm circumference in advantage of reflecting the mass of just three tisadults/adolescents sues-bone, muscle, and fat-the last two of deficiencies in the absence of stunting or wasting may indicate either
ihich are particularly sensitive to body weight poor feeding practices or a general problem of dietary quality, while, gaIinlos s.
Prevalence of low serum Children suffer vitamin A deficiency, either as a combined with stunting and/or wasting, they are more likely to retinol in preschool children result of low intake of vitamin A in the diet, or indicate profound poverty of resources at many levels.
because there is a high frequency of infection,
leading to sequestering of vitamin A from the
blood. Project ImpIementatiOn
Prevalence of low hemoglobin Children suffer from anemia, either as a result of Just as nutrition data can assist with targeting and needs assessment (anemia) in preschool or low iron intakes or poor absorption, or as a result school-age children of illness. Severe protein-energy malnutrition at the project formulation stage, so they can also be of assistance for
and vitamin B12/folate deficiency can also lead small-area targeting and sequencing of interventions in the to anemia, implementation phase.
Prevalence of low hemoglobin Women suffer from anemia as a result of low (anemia) in nonlactating, non- iron intakes, poor absorption, illness, or exces- The potential of small-area targeting is discussed in Chapter 6. pregnant women sive losses of blood. Severe protein-energy mal- This procedure is greatly facilitated when nutritional data are
nutrition and vitamin B12/folate deficiency can available at a fine level of disag also lead to anemia, available at a fine level of disaggregation, permitting the
Prevalence of low hemoglobin As above. Anemia is rare in adult men except in identification of priority-need small areas (usually districts or (anemia) in men conditions of extreme iron-deficient diets. municipalities) within the overall area of influence of the project.
Soue.: Co mpied by au or;
Food Security in Practice 1 5




School height censuses are an obvious source of such data, but Z-score of -2.1 is classified as stunted while one with a Z-score
detailed nutritional surveys are also occasionally available. Where of -2.0 is not, even though there is little reason to include the
such data are available, their use and interpretation are exactly as first family in a development program and not the second.
described in the previous section (see above). Where these data are Finally, there have been instances where families in areas with
not available, conducting a large-scale nutritional survey for the projects using individual targeting-based nutritional status
purpose of small-area targeting is likely to be cost-ineffective; other have actually withheld food from children so that their
indicators should therefore be used (see Chapter 3). nutritional status will deteriorate and the family will be entitled
Only in exceptional circumstances are nutritional data available to participate in the project.
at a level of disaggregation sufficiently fine to permit communitylevel targeting. Often, however, socioeconomic data can be collected The nutritional needs assessment described above is expected to
that permit the estimation of the expected rate of malnutrition in the identify the broad features of an appropriate nutrition strategy for the community. project area. Beyond this, the search for interventions should be
For a number of reasons, it is unwise to use nutritional measures guided by an analysis of the constraints to nutrition security in each for household-level targeting in rural development projects. These of its contributing areas: household food security, health, and
reasons include the following: mother-infant interaction. As nutritional indicators represent the
* Many of the measures that have been discussed in the previous joint outcome of all of these factors, there is only a limited amount
sections are dependent on the presence of a household member of information that they can provide on the causes of, and solutions
of a particular age and/or sex, and thus exclude a priori to, nutrition insecurity.
households of a different composition.
* Most nutritional measures are age-sensitive; for example, a Mo.nitniring and Ev luation
two-year-old child is much more likely to be stunted than a Nutritional assessment can be an extremely valuable element of the
one-year-old, even though the conditions of the household are monitoring and evaluation process in rural development projects for
identical. a number of different reasons:
* Some measures of nutritional status change in a relatively short Nutritional measurements provide a measure of human welfare
time, so that a child who has just been ill can easily be wasted, that is sensitive to changes in food supply, as well as to other
even when the household's conditions are generally good. community development processes.
* Many other measures reflect past conditions, or even Nutritional measurements provide a nonsubjective, quantitative
intergenerational effects, more strongly than current conditions. assessment of progress toward a fixed goal (the elimination of
* The cutoffs used to determine the presence or absence of malnutrition).
malnutrition are arbitrary, so that a child with a height-for-age Nutritional measurements cannot easily be falsified by
16 Food Security in Practice




individuals with vested interests in the outcome of the rich in micronutrients but not in energy. Similarly, a project aimed
interventions (including the subjects themselves), at increasing basic grain production in rural Africa is unlikely to
Nutritional measurements are relatively easy to obtain, either affect the nutritional status of infants less than six months of age,
in sentinel sites for the purpose of ongoing monitoring, or in a since these infants usually consume only breast milk and are
sample of the entire study area for the purpose of evaluation, therefore unaffected by changes in the family diet. Relevant
nutritional indicators for assessing the impact of a variety of different
In order to assess whether project interventions have improved interventions are shown in Table 2.3.
nutrition security among beneficiaries, it is first necessary to identify The length of time that an intervention has been in place is also
which nutritional indicators could plausibly have been altered by an important variable to take into account when selecting nutrition
project interventions and which subgroups of the population are indicators and study populations, since different indicators reflect
most likely to have benefited. For example, a project that has as its events in the recent and distant past with different intensities, and take
sole aim the promotion of home gardening should not be expected to different amounts of time to respond to such changes (Table 2.4).
produce an impact on adult BMI, since vegetables are, in general,
Table 2.3 Nutrition indicators for monitoring and impact Table 2.4 Time reference of different nutritional indicators
assessment
SIndicantor Time reference fo dietary influences
Intervention M ost relevant nutritional indicators..............................................................................................
..................... ........ ..................... .............................. ......... ............ ....... ...... ......... ...... ........................ .................... .................... e u k m n Ai E s n i~ y o s m t o v r r c n a s h c
Serum viamin A Esntily consumption over recent days, which
Improved availability of food Body mass index (BMI) (adults) can be ifluenced by consumption events up to
(dietary energy) at the house- Weight-for-height Z--score (two to five year olds) four months in the past
hold level, in areas where Weight-for-age Z- .score (two to five year olds) Consumptn ove ecen ee and months
dietary energy intake is initially Height-forage Z-score (long-term evaluations -emo----bin--ver w- -k an monthsconstrained, only; two to five year olds) Weightfor-height, body mass Consumption over recent weeks
- -index (BMI)
.......................................e...------------.....................................................................1}
Improved availability of food at Height-for-age Z .score (under fives) ---- -----the individual level, plus Weight-for-age Z--score (under fives) Height-for-age Cumulative life-time consumption, especially
improvements in other basic Weight-for.-height Z-. score (under fives) influenced by events occurring in first two year
needs, especially health ___of life and prenatally
needs, especially health ----------
intake of COWO~~~~i Weiaht-for-aae .Mxueowigtfrh
Increased intake of animal Anemia (hemoglobin) Wei.ght-for-.age Mixture of weight-for-height and height-for-age
products Serumr vitamin A (retinol) effects
Increased intake of fruits and Serum vitamin A (retinol) SoJce: called byautho:
leaves
Source: Compiled by author:
Food Security in Practice 17




There are many different ways of using nutritional assessment to choice in many communities, although mid-upper arm
determine whether project interventions are improving, or have circumference may be as good or better in communities where acute
improved, the nutrition security of the beneficiary population. In the or seasonal food shortages are known to occur and to result in following sections, we examine four such methods: (1) the use of fluctuations in body mass. The analysis of the data should focus on
sentinel sites for the monitoring of nutritional impact, (2) the obtaining moving averages5 that reflect important changes in
examination of changes in nutritional status of populations before nutritional status without being excessively dominated by short-term
and after implementation of project activities, (3) the analysis of 'Iblips." It is likely to be necessary to control for the effect of the
changes in the nutritional status of individuals before and after aging of the study cohort over time, as this leads to apparent
implementation of project activities, and (4) the comparison of improvements in nutritional status that are sadly-illusoy.
achieved nutritional status across beneficiary and nonbeneficiary Samples of approximately 100 individuals are likely to be sufficient
populations. for the monitoring of trends over time, with measurements perhaps
every two or three months. Ongoing monitoring may be linked to the
Sentinel Ates for monitoring nutrition al status evaluation strategies described in the following sections, but it is
Sentinel sites (a few purposively selected "representative" locations important to realize that it does not, in and of itself, provide evidence where data collection and analysis activities are concentrated) have of any impact of project activities. Rather, it indicates that within the
frequently played a major role in project monitoring activities. For intervention area, changes are or are not occurring in the direction
project management, the advantage of setting up a sentinel site expected, and are or are not of the desired magnitude (see Chapter 7).
system is that a relatively small number of people can be intensively
trained to provide needed information in a timely and systematized Evaluating changes in nutitional status of populations
manner. On the other hand, there is always the danger that the before and at'er iniplementatii of p oect activities
sentinel sites selected may not be representative of the project area as One popular way of determining the impact of project activities on a whole, and that the data collected may become more or less nutrition security is to conduct one survey prior to implementation
reliable over time as those charged with the data collection master and another at the end of the evaluation period, examining changes
the techniques or, alternatively, lose interest in the monitoring in the nutritional profile of the population over the two points in
process.' time. This type of evaluation is credible if it can be demonstrated that
The most important element of a successful monitoring system is the population surveyed is the same at each period in time (for
a mechanism for ensuring that the data are promptly collated and example, a representative sample of all adult women in the project
analyzed so that they can feed into decisionmaking processes without zone of influence). It is not necessary for the individuals in the
delay. Nutritional indicators should be selected on the basis of the survey to be the same; indeed, often it is unavoidable that the
simplicity of measurement: weight-for-age would be the indicator of individuals are different, such as when the nutritional status of
1 8 Food Security in Practice




children under five is measured before and after a five-year Analysis of changes in tif1ti tatus o iivduals
development project. The comparison may be strongly influenced by beo. orc and mpI m n. tio of priniect cfi m"t
factors specific to the timing of the two surveys. This is particularly In some situations, it is possible to track individuals over time and to the case when nutritional measures are used that are sensitive to examine associations between project activities and changes in
short- or medium-term fluctuations in intake (for example, serum nutritional status at the individual level. This approach to measuring
vitamin A). It is less of a problem when using measures such as project impact is expected to be far mor sensitive than the approach
height-for-age Z-scores, which reflect cumulative influences over a outlined above An individual's final height minus initial height is
substantial period of time. referred to as gain in height, while their final weight minus initial
When the beneficiary population alone is studied, the evaluation can weight is referred to as weight gain. Since the amount of gain in determine whether the observed changes in nutritional status are of the height and/or weight is dependent on the time elapsed between the expected direction and magnitude, but is unable to causally link two measures, it may be appropriate to express these measures as
program activities to observed changes. When a "control" group is also gain per unit time, usually referred to as height or weight velocity. measured at the same time points as the intervention group (see Chapter It is very important to realize that height and weight velocity are both 7), it is possible to infer whether changes in nutritional status appear to sex- and (especially) age-dependent, so that analysis must take be more beneficial in the intervention group than in the control group. account of different age structures of intervention and control groups. The before-after comparison is usually expressed as the change in mean One other complication that should also be borne in mind is that values of the nutritional indicator, but can also be expressed as the many individuals will not be able to be traced at the time of the relative (or absolute) change in the proportion of the population with second survey. Since these individuals are always different from those values below some critical measure. The latter comparison may be more who remain traceable, the picture of project impact obtained may be relevant from a human welfare perspective, but requires larger sample unrepresentative. sizes than the comparison-of-means approach. It is not a good idea to calculate an individual's change in
One factor specific to studies with nutritional status as outcomes is Z-score from one time period to another, since, for example, a half that the interpretation of the results will be strongly influenced by the Z-score deterioration in nutritional status in an infant can have very age composition of the study population. If the age composition has different physiological implications from a half Z-score deterioration
changed between initial and final surveys, or if the intervention group in an older child. Such comparisons are also confounded by has a different age structure from the control group, be it ever so slight, technical problems with the customarily used National Center for this must be taken into account in the analysis. Since adjusting for age Health Statistics (NCHS) reference. A new NCHS reference has been effects requires some knowledge of statistical methods, the utmost care available since December 2000. should be taken to ensure comparability of the initial and final samples.
Food Security in Practice 19




Compar'ison of achIfieved utrit ional status across CASE STUDY OF THE RURAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN FOR
beneficiary y and mnonbeneficiary commmutties THE WESTERN REGION, HONDURAS
In the absence of data on nutritional status prior to intervention, it is possible to directly compare the attained nutritional status of Project Placemenit
children of project beneficiaries with the attained nutritional status of Figure 2.2 shows the prevalence of severe stunting (height-for-age children of nonbeneficiaries. In order to be able to interpret the below -3 standard deviations of the NCHS median) in the 18
results of such a comparison, it is necessary either to assume that departamentos of Honduras. The data are taken from the Sixth
beneficiaries and nonbeneficiaries were comparable prior to the Census of First-Graders' Heights (Republic of Honduras, Secretary for
project intervention, or to adjust statistically for variables known to Education 1996). The prevalence of severe stunting exceeds 21 affect beneficiary status. The many dangers inherent to both percent in four departamentos of the West (South-West) of Honduras:
approaches are explained in detail in Chapter 7. Copin, Intibucai, La Paz, and Lempira. The Rural Development Plan
If all concerns about using these methods are satisfied, for the Western Region (PLANDERO) project7 covers Copin and
beneficiaries may be compared with nonbeneficiaries using either Lempira, but also Ocotepeque, where the prevalence of severe
average (mean) nutritional status, or the proportions falling below a stunting is half that of Intibucti. critical cutoff point. If the latter method is used, it is particularly important to select an indicator that can reasonably be expected to be Figure 2.2 Percentage of severely stunted first graders, sensitive to dietary intake and changes in the household environment Honduras, 1996
over the period of evaluation. Some degree of internal control may be obtained by comparing the experience of two subgroups of the population. The first subgroup was expected to respond to the project interventions, while the second subgroup was not expected to respond to the particular kind of interventions implemented, or within the time frame under consideration.
StPercent
LI 1.2 8
. 8 12
M 12-20
20 30
Source: Ciorpiled by author.
,Vote: Severe $t atin isindicated by heights ae*, e Z-scores less than .
20 Food Securiy in Practice




Figure 2.3 shows the number of severely stunted first graders per Table 2.5 Severely stunted first graders per 100 hectares, and proportion of severely stunted first graders in the 18 100 hectares of land area. Intibuca, La Paz, and Lempira have the departamrentos of Honduras
highest densities of malnourished children in the country, followed by ISeverely StUtefis ad' rioto fevey
Francisco Morazin and Corts, areas where high population densities, Sverely hunted first graders Proportion of rely
Deparamento per 100 hctres taunted firs graders
rather than high prevalences of malnutrition, result in high ---( k)
concentrations of malnourished children. Copin is the sixth of 18 Intibuc 1.83 3070 1
Lempira 1.79 27.22 2
Figure 2.3 Density of severely stunted first graders per La Paz 1.56 21.11 4
100 hectares, Honduras, 1996 Francisco Morazan 1 40 8.24 14
Cortes 1.32 7.95 15
Copin 1.23 21.27 3
Comayagua 1.05 1377 7
Santa Barbara .92 17.95 5
Yoro .91 12.2 9
Vall84 779
0cotepeque .73 1452 6
Atlaintida .6 8 51 12
First graders per Atlatida
100 hectares Choluteca 58 9.88 10
E] 03-0.5 Colon 50 8.48 13
~~ 0.9 1~E Paraiso.41288
Gracias a Dios .34 449 17
0,...1.0
01ancho .29 9.52 11
1.0-2.0 Islas de la Bahia .26 1.18 18
Source: Compited by author Source: Coomphled by author lom survey data.
orate: Severe stuntinry s dicated by heightfor-age Z-scores less than 3.
departamentos when ranked by density of malnourished children, and Ocotepeque is the eleventh of 18. Table 2.5 shows the Needs Assessmnent
correspondence between the rankings based on the prevalence of Nutritional parameters for the project area are given in Table 2.6.
malnutrition, and those based on the density per unit land area. The information has been collated from three different surveys and
It appears that the location of the PLANDERO project is generally censuses conducted in recent years. Childhood stunting is the major appropriate for a project aiming to affect nutrition security in nutritional problem in the area: The levels recorded, around 60
Honduras, although it could be argued that it would have been percent of all children, are among the highest in the world. There is
preferable to exclude the departamento of Ocotepeque from the virtually no wasting in this population, so that the relatively high
project's zone of influence, levels of underweight can be attributed entirely to stunting. Similarly,
Food Security in Practice 21




there is very little chronic energy deficiency in adults: Although 8 quartile, and from 39 percent in households with high caloric
percent of mothers of young children had BMIs below 18.5, virtually adequacies to 67 percent in those with the lowest. The fact that
none had values below 17 (severe energy deficiency). stunting does not fall to low levels, even among those who are
These sources reveal that in the area of influence of PLANDERO, relatively well-off, may be attributed to (1) environmental features
the proportion of stunted preschool children rises from 33 percent in (for example, illness), which no one living in the region is protected
the highest (national) income quartile to 62 percent in the lowest from, and (2) intergenerational effects, reflecting the low stature of
Table 2.6 Nutritional indicators, western Honduras
Percent
Indicator Age gro up detected Geograpical area Suce
.......... .............. ..... .... ..... ......... .............. ..... ...... ............ .............. .... ..... ..... .... .......... .... ..... ..... ......... .... ......... .............. ..... .... ..... ..... .................. ..... ..... ......... ..... ......... ..... .... ..... ..... .... ..... .............. .........
Severe stunting (HAZ <-3) First graders 22.6 Cop ., Lempira, and Ocotepeque Sixth Census of Height Fst
Graders, 1996
Stunting HAZ 2 First graders 564 Copn, Lempira, and Ocotepeque Sixth Census of Height of First
.tGraders, 1996
Stnting (HAZ< .. 2) Chlden five years 60.0 Rural areas of Ocotepeque, La Paz, Lempira, and lntibuc National Household Consumption,
Income, Expenditure, and
Nutrition Survey 1994
....... .. ..... ............... ...................... .......... .................. ............... ............ .......... .... ........... ......... .. .
Underweight {WAZ < .... 2) Children < five years 32.8 Rural areas of Ocotepeque, La Paz, Lempira, and lntibuca National Household Consumption,
Income, Expenditure, and
Nutrition Survey 1994
.--........... ....... ...... -...........-- .......-. .......................................... ................ .... ............................................................................................................
Wasting (WHZ < .... 2) Children < five years 3.5 Rural areas of Ocotepequ e, La Paz, Lempira, and Intibuch National Household Consumption,
Income, Expenditure, and
Nutrition Survey 1994
Severe stunting~q (HAZ < .... 3 Children 1271 rnonths 30.3 Rural areas of Ocote.p lege, La Paz, Lempira, anrl Intibuts~ National Miconurien Snvy,19
Stunting HAZ .2 Children 12--71 months 62.7 Rural areas of Ocotepeque, La Paz, Lempira. and lntibuch National Miconutrient Survey, 1996
JUnderweight {WAZ <-2) Children 12-71 months 37.6 Rural areas of Ocotepeque, La Paz, Lempira, and lntibuch National Miconutrient Survey, 1996
...... .. . . . .. .. ............ ............. .......... ..... . ---. ... ... ... ........ ...... .... -...... -. ... ... ..... .............. .. ....... ....- ..-... .......... .. .... ........... . . . .. .. .. . .. .
Wasting (WHZ < .2) Children 12 71 months 1.5 Rural areas oif Oco tepeque, La Paz, Lernpira, an ntibuc National Miconutrient Survey, 1996
Low body mass index Mothers of children
(BMI< 185) 12-71 months 8.3 Rural areas of Ocotepeque, La Paz, Lempira, and lntibuc National Miconutrient urvey, 1996
Low serumn retinol < 20 g/d) Children 12 months 17 Rural reas of Ocotepeue La Paz, Lempira and ntibuc National icoutrin rvey, 96
Anemia (Hemoglobin g/ Children 1 months 29.7 Rural areas of Ocotepeque, La Paz, Lempira, and Intibuch National Miconutrient Survey, 1996
Anemia (Hemoglobin < 11 g/dl) Mothers of children
12 -71 months 26.7 Rural areas of Ocotepeque, La Paz, Lemrpira, and Intibuc4 National Miconutrient Survey, 199
Source: Co.?'mpied by author from survev da.ra.
Note: HiAZ stands for height-foragse7-scores; 'WAZ stans for weigi tforage scores
22 Food Security in Practice




the children's mothers (with an average height of only 148 Figure 2.4 Percentage of severely taunted first graders,
western Honduras, 1996
centimeters) and growth retardation in utero.
With respect to specific nutritional deficiencies, vitamin A Percent
deficiency (as measured by low serum retinol) constitutes a public 312
health problem of "moderate" importance, according to
international guidelines (WHO/UNICEF 1994). It is strongly 2957
associated with raised acute phase proteins (indicating infection), suggesting that it may result more from illness than from a lack of vitamin A in the diet per se (Republic of Honduras, Secretary for "
Health 1996). Anemia, on the other hand, is more common, both in children and in their mothers. There is also a strong association between anemia and infection, but the direction of causality cannot 1toS-stntn, 1
be determined. heh.tr ago
These features suggest a population where ill health, poor caregiving practices, and perhaps dietary quality are likely to be major constraints to nutrition security, but an absolute deficit of dietary energy is not likely to be common. In these circumstances, increasing percent in 13 municpios of the center northeast, and northwest of agricultural productivity alone cannot produce marked changes in Lempira, and the center-east of Copn, and is below 10 percent in 9
nutrition security, even in the very long term. In order to affect muniipios of Ocotepeque, Southern Lempira, and the far south of
nutrition security, PLANDERO might therefore choose to work in Copan.
close coordination with health- and education-sector collaborators In order to assess the ability of PLANDERO to target its activities
and invest in breaking down the isolation and poverty of the region to the areas with the worst nutritional problems, each beneficiary
in the longer term. family was given a score based on its munipio of residence.
Families living in municipios with the highest levels of stunting were firgeting at 11e 41 tli'pio Lev1 given the highest scores, while those living in the municpios with
Figure 2.4 shows the prevalence of severe stunting (height-for-age the lowest levels of stunting were given the lowest scores.8
below -3 standard deviations of the NCHS median) in the 66 The distribution of severely stunted first graders and of the
municipios of western Honduras. The data are taken from the Sixth project's beneficiary families in the first three project years (estimated
Census of First-Graders' Heights (Republic of Honduras, Secretaiy for numbers for 1988) is shown in Figure 25. The average stunting and Education 1996). The prevalence of severe stunting exceeds 30 severe stunting scores for beneficiary families in 1996, 1997, and
Food Security in Practice 23




Figure 2.5 Distribution of PLANDERO beneficiary households Table 2.7 Frequency of severe stunting among first graders, an
and malnourished first graders, 1996-98, western Honduras severe stunting score of beneficiary households, western Honduras
Number of Suning Severe stunting
Beneficiary households 1996 Beneficiary households 1997 Region/Program year individuals scorea score
All first graders
Western Honduras 1996 23,129 56.4 22.
Program beneficiaries
? .PLANDERO 1996 1,632 56.2 22.8
, PLANDERO 1997 3,930 56.3 22.1
PLANDERO 1998b 5, 109 57.9 23.4
Source: Compiled, by author from survey data.
ANote: PLAADEf0 stands for t!he Rural Development Plan for the Western Rgqion. a. See the discussion of stunting scores under largeting at the Municipic Level on page 23. b. Data for 1998 are estimates ivn no definitive data on the new 1998 beneficiary households was available at the time of writing
Beneficiary households 1998 Severely stunted first graders 1996 beneficiary households anticipated in 1998 was small relative to the
(estimated)
number already included in the project (30 percent of 1996 numbers), with the result that the overall targeting of project activities remained essentially neutral.
Mon itori(g
SA Figure 2.6 shows the proportion of first graders stunted for each year
from 1994 to 1997 in two almost adjacent municpios in westem Honduras. In the municpio of La Labor, which had a relatively oue:o leb atofrmuv strong institutional presence in 1993 (17 percent of farmers receiving Source: Comp'[iled b:y athor from'' surve'y data.
NVote: PiAFID stands for the iural Deve lopmenrt Pl an fo the Western Region Each dot represents technical assistance and 25 percent receiving credit) and was one of two houseihaids in the first three maps and 2 first traders in the fourth map.
, ..... firt .. the first municipios to have groups assisted by PLANDERO in 1996,
1998 (estimated) are shown in Table 2.7. The project was the rate of stunting remained almost unchanged throughout the
geographically neutral in its targeting in the first and second years of period at approximately 40 percent. On the other hand, in Dolores
enrollment. In the third year (1998), new project beneficiaries were Merend6n, which had limited institutional presence in 1993
somewhat more likely to live in areas with more severe nutritional (7 percent coverage of technical assistance and 6 percent of farmers
problems, so that the average scores of the new households were 63.5 receiving credit) and did not receive any assistance from PLANDERO
(stunting) and 27.5 (severe stunting). However, the number of new in 1996 or 1997, the rate of stunting in first graders increased
24 Food Security in Practice




dramatically from just over 45 percent in 1994 to nearly 75 percent Evaluation
in 1997. Although far from providing conclusive evidence of project Table 2.8 compares the nutritional status of children from birth to 60
impact, this example shows how it is possible to take advantage of months of age in July/August 1997, and the same group (plus new
existing data collection activities and extract potentially useful births) seven to nine months later in March/April 1998. Results are
information about the evolution of nutritional status in the project shown separately for children living in PLANDERO 96 households
zone of influence and in selected control areas. The analysis would and for those living in PLANDERO 97 households. The seven-to-ninehave been strengthened if a finer level of geographical disaggregation month interval between the two survey rounds encompassed the
could be achieved, making it possible to examine the experience of 1997-98 growing and harvest season, during which time both sets of
communities with a high coverage of project activities; alternatively, households received technical assistance and credit from PLANDERO.
PLANDERO could have undertaken its own data collection activities The control community households could not be included in this
in selected sentinel sites and compared the experience of its own analysis because they were not assessed prior to the final survey
study population with that of the universe of first graders in the same round.
municipios.
Table 2.8 Mean anthropometric status of children under five, by Figure 2.6 Prevalence of stunting in two municipios of western survey year and program status, western Honduras
Honduras, 1994-97
Indicat~r/Year PLANDERO 6 PLADERO 97
Percer nt of .............................................
fir-t grader... (Z scores) (Z-scores)
stunted s Merendo Height-for-age 1997 -2.09 (175) n:::243 -212 (1,69) n:215
go Delores Merendon
L01998 -1.99 (1.51) n=245 -2.18 (1.53) n=250
-4- La Labor 19 19
Change 1997 .98 +0.10 (0.15) P=0,51 0.06 (015) P=0.69
70
Weight-for-height 1997 -0.17 (0.98) n=243 -0.17 (1.17) n=217
60 1998 -0.07 (107) n=243 -004 (0.97) n=249
Change 1997 ..98 +.0.10 (009) P=..27 .13 (010) P=0.19
SWeight-for-age 1997 1.39 (1.28) n=243 -1.42 (1.32) n=214
1,998 -1.29 (1.06) n::243 -1.35 (1,13) n:::250
40
Change 1997-98 0.11 (.1 ~3 00 01)P05
30 .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................. S o..urce: C oam p ied by aut s r or survey y data.
1994 1995 1996 1997 iote: PLANDERO stands for the Rural Development P/ar for the Western Region. Chane is adjusted
Source: Compiled b author or e in ean values; res i brackets indicate standard deviation or, in the case of rows showing
ciarge, standard errors; n denotes samp/a number; and P denotes P-value.
The analysis shows that over this period, there was little change in anthropometric status either among PLANDERO 96 children or
Food Security in Practice 25




PLANDERO 97 children, for any of the three indices examined. This adjustment is sufficient to reverse the apparent direction of the
Furthermore, there was scarcely any evidence of differences between evolution of height-for-age status in the PLANDERO 97 communities,
the experience of the two groups of children, although PLANDERO 96 so that their experience became comparable with that of the
children performed very slightly better than PLANDERO 97 children PLANDERO 96 communities. Thus, although technically demanding,
on the height-for-age indicator. In cases such as these, formal age adjustment can be important to ensure the correct interpretation
statistical hypothesis testing has little to add to the analysis. of results.
One factor that should always be borne in mind when evaluating Many of the children in this data set were measured both in 1997
data in which the nutritional status of a given population or and in 1998, making it possible to examine changes at the individual
subpopulation is assessed on more than one occasion is the level. Table 2.10 shows that when this approach is taken, there
possibility of some change in the age structure of the population(s), appears to be a rather substantial (and almost statistically
which might invalidate uncontrolled comparisons. In the case of significant, at the 5 percent level) difference in weight gain between
western Honduras, the average age of the children surveyed in the children living in PLANDERO 96 communities and those living in
PLANDERO 96 communities was slightly different in July/August PLANDERO 97 communities, in favor of the former. However, this
1997 from that of the children in the PLANDERO 97 communities: difference is attenuated when differences in the age composition of
29.5 months versus 31.4 months, respectively. By March/April 1998, the two groups are taken into account as described above. The
both study groups had aged somewhat, but this effect was more approach that focuses on individual change has the advantage of not
marked in the PLANDERO 97 communities, so that the average ages confusing the impact of changes in individual status with the impact
of children surveyed at this time were 33.5 months and 36.7 months, of modifications in the composition of the group studied. On the
respectively. Changes in average anthropometric indices, adjusted other hand, it is marred by the (possibly major) biases inherent in
statistically for changes in the age structure, are shown in Table 2.9. studying only those children present in both surveys. Evaluators therefore need to carefully weigh the benefits and costs that would
result from adopting this "cohort" approach.
Table 2.9 Change in anthropornetric status of children under In the absence of data on the anthropometric status of children
five between July/August 1997 and March/April 1998, adjusted for changes in the age structure of the survey populations, in the control communities in 1997, any inference about the impact
western Honduras of PLANDERO on nutritional status relative to areas not included in
IdctrPLANDERO 96PLANDEFR3 97
-------0 PLANDERO 96 PLANDERO 97 the program must be drawn entirely from thepost-intervention
Height-or-age +0.13 (0.14) P = 0.36 +0.06 (0.15) P 0.67 observations of March/April 1998. In order to extract the maximum
Weight-for-height +0.06 (0.09) P = 0.52 .0.09 (0,10) = 0,37 possible amount of information from these data, it is useful to graph
Weig ht-f r-age ,+0.09 (0.10) P = 0.38 +0.09 (0.11) P 0,41
average height-for-age Z-scores recorded at this time by program
Source: Co.mled by author !rom su,,rvey data.
,vote: Puvo.A,5O,,: snds for ,veopmnt l-' f-r th ste, Regio. Change i.s ostev status (PLANDERO 96, PLANDERO 97, and controls). Such a graph is change in m values lgur.es in bra cets indicate sandard deviaion; aod P denotes P-v aie
26 Food Security in Practice




Table 2.10 Height and weight velocities of children under five living in years of age in these communities, we can safely assume that the
the PLANDERO 96 and PLANDERO 97 study communities, Western status of children four years and older represents the effects of
Honduras, 1997-98
variables that exerted their effect prior to the advent of PLANDERO in Indicator Difference PLANDERO 96 PLANDERO 97
---------- --------------- mid-1996. The experience of the younger children suggests a
(centimeters pe r month)
Height velocity 0.70 (0.42) 0.67 (0.36) negative effect of PLANDERO's activities on stunting, but only in the
n=179 n=178 year that each community first started to receive technical assistance
unadjusted difference 0.03 (0,04) and credit from the program. It can be seen that this analytic strategy
P=0.46
age-adjusted difference -0,01 (0.03) is convenient when there are no baseline data available, but results
Pe:# 82 are prone to the vagaries of sampling variation and interpretation
(grams per month) can be somewhat subjective.
Weight velocity 193 (119) 169 (123) can be somewhat subjective.
n=183 n= 183
unadjusted difference 24 (13) Figure 2,7 Average height-for-age Z-scores in March/April 1998,
P=-0,055 by program status
age-adjusted difference 15(11)
P0.17 Heightforae Z -score
Source: Conpiled by author from survey data.
Note: PLANDERO stands for the Rural Development Plian for the Western Region. figures in brackets -1 L LAN DERO 96
indicate standard deviation for height and weight velocity and standard error for differences; a denotes PLAN DERO 97
sample number; and P denotes P-value. Cotl rop
shown in Figure 2.7. Infants under six months of age were excluded -2
because (1) they had been only briefly exposed to the project, and (2) .
most of their energy intake came from breast milk, which was
unlikely to have been affected by the project activities. It can be seen
-3 L ------------------- . . .. .. .. .. .. . .. .. .. -:: -- -...
that between six and 24 months of age, children from PLANDERO 97 6 12 18 24 30 3 42 48 54 0
communities were more stunted than PLANDERO 96 or control Source; Com, ed by author from survey data.
community children (who were similar to each other). From two Note: P. LANDERO stands for the Rural Development Plan for the Western Region.
years to 42 months, the PLANDERO 96 children were the ones to
show most stunting. In this age group, the PLANDERO 97 and control community children had similar, higher height-for-age
Z-scores. Above 48 months of age, the control community children
were the most stunted. As stunting is basically established by two
Food Security in Practice 27




ENDNOTES 3. It is, of course, possible that the consumption of vegetables could displace
other energy-rich items in adults' diets.
4. The intensive "training effect" may itself alter tbe nutritional status of tbe
1. In order to allow for the normal variation in body size that is due to age
and sex, observed measures are contrasted with the expected value for an population, particularly if it is accomp
individual of the same age and sex. For most commonly used nutritional issues.
anthropometric measures, these expected values are taken to be the average 5. Moving averages are averages of comn (median) value in the U.S. population, as determined by the National number of different time points (often
Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). The NCHS database is referred to as the are recalculated every time measureme
variations are "smoothed" by combining them with other measurements reference population. How far above or below the reference median a
particular value lies is measured in multiples of the standard deviation in from different time-points. Medium-ter
6. Why this should be the case may be understood by considering the case of the reference population, with the resulting quantity being referred to as a
Z-score. Thus, Z-scores are calculated as an indicator such as height-for-age Z-score. At the initial survey, children's
height reflects the sum of all environmental influences they have been Z= .....ii.] ......i....... 5...!/.:',exposed to since conception. On the other hand, their height at the final
G.JS survey will reflect the sum of all the environmental influences they were
where NCHS denotes the reference median, and-NCHS denotes the age- exposed to from conception to project baseline, plus influences experienced
specific standard deviation in the reference population. There is currently during the course of project implemen station eriod w ildmnte
much debate about the appropriateness of using the a single reference influences experienced during the imp
database to assess the growth of children and adolescents from different the final measure; however, these children may have been buffered against
ethnic backgrounds, but it has generally been found that children from all external influences by their mothers. The final height of older children, on
countries and races can grow equally well up to 7 years of age (Habicht et the other hand, will be dominated by e
al. 1974). At this age, height differentials within a race between children beginning of the project, and therefore is not particularly informative with
from different socioeconomic groups can reach 10 centimeters, while respect to project impact.
differences between races among children of high socioeconomic status do 7. See Report and Recommendation of the
not exceed 1 centimeter. on a Proposed Loan to the Republic of Honduras for the Rural
2. The health profile of those attending health facilities is generally quite Development Plan for the Western Region (PLANDERO). International
unrepresentative of the population as a whole, since people go to health Fund for Agricultural Development 1993.
facilities because they are sick. Similarly, those benefiting from selective 8. The scores assigned to each beneficiary
programs are also unrepresentative, since such programs often target (or malnutrition in the municdipo where the family resided. Thus, beneficiary
are self-targeted) towards the most needy. Alternatively, certain segments of families living in a municipal where the population may have characteristics that make it easy for them to stunted were assigned a score of 60 eac
access programs and services; such characteristics are likely to be associated in nunicpios where only 30 percent i
with better health outcomes. assigned a score of just 30. The summary score for the whole project at any
given point in time is calculated as the average of the scores assigned to each beneficiary household. The project may be described as neutral in its
28 Food Security in Practice




geographical targeting if the average score thus derived is the same as the similarly, if the score is lower thantepvancofsuighnte prevalence of stunting in the area as a whole. if, on the other hand, the project is targeting areas with less eeepolm. h rcs a
average score is higher than the prevalence of stunting in the region, then repeated using rates of severe stuing(egtfraeZsoe<3 the project is targeting areas with more severe nutritional problems; instead of rates of total stunting (ZsoeI-)




ZWO,
all 1
Aw
96W Wings




3. Choosing Outcome Indicators of Household Foodc urt
John Hoddinott
Introduction Maxwell and Frankenberger (1992) make a distinction between
any development agencies consider household food secu- "process indicators," which desc
rity a guiding principle for designing interventions in pocess indicators," which des
"outcome indicators," which describe food consumption. Many rural areas. A commitment to food security-defined as studies have found that process i
the condition in which a population has the physical, social, and characterize food security outcome
economic access to safe and nutritious food over a given period to there is little correlation between meet dietary needs and preferences for an active life--carries with it measures of food security outcomes. This finding echoes the an important implication for development practitioners, namely the conclusion of some development need to measure food security outcomes at the household and indi- correlation between area-level fo
vidual levels. Measurement is necessary at the outset of any development project to identify the food-insecure, to assess the severity of on outcome indicators.
their food shortfall, and to characterize the nature of their insecurity. The practical circumstances in the field are another factor that Further, an initial measurement provides the basis for monitoring influence the choice of indicators. Development agencies and their
future progress and assessing the impact of these projects on the ben- lcal coce siniicati ef c a i s o d s c r t .local collaborato rs face sign ifi ca n fi a c l a d t m e o s r i t .
eficiaries' food security. Undertaking detailed household and individual sureys on an
The concept of food security has evolved considerably over time, ongoing basis to characterize, monitor, and measure impact is not as have food security indicators. There are approximately 200 feasible, either because (1) the time spent on these activities does not
definitions and 450 indicators of food security. One volume on fit into the standard project cycle, (2) the skills to implement and
household food security by Maxwell and Frankenberger (1992) lists analyze such data are not available, or (3) purchasing these skills
25 broadly defined indicators. Riely and Moock (1995) list 73 such by contracting to outside consultants, for example-is prohibitively indicators, somewhat more disaggregated than those found in costly. Mindful of this constraint, this guide shows how simple
Maxwell and Frankenberger. Chung et al. (1997) note that even a measures of food security outcomes can be constructed and
simple indicator such as a dependency ratio can come with many compared. These methods are accessible to anyone with a basic
different permutations. They list some 450 indicators. With this grounding in statistics and access to a spreadsheet software program
abundance of indicators, an important methodological problem for such as Microsoft Excel.
development practitioners is to determine which indicators are The next section outlines four ways of measuring household food
appropriate, given the project being proposed. security outcomes: (1) individual intakes, (2) household caloric
Food Seczirity in Practice 31




acquisition, (3) dietary diversity, and (4) indices of household measured or 24-hour recall), household caloric acquisition, dietary
coping strategies.2 In each case, there is a brief explanation of diversity, and indices of household coping strategies. This ordering of
what this indicator measures, how data can be collected, and methods is deliberate, moving from methods that are time- and skillhow indicators of food security can be calculated. Each intensive, but are regarded as being more accurate, to those that can
description ends with a commentary on the strengths and be implemented quickly, are relatively undemanding in terms of the
weaknesses of the method. skills required for their implementation, but are more impressionistic.
It is possible that project designers may wish to use
some combination of these indicators. For example, Box 31 Energy content per 100 grams of edible portions, selected foods
project goals might be specified in terms of improving
caloric availability at the household level, yet there may Focd ilocallries Fod it cai je
not be sufficient resources to monitor this outcome on
Ieel and grains Grain egurnes
an ongoing basis. Section 3 explains how using simple Mie yeow mature on cob 16 Beanspeas fresh, shelled 104
measures of statistical association, together with these Maize, white whole kernel, dried 345 Beans, dried 320
Maize, flour, 60----80 percent extraction 334 Chickpea, whole seeds, raw, dried 327 indicators, can overcome problems such as these. The Maize meal 341 Cowpea, mature pods, dried 318
final section proposes a possible sequence of activities Millet, finger, flour 315 Mung bean, dried 322
Millet, bullrush, whole grain 339 Pigeon pea, dried 309
that would use these indicators at different stages of a Rice, milled 333 Pu n seds
project cycle. SorghLIm, whole grain 343 Eabar groundnut, fresh 348
Readers of this chapter should note that the Sorghm flour 337 Cashew rmt, dried 560
Whe t flour 340 Coconut, mature kernel, fresh 392
methods presented here are complemented by material White bread 240 Groundnut, dry 572
in the introduction (on concepts of food security), in Brown bread 233 Meat poultry end egs
Starchy roots, tubers Beef, moderately fat 234
Chapter 2 (nutritional dimensions of food security), in Cassava meal 318 Egg, hen 140
Chapter 4 (on obtaining information on food security Plantain, ripe, raw 128 Eoat, moderate fat 171
Sweet potato, raw 109 Mutton, moderately fat 257
status using rapid appraisal techniques), and in Taro/cocoyam 94 Poultry 138
Chapter 5 (sampling techniques for household surveys). Yam, fresh 111 Fish, dried 255
Yam, flour 310 Oil an
Sugars utter from cows milk 699
OUTCOME MEASURE OF HOUSEHOLD AND Sugar 375 Coconut oil 900
INDIVIDUAL FOOD SECURITY Mikhee, clarified butter 884
Milk, cow, whole 79 Lard/animal fats 891
Milk powder, cow, whole 357 Margarine 747
This section outlines four ways of measuring household and Milk, goat 84 Red palm o 892
individual food security: individual intakes (either directly .... cr .; s. .4 ..................................................................................................................................................
3 2 Food Security in Practice




Individual Food Intake Data member regarding the food they consumed in the previous 24-hour
Description. This is a measure of the amount of calories, or period. This covers the type of food consumed, the amount consumed,
nutrients, consumed by an individual in a given time period, usually food eaten as snacks, and meals outside the household.
24 hours. Method of calculation. Data collected on quantities of food are
Methods for generating these data. There are two basic expressed in terms of their caloric content, using factors that convert
approaches used to collect these data. The first is observational, quantities of edible portions into calories. A useful reference point for
An enumerator resides in the household throughout the entire day, these conversion factors is found on the Web site for the United States
measuring the amount of food served to each person. The amount of Department of Agriculture (USDA), http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/
food prepared but not consumed ("plate waste") is also measured. The foodcomp, also available in hardcopy form (USDA 1999). Another
enumerator also notes the type and quantity of food eaten as snacks source is CTA/ECSA (1987). A sample of these conversion factors is
between meals as well as food consumed outside the household. The found in Box 3.1. These intake data are compared against a
second method is recall. The enumerator interviews each household definition of food needs. It should be noted that "food needs" is a
contested concept. Individual caloric requirements reflect individual
Box 3.2 Recommended daily caloric intakes characteristics such as age, sex, weight, body composition, disease
........................................................................................................................................................................................................................
Ae grop iocalories per da states, genetic traits, pregnancy, and lactation status, and activity
Young children levels, as well as other factors such as climate. A typical approach is
<1 820 to begin with a reference person, say a 60-kilogram man aged
1-2 1150
2-3 1,350 somewhere between 30 and 60 years undertaking "moderate activity."
3 ....5 1,550 This yields a caloric requirement of approximately 2,900 kilocalories
Older children Boys Girls
01der 3lrn 850 1750 per day. Individual requirements for children are made on the basis
7--10 2,100 1,800 of their age and sex to yield "adult equivalents." These are reported
10-12 2,200 1,950
10-12 2,200 1,950 in Box 3.2. A minimum requirement for a low-activity existence12---14 2,400 2,100
14-16 2,650 2,150 8 hours sleeping, 1 hour walking, 15 hours standing or sitting
16-18 2,850 2,150 quietly-is 2,030 kilocalories, or 70 percent of that required to
Men Light activity Moderate activity Heavy activity
18 ....30 2,600 3,000 3,550 undertake moderate activity. For this reason, this lower figure is often
30-60 2,500 2,900 3 400 used as a cutoff to determine whether an individual is consuming
>60 2,100 2,450 2,850
Women Light activity I Moderate ac tivity Heavy activity enough to meet their food needs. However, it should be stressed again
18-30 2,000 2,100 2,350 that there is no universal agreement on these figures; estimates of
30-60 2,050 2,150 2,400
>60 1,850 1,950 2,150 "basic requirements to meet food needs" range from 1,885 to 2,500
Soice: Wod'd sth Ormnir on 5 kilocalories (James and Schofield 1990; Smil 1994).
Food Security in Practice 3 3




Advantages and disadvantages of this method. This Household Caloric Acquisition
method has two principal advantages. First, when implemented This is the number of calories, or nutrients, available for
correctly, it produces the most accurate measure of individual caloric consumption by household members over a defined period of time. intake (and other nutrients) and therefore the most accurate
measure of an individual's food-security status. Second, because the Description. The principal person responsible for preparing meals data are collected on an individual basis, it is possible to determine is asked how much food was prepared for consumption over a period whether food security status differs within the household. It may be of time. After accounting for processing, this is turned into a measure that sufficient calories are being consumed at the household level, of the calories available for consumption by the household. but inequalities within the household result in some members
consuming in excess of their requirements, while others do not Method for generating these data. A set of questions
obtain sufficient food. regarding food prepared for meals over a specified period of time
Set against these significant advantages are a large number of usually either 7 or 14 days, is asked to the person in the household
disadvantages. These measures of intakes need to be made most knowledgeable about this activity In constructing these
repeatedly-ideally for seven nonconsecutive days-in order to questions, the following considerations should be borne in mind.
account for within-person and within-household day-to-day First, it is extremely important that the list of foods specified in the
variations in nutrient intake (for example, those resulting from questionnaire is detailed and exhaustive. Experience has shown that
religious prohibitions on the consumption of certain foods on certain using short lists typically leads to an understatement of consumption days of the week or seasonal changes in diet). The method requires by 25 to 75 percent (Deaton and Grosh 1998). Second, the questions
highly skilled enumerators who can observe and measure quantities need to unambiguously distinguish between the amount of food
quickly and accurately-and in a fashion that does not cause purchased, the amount prepared for consumption, and the amount
households to alter typical levels of food consumption and of food served. Third, it is not uncommon for individuals to report
distribution within the household. The recall method requires consumption in units other than kilograms or liters. In such cases, it
enumerators to interview carefully every household member until is necessary to obtain information on the size of a "heap,' or the
they have established the exact makeup (food types, ingredients, and quantity contained in a "sawal," or whatever units are used locally. quantities) of every meal and snack, an extremely difficult task. This Following is an excerpt from the questionnaire used in northem method generates an enormous amount of data that needs to be Mali to obtain information on food consumption in the last seven days.
entered, checked, and aggregated before it is usable.
34 Food Security in Practice




We would ike to ask you some questions about food that millet was typically measured in "sawal" and "pots." Both were
consumption in this household in the last seven days. obtained and the amount stored in these was weighed. One sawal
These questions pertain to the quantity of foods contained 6 pots, and a pot was approximately 0.77 kilograms,
prepared for consumption. implying that a sawal was 5 kilograms. The ratio of unground to
Food Unit Quantity processed millet, 0.61, was obtained by providing several women with
.................................................................. ...................................................................... ................................................................................
Millet 1 kilogram measures of millet, having the millet crushed using local
sorgl~"' .. technologies, and measuring what remained. The number of calories
... ,-... ......... .. .....................................---------------.................. .... ... ..................................................... t c n l g e a d m a u i g w
Ri c
available in the previous seven days was computed by taking this
..............- ...- ....................................... ........... .......................................................... ......................................................................... a a l b e i h r v o s s v n d y a o p t d b a i g t i
Bread quantity and multiplying it by the number of calories (3,390
Note: Gn isum Ied furis 1. S oi". "; "P "C~aih.".,, kilocalories) in 1 kilogram of edible millet.
6 Kilgram.
Advantages and disadvantages. This measure produces a
Method of calculation. Converting these data into calories crude estimate of the number of calories available for consumption
requires three steps: in the household. It is not obvious to respondents how they could
1. Converting all quantities into a common unit such as a manipulate their answers. Because the questions are retrospective,
kilogram. rather than prospective, the possibility that individuals will change
2. Converting these into edible portions by adjusting for their behavior as a consequence of being observed is lessened. The
processing. level of skill required by enumerators is less than that needed to
3. Converting these quantities into kilograms using the standard obtain information on individual intakes. In this locality, it took, on
caloric conversions. average, around 30 minutes per household to obtain these data, an
Sample data for five households consuming millet are reported amount of time considerably less than that required to obtain
below. Measurements undertaken as part of this survey determined information on individual intakes.
Quanutity consumed N r a
Conversion Adjustment for available from csumption
Household Unit Number into kilograms proessin in t previous seven days
1 sa wal 15 15 x 5 = 75 75 x 0.61 = 4575 4515 x 3390 = 155093
2 sawal 10 10 x 5 .= 0 550 x 0.61 30.5 30.5 x ,390 = 103,395
3 sawal 14 14 x 5 = 70 70 x 0.61 421 422 x 3,390 = 144,753
4 pot 12 12 x 077 = 9.24 9.24 x 0.61 = 5.63 5.63 x 3,390 = 19,086
5 pot 20 20 x 0.77 15.4 15.4 x 0.61 = 9,39 939 x 3,390= 31,832
Food Security in Practice 3 5




Set against these advantages are a number of disadvantages. This better than shorter lists in distinguishing better-off from poorer
method generates a large quantity of numerical data that needs to be households.4)etermining which items should appear on these lists carefully checked both in the field and during data entry. Relative to can be done via rapid appraisal exercises (see Chapter 5), discussions the methods described below, data processing requirements are also with key informants, and references to previous survey work. Below is
higher. It is not as accurate as dietary intake data. The use of a recall an excerpt from a questionnaire used in northern Mali, to illustrate period puts considerable reliance on recollection of events that may this approach.' not be remembered accurately, with respondents either forgetting about particular foods or "telescoping"-including foods that had I would like to ask you about a1the different foods that
you have eaten in the last 30 days. Could you please tell been used in a period prior to the preceding seven days. It is not me whether you ate the following foods: 16 to 30 days in
especially accurate in capturing any food eaten outside of the the last month-.that is, at least every other day if not
household. It does not incorporate considerations of wastage, nor is it more frequently than that (J); 4 to 15 day in the last month ...that is, once or twice a week (5); 1 to 3 days in possible to uncover differential allocations of food among household month (M, 0 oy, t aale
the last month (M); 0 days-.....not ta, ()
members. Just as with the dietaiy intake method, it is necessary to Frequency Dq~~
convert quantities into calories and compare these against someA .......... .. V
ItmJ S MB R n JI
standard, which, as already discussed, remains controversial. Cereals Fruits
Millet Bnana
Dietary Diversity SOrghu1 Mangoes
Description. This is the sum of the number of different foods Rice Lemons
MaizePe e
consumed by an individual over a specified time period. It may be a Bre d Other fruits
simple arithmetic sum, the sum of the number of different food Wheat Meat
groups consumed, the sum of the number of different foods within a Other ceeals Beef
food group, or a weighted sum-where additional weight is given to Tubers Chicken
Sweet potato ..Seppe
the frequency by which different foods are consumed. FSh
Manioc Fs
Method for generating these data. One or more persons groundnuts Dried
within the household are asked about different items they have Other tubers Smoked
consumed in a specified period. Where it is suspected that there may Vegetables Milk product
be differences in food consumption among household members, Tmatoe Cows milk
Onions G~sml
these questions can be asked of different household members. esor otmk
BeatusOtriem
Experience implementing this method has shown that Carts Butter
comprehensive lists with 100 to 120 different food items perform Okra Tea
Other vegetables Sat
....................................................... ............ ............ ........................... ........




Methods of Calculaion Mali, for example, women reported that they were more likely than
There are two possible methods of calculation: (1) calculating a their husbands to reduce their own food consumption during periods
simple sum of the number of different foods eaten by that person over of stress, and this was reflected in lower scores for women than for
the specified time period, and (2) calculating a weighted sum, where men on measures of dietary diversity. Finally, a diverse diet is a valid
the weights reflect the frequency of consumption and not merely the welfare outcome in its own right-the nutritional literature is
number of different foods. Here, the following weights are assigned: placing increasing emphasis on the importance of consuming a wide
foods consumed at least every other day, if not more frequently: 24; variety of foods to enhance dietary quality in addition to addressing
foods eaten once or twice a week: 10; foods eaten infrequently (1-3 longer-standing concerns regarding quantities of consumption.
times per month): 3; and foods never eaten: 0. The disadvantage of this measure is that simple form does not
Sample data for five households, together with these two record quantities. If it is not possible to ask about frequency of
measures, are presented below, consumption of particular quantities, it is not possible to estimate the
extent to which diets are inadequate in terms of caloric availability
SSimple Weighted (u e otoe4
Household Millet Sorghum Rice Beef Sal Tea s (but see footnote 4).
J J R M J J 5 99
2 J J M M R S 5 64 Indices of luse hold Coping Straegie
3 S J R R R 2 34 Description. This is an index based on how households adapt to
4 S B B B B 2 20 the presence or threat of food shortages. The person within the
5 J R R R M J 3 51
household who has primary responsibility for preparing and serving
meals is asked a series of questions regarding how households are
Advantages and disadvantages. The use of this measure stems responding to food shortages. In the nutrition literature, these first
from the observation made in many parts of the developing world appeared in Radimer, Olson, and Campbell (1990). Coping strategies
that as households become better-off, they consume a wider variety of themselves are discussed in Maxwell and Frankenberger (1992).
foods. It is easy to train enumerators to ask these questions. In Maxwell (1996) proposed a method for taking consumption-related
addition, individuals generally find them easy questions to answer. strategies and constructing a numerical index.
Asking these questions typically takes about 10 minutes per
respondent. Field-testing indicates that this measure is correlated with levels of caloric acquisition; tracks seasonal changes in food
security (measures of dietary diversity are highest just after harvest
time and lowest during the hungry season); and also appears to
capture differences in distribution within the household. In northern
Food Security in Practice 3 7




Method for generating these data. The most knowledgeable Method of calculation. A sample of responses to these questions,
woman in the household regarding food preparation and distribution taken from a survey of households in the Zone Lacustre region of
within the household is asked a series of questions of the following Mali, are reproduced below. form.
Household #1 #2 #3 #4 #5
In the last seven days: 1 3 3 3 3 1 1
2 3 3 3 3 2 2
1. Has the household consumed less preferred foods? 3 2 2 3 2 2 2
(Circle the best response.) 4 3 3 4 3 3 3
1. Never 2. Rarely (once) 5 2 1 2 2 1 1
3. From time to time (2 or 3 times) 4. Often (5 or more times)
2. Have you reduced thie quantity of food served to men in this There are several ways of summarizing the information obtained
ho seh old?, from these questionnaires into a single number.
1. Never 2. Rarely (once)
3. From time to time 2 or 3 times) 4. ten or more times Counting the number of different coping strategies used by the
3. Fr omil timie to ti me (2 o r 3 time. ,s) 4. O ften ( 5 o r mno re timeI ,S)
household. Here, this is the number of strategies that the
3. Have you reduced your own consumption of food? household used often, from time to time, or rarely. The higher
1. Never 2. Rarely (once)
3, From time to time (2 or 3 times) 4, Often (5 or more times) the sum, the more food-insecure the household.
* Calculating a weighted sum of these different coping strategies,
4. Have you reduced the quantity of food served to children in where the weights reflect the fr
this household in the last seven days? where the weights reflect the frequency of use by the household.
1. Never 2. Rarely (once) A simple way of doing this is to make the weights consecutive,
3. From time to time (2 or 3 times) 4. Often (5 or more times) so that "often" is counted as a 4, "from time to time" is
5. Have members of this household skipped meals in the last counted as a 3, "rarely" is counted as a 2, and "never" is
seven days? counted as a 1. The higher the sum, the more food-insecure the
2. Never 2. Rarely (once) household
3. From time to time (2 or 3 times) 4. Often (5 or more times)
* Calculating a weighted sum of these different coping strategies,
6. Havemanbers of this household skipped meals for a where the weights reflect the frequency of use-as described
whole day?>
above-and the severity of the household's response. A simple way of doing this is to ascribe a weight of 1 to the use of strategies such as eating less preferred foods (question 1) and reducing portion sizes served to men, children, and women (questions 2, 3, and 4); a weight of 2 to skipping meals
38 Food Security in Practice




(question 5); and a weight of 3 to skipping eating all day measure can be somewhat misleading-a richer and a poorer
(question 6). The first household on this list would obtain a household may both report eating smaller quantities, but this does score of 17 = 1 x (3 + 3 + 3 +3) + 2 x (1) + 3 x (1). not imply an equal increase in food insecurity. Second, evaluating
Again, the higher the sum, the more food-insecure the the impact of an intervention solely in terms of this measure risks
household. setting a lower target for poorer households than for richer ones.
Number of Weighted sum Second, this measure's simplicity makes it relatively easy to
different reflecting reflecting frequency misreport a household's circumstances. For example, households
. o..o......S ~e t VfU might perceive that they are morliyt o eev sitnewe
I4 14 17
2 6 14 22 they report greater use of these coping strategies. Finally, it is
3 6 13 19 necessary to decide what weights should be applied to different
4 6 19 28 questions and to different levels of response. The rapid appraisal
5 3 9 12 techniques described in Chapter 5 could be used to obtain this
information.
Advantages and disadvantages of this measure. There are
three attractive features of this measure. First, it is easy to implement, A Compa prison of Medods
typically taking less than three minutes per household. Second, it Table 3.1 provides a summary table that qualitatively compares these
directly captures notions of adequacy and vulnerability (is there four methods in terms of costs, time and skill requirements, and
enough food to eat in this household?), as well as the vulnerability of susceptibility to misreporting.
households. Those households, using a larger number of coping
strategies or using more severe strategies, are more likely to be poor Table 3.1 Comparison of methods in terms of costs, time, and skill
and more vulnerable to destitution. Third, the questions asked are requirements, nd susceptili
easy to understand, both by respondents and by analysts and project H 0 l, I ea hdpiO#
designers. Method DetaiIs intk e, qs 0 diverity stra
There are also several disadvantages. As it is a subjective measure, Pata collection costs Hig Modeite Low Low
Time requrored for afialsi lH( Md~ o o
with different people having different ideas as to what is meant by Time euired H anolysis Hig[eqhMModerteLow Low
Skill level required Hi(h Mdrtl ihMdrtl o o
"eating smaller portions," comparison across households or localities Susceptibility to misreportirg Low Modetc Low High
is problem atic. In particular, as part of the field tests for these S,.,.,.-: Compe d by ,thfr ,/ f6ro,ai :,, '
measures, men and women were asked what constituted a "foodsecure" diet. Poorer households tend to report smaller quantities of
food than richer households. This has two implications. First, this
Food Security inz Practice 39




EXPLORING ASSOCIATIONS BETWEEN DIFFERENT Con elation Coeffie its
OUTCOME MEASURES OF FOOD SECURITY A simple approach to examining the validity of alternative measures
of food security is to calculate measures of correlation such as
Each of the four measures described above are valid indicators of Pearson or Spearman correlation coefficients. These are index
different dimensions of food security. However, there may be numbers that show to what extent two variables are linearly related.
occasions when project designers, managers, or evaluators want to They can take on values that range from-ito 1. a prior, it is
compare these indicators. For example, suppose that a project expected that the dietary diversity index and per capital calorie
objective includes increasing levels of caloric availability at the consumption are positively related, that is, both increase in value household level, but there are insufficient financial resources to together. By contrast, the indices of coping strategies and per capital monitor this outcome on an ongoing basis. In such a circumstance, caloric availability should be negatively related. One would expect
it would be useful to know whether changes in, say, dietary diversity that increased reliance on coping strategies would be associated with are associated with increases in household caloric availability, lower food availability.
Comparing these indicators may also provide insights into the Examples are reported in Table 3.2. The measure of dietary
distribution of project benefits within the household. For example, a diversity is the weighted measure based on data provided by women finding that household caloric availability is rising, yet information in these Malian households. The index of coping strategies is doubly on coping strategies indicates that women, but not men, are weighted by the frequency of use of this strategy and the severity of
continuing to reduce food consumption during periods of stress, the strategy.
would be consistent with a project providing benefits, but these are
Table 3.2 Pearson and Spearman correlation coefficient between being accrued primarily by men within the household. caloric availability and two Iternative s
Comparing these indicators in the manner described here
Cormelanon between calories available per person arnd
requires the use of statistical techniques that measure the strength of Weighted female Doubly weitj~ed
association, or correlation, between these indicators. Below, three Measure dietary diversity ping t'a y index
F .... . .............
methods are discussed: correlation coefficients, contingency tables, ,' and regression-prediction methods. All are illustrated using data &,ime: Co i',by .wtr f- m .,y r a...
collected in a project in northern Mali. The techniques are a little "' ( ... ; 'r" th' I ..... i.,';.
more technically demanding than the material presented in the Note that prior expectations are borne out: there is a positive
previous section, but only a little. They can be implemented by correlation between dietary diversity and caloric availability and a
anyone who has competently completed a basic undergraduate negative correlation between the coping index and caloric
course (not degree) in statistics and has access to a spreadsheet availability. All four correlation coefficients are statistically
computer package such as Microsoft Excel. significant at the 1 percent level. A more difficult question is how to
40 Food Security in Practice




Table 3.3a Contingency table of caloric availability and interpret the magnitude of these coefficients, which are all roughlyweighted dietary diversity the same. It would appear that there is little to choose between these Household is in bottom Househol is not in bottom
two measures. Both provide some correlation with the benchmark, tercil when ranke by tercile when ranked by
Attribute dietary diversity dietary diversity Total
but not at an especially high level. Per capita
A drawback to the use of correlation coefficients is that the caloric availability 45 48 93
< 2,030 kilocalories
correlation could be driven by just one part of the distribution of joint Pe capital Perf capita
variables. Suppose that for most households, there is little correlation caloric availability 39 134 173
> 2,030 kilocalories
between dietary diversity and calorie consumption, but for very rich -- 1- 2-6-- k-6-6---io-e .. ..
Ttals 84 182 28
households, the correlation is quite high. As a consequence, the Specificity: 45/93 = 0.48
calculated coefficient might prove to be statistically significant. An Sensitivity: 134/173 = 0.77 additional problem is that of false correlation where some other Chi-squared test = 18.70"'
variable is correlated with both measures, producing a false ,.,'Can.d ya o su ,dta.
Noto *: d l~ct $statistic'afll sigrdfica..o t a.-t tim i eroant ee
correlation between the two variables that are observed. A reasonable conclusion, therefore, is that these correlation coefficients are a good exploratory tool, but should not be the only method used. Table 3.3b Contingency table of caloric availability and weighted
coping strategy index
Contingencvy Tables Housebold is in bottom Household is not in bottom
tercile when ranked by tercile when ranked by
Contingency tables cross-classify two variables by two or more Attribute coping strategy index cping strategy index Total
attributes. In the tables below, households are classified by whether Per capita .
. ~~caloric, nvailabilit 6 79 per-person caloric availability is above or below 2,030 kilocalories caloric aiaily 2 67
< 2,030 kilocalories
......... ............................. ........................ 4-................................. ..... .... .... .i.. ..
per-person per-day. Approximately one-third of households did not Pe capita
c aIo ri C a Va i 1ab ili I0 !3 7
have access to even this minimal amount of food. Households are caloric availability 80 93 173
> 2,030 kilocaloriesseparately ranked by the alternative indicators and grouped Totals 106 160 288
according to whether or not they are in the bottom tercile for that Specificity: 26/93 0 0,28
ranking. Within these tables, there are three numbers of interest: Stesitivity: 93/173: 0.54
specificity, the fraction of food-insecure households also classified by Chi-squared test = 44* the alternative as food-insecure; sensitivity, the fraction of food-secure Souc: Compi ed bw autho from srvey data.
Note: denotes stati sin at the t percent lever households also classified by the alternative indicator as food-secure; and a chi-squared test of whether there is a statistically significant association between these attributes.
Food Security in Practice 41




These contingency tables indicate that there is a statistically understood (Deaton and Paxson 1998). Second, consider the
significant correlation between these attributes. The dietary diversity following case. There are two localities: one is centrally located with a measure performs better than the index of coping strategies in weekly food market; the second is remote from any markets. One
identifying food-secure and -insecure households as measured by would expect that the more remote village would face higher food
caloric availability. This can be seen when comparing the measures prices and less access to a variety of foods. Failing to control for this
of specificity and sensitivity in Tables 3.3a and 3.3b. might lead to a misleadingly strong association between dietary
There are, however, two problems associated with using diversity and caloric consumption. The obvious way of incorporating
contingency tables. First, there is the issue of choosing the cutoffs for these variables is to use them in a regression where the benchmark the attributes. Second, the method becomes demanding in a indicator is the dependent variable, and household size, location, and
statistical sense when more than a handful of alternatives are the alternative indicator appear as right-hand-side or explanatory
considered. Specifically, repeating the exercise several times increases variables. the likelihood of obtaining a significant association that results
purely by chance. This can be rectified by setting a higher critical
level for the chi-squared statistic (see Chung et al. 1997). Table 3.4 The relationship between (log) per capital caloric
acquisition and two alternative measures of food security,
controlling for (log) household size and location
Regressiom-Predictio N methods Varil oe ent t s ti C iien I staisti
In light of the difficulties associated with correlation coefficients and
Log hous~ehol size --0,403 636 .3
contingency tables, a third method is outlined here that combines Diet0ry dvers 0002 4.071 .
their advantages while minimizing their drawbacks. There is no Copig stratgies ........ 053 1.764
formal name for this approach, which is described here as the Loation
Tomba 0.045 0300 0.046 0,306
"regression-prediction method. .8 0.229 -,39$
We begin with the observation that the two methods described Gouat 0.165 0.738 -0.140 0.656
above do not use all the information available. Specifically, in order N'goro 0.115 0.630 0.059 0.422
To.mi 0.092 0.467 -0.040 0.202
to calculate per capita caloric consumption, it is necessary to -o.0.154 ...0.672 ....0.242
determine how many people are in the household. Additionally, the Goundam Touslef 0.155 0.636 0.171 0.895
location of the household will also be known. Consequently, these ouaki 0.286 2.028 0.234 1621
MAg,, i h ---0,212 -123 -039 96
data can be added to the analysis at no additional cost. Further, there
Constant 5,57 8,017' 6.495 42,585567
are good reasons for using this information. First, cross-country Adjusted R s-- ared 0.24 0.17
studies consistently reveal a negative association between food access
S rc Comp,ed by uf 1or i or sutrvey dta.
and household size, although the reasons for this are not well deum:e:o e -c-, t -vl enotes ftfdtic fly
S I o r W ee t- napphca be,
42 Food Security in Practice




The results of using this method for the Mali data, collected at Table 3.5a Contingency table of actual and predicted per-person the height of the hungry season, are presented in Table 3.4 (note that caloric availability (dietary diversity) the dependent variable and household size have been transformed Ntnber of households by predicted
per-person daily caloric availability Total
into their logarithmic values). 2,030 2,030-2,900 > 2,900
Controlling for household size and location, increased dietary Numlber of households < 2,030 50 34 9 93
by actual per person 2,030-2,900 16 25 23 64
diversity is associated with higher per capita caloric availability. Every daiy caloric availability > 2,900 12 39 58 109
additional point on the dietary diversity index is associated with an Total 78 98 90 286
increase of 0.2 percent in caloric availability. This association is statistically significant at the 1 percent level. By contrast, once these other factors are taken into account, there is no statistically Table 3.5b Contingency table of actual and predicted perperson
significant association between the coping index and the benchmark. caloric availability (coping strategies) Also note that the adjusted R-squared, which indicates to what extent Number of households by predicted
the variance in the dependent variable is explained by the regression, per peso aily caloric availability Ttl
< 2,030 2,030-2,900 > 2,900
is considerably higher for the regression using dietary diversity as an iuib er of usiei i <2,030. 46 33 14 93
explanatory variable. by actual per personri 2,030-2900 12 34 18 64
daily caloric availability 2,900 10 47 53 110
These estimated coefficients can be used to predict levels of log ..T b 1 8 27
per person caloric availability. For example, for households residing in the village of Tomba, these predicted levels are
predicted log caloric availability per person Table 3.5c Comparison of predictive power of dietary diversity and
= 5.567 + 0.045 0.403 log hh size coping index
+ 0.002 dietary diversity. Attribute Di ty d pin ide
Taking antilogs yields predicted values in terms of caloric (hi-squared test of association 60.16 p54.24"
availability per person. These can be used to construct the following Households correctly categorized 50,0 50.0
contingency tables in which the benchmark (actual caloric Seveorely food-insecure households
classified as food secure 9.7 15.1
availability) and predicted caloric availability are divided into three Predicted distribution of calories categories: less than 2,030 calories per day (indicating severe food per person by food-security status < 2,030 factual distribution 35 pecentl 29.0 25.0
insecurity); 2,030 to 2,900 calories per day (indicating some degree 2,030 -2,900 (actual distribution... 24 percent 37.0 43.0
> 2,00 actul =disribuion41 ercet) 4.032.0
of food insecurity); and greater than 2,900 calories per day. The > 2!900 actual distribution 4 perct) 34.0
Source: Comoiled by author from Survey data.
results of this exercise for the Mali data set are reported in Tables 3.5a vote: "' deones significant at 1he 1p Lc.nL ver pin Table 35a, household size, location and ietary diversity were us.d as regressors; and 3.5b, with summary statistics reported in Table 3.5c. in labla. 35, household size, !cfcation. u o coig strategies wre used as regr esors.
FoodSecurity in Practice 43




The chi-squared tests indicate that the match between the actual 1. The first step is to review existing eodr ieaueo h distribution of food acquisition and that predicted by both alternative types of foods consumed in this ae.I diin ai indicators is greater than would have occurred if these alternatives appraisal techniques and discussin ihkyifrat a
had randomly assigned households to these different groups. Both be used to establish a list of foodsetni h raadcpn
correctly classify about half the households in the sample. Whereas strategies used by these householsdrnceid ffo tes
the actual distribution across food security status is fairly constant, 2. The next step is to develop a houeodqstnaieo both alternatives predict that it is more concentrated among capture data on a variety of outcmmesrsovayn
households experiencing moderate food insecurity. This is degrees of complexity. The measrscoewilndtoak
particularly marked in the case of the coping strategies index, which into account local conditions andrsucs(immny n
appears to especially underreport the number of severely food- people) available for this workaswlastedvngsad
insecure households. disadvantages of each method.
3. Data on these outcome indicatosc oecdiTseanb
Suinnry used to provide a characterizatiooftelciyinersfth
This section has presented three methods for examining the nature of the food security problem i tlc fclrepo
associations among different outcome measures of food security. All diversity, a problem of seasonalflcutosiaceunql
three can be implemented using a standard spreadsheet package. access within the household?),thidntyotefo-nscr
and the severity of the food insecuiy h ehd ecie
DEVELOPING AND USING OUTCOME INDICATORS OF above can be used to determine t htetn h ipe
HOUSEHOLD FOOD SECURITY IN DEVELOPMENT measures mimic the more comper n diaos
PRJCS4. If the association is considered srnteesmlridctr can be used not only as monitornmesesithrow
The material presented thus far has outlined possible outcome right, but also as a means of infern hne nmr
measures of food security and methods for evaluating these. This complex measures.
section outlines a possible sequence of events by which project 5. Both simple and more complex otoeidctr a eue
designers can implement these methods. We are assuming that the to measure impact.
project area has been identified.




ENDNOTES
The discussion on how to choose indicators can also be applied to process 4. A variant of this approach, called a semiquantitative measure of dietary
indicators, diversity, involves showing respondents pictures or models of different
2. A fifth method, group rating, is described in Chapter 4. serving sizes of these foods. Respondents indicate whether they consumed
3. There is no consensus regarding the optimal recall period between 7 and 14 the item and in what quantity. From this information, it is possible to
days. In the author's experience, 7 days seems to be the most appropriate. A obtain a rough estimate of caloric intake. For example, in Honduras,
shorter recall period risks missing foods served infrequently, say on Fridays respondents were shown five sizes of tortilla and asked how many of each
(in Muslim areas) or Sundays (in Christian areas). A longer recall period they had consumed.
can be problematic as difficulties of remembering what was prepared 5. Chapter 5, on sampling, provides an introduction to this.
appear to increase. However, other organizations such as the World Bank
(in its Living Standard Measurement Surveys) have used the 14-day recall
period.
Food Security in Practice 4 5




AL.
'4W
n4
411 5 Not,
........... ...
Vaff




Gilles Bergeron
Introduction R METHODS FOR LOCAL ED S ET
roject managers -in charge of implementing activities that INTERVENTION DESIGN, AN M AC VLAIO
address food-security problems need tools to (1) identify the
populations that are food-insecure, (2) design interventions Rapid appraisal techniques offerdelomnwrksauefletf that address the causes of food insecurity, and (3) evaluate the research and appraisal tools to quclobanifrtonrmlcl impact of their interventions on the food security status of project populations about their conditionadteredsRAmhoslo beneficiaries. This chapter illustrates how rapid appraisal (RA) enable local people and outsiderstplnogheaprrie techniques can provide useful insights into the research and design of interventions and evaluate the impc fdvlpen nevnin. food-security interventions, as well as into the limitations of such RA methods have distinct advatgsoeuvybsdrsac interventions. Many factors determine whether RA methods are methods. They generally involve lwcss r ihyaatbet
appropriate in any given case, including the degree of precision different situations; and tend to fIliaerpotwtoa required, the characteristics of the population being investigated, and communities, which can allow inetgortoxpreoicnt the ability of fieldworkers. easily studied otherwise or to bringotqaiaieapcsta ol
The first section of this chapter presents some general be missed by surveys. They also faoI nlsso h ptwt oa
observations about the advantages and disadvantages of RA methods people, enabling verification of finig n nacn h oa over survey-based methods. The second section presents a set of RA relevance of results. However, RAmehdprsnipott tools that were tested in the field. The tools developed include disadvantages over more conventinlmtos nldn iie
community mapping, household food security ranking, conceptual ability to generalize findings, lacko( la aiaio rcdrs n
mapping of food sources, seasonal food security timelines, and susceptibility to manipulation byinfrat.I diin h
evaluation of an intervention's impact on food security. Each qualitative focus of RA methodslitsreacr'cpctyo
instrument is presented in a similar sequence. First, a brief transform the data, thus constraingtealystowtisrptd
introduction presents the instrument and its relevance to the study of by local informants. Besides, the qaiyo h nomto olce food security. Second,'the tool is described in terms of its specific depends to a high degree on the sil ffedpronl objectives, format, methods, and products expected. Third, examples The general belief that RAs arC ipet-pl ii otcss from fieldwork experiments are provided to illustrate its use. not true. The selection and trainigofelwrrssmuhoe
critical than for conventional enueaosFilybcsefth




use of "participatory-type" methods, RAs tend to raise expectations It is useful to make unannounced visits to a village before the first among the population about program activities. Goals have to be official visit3 in order to learn the basic "political language" of that
carefully explained from the outset to avoid misconceptions. For all community. This can be done by sending one fieldworker to the these reasons, the RA approach is viewed in this manual as a village to establish informal contact. Avoiding local authorities is
complement rather than an alternative to survey-based methods. preferable, although not always possible. Free-flowing discussions are
RA is used to guide, inform the design of, and confirm findings from initiated with the people encountered, leading to questions such as: formal surveys. A combination of formal and RA methods is the best Who are the official representatives? How are they perceived? Are there
way to ensure the quality of final results. factions or rivalries (political, religious, economic) in the village?
Such early knowledge is invaluable when making the first official
General ( neles to tthe Use of RA XIethLods visit, and helps avoid early missteps.
Whenever using RA methods, a number of basic issues must be Then an official visit can be scheduled. In contrast to the first
considered, including: informal visit, this one is well announced and involves local
Training and selection of personnel.' As mentioned above, authorities as well as high-ranking officials of the project. This visit
the skill of fieldworkers is critical to the success of RA methods. These is preferably not used for working sessions. Rather, the aim is to skills are quite different from those required by formal surveys. For explain the project goals and the type of work to be done. Permission example, social skills are important: Controlling dominant is sought from local authorities, dates for workshops are established,
personalities in group settings while seeking the participation of and an understanding is established on who will be invited to attend.
silent participants-all of this without imposing one's opinions- Timing of workshop and sequencing of instruments.
requires superior communication abilities. Another distinctive Project personnel must look for ways to minimize the disruption of
attribute is that, unlike survey enumerators who collect data for people's lives. If possible, the meeting is held in periods or seasons of
analysis by outside researchers, RA fieldworkers have to collect, low activity; otherwise, field personnel must look for a time of day
analyze, and validate the data themselves. They are the researchers. when people are back from their daily activities. Besides showing Hence they need a sound understanding of the aim of the research so basic respect, this increases the likelihood that people will actually they can, for instance, change the instrumentation used, if need be, respond to the invitation and attend the meeting. without losing sight of the final objectives. The importance of The sequencing of instruments during the workshop should
selection and training of field personnel cannot be overstressed. (See normally follow the logical flow proposed in this manual. Some the references on training RA fieldworkers.) exercises can be undertaken at different moments without affecting
Establishing contact. Community life is complex, and care must the final results-for instance, transects and flow calendars may be
be taken from the start not to unwittingly alienate groups or done at different times if it is more convenient.
individuals by associating too closely with the "wrong" person(s).
48 Food Secu'ity in Practice




Choice of informants. Initially, all community residents are INSTRUMENTS GUIDE
viewed as potential informants. Some of the exercises-for example AP
mapping and concept definition-can be done without being C~oncept I) lhiitiol s
selective about informants, insofar as they know their community Eliciting local concepts is basic to establishing a common language
well and are honest in their responses. As the groups most likely to between fieldworkers and informants. One good time to do this is at suffer from food insecurity are identified, individuals from these the start of each exercise, when the ideas used in this particular groups soon must play the central role in the discussions. Besides, workshop are first introduced. The content of each concept is then within identified target groups, subgroups usually need to be discussed, so that it is defined in its local, cultural equivalent.
considered. Typical subgroups are stratified by gender, livelihood Another approach is to hold a special "Concept Definition" workshop
strategy-for example, farmers versus ranchers, age group, and where all the notions used in the RA sessions are defined. Whichever
ethnic/caste affiliation. It may be necessary to obtain contributions method is best depends on moderator preference and on the time separately from each group in order to capture all the relevant available. Appendix 4A provides further discussion.
information. Separating groups may also be necessary if putting Approaches proposed to define local concepts go from simple
them together creates social tensions. The choice of method also ones, such as brainstorming and pile sorts, to complex ones, such as
must take into account informants' profiles; for example, if the Delphi methods and cultural consensus modeling. Since all these
literacy level is low, the method should not require reading skills. techniques have the same objective (translating in local terms the Triangulation. Triangulation refers to the comparison of data concepts used in the RA sessions), the simplest ones should always be
between sources to improve the data's validity and reliability. This is used unless compelling reasons require otherwise. Some of the particularly critical with RA data (many refer to RAs as "quick and concepts to be defined are described below. dirty" methods), which are easily manipulated by informants, Community. The universe to be mapped has to be clearly defined,
although group meetings tend to reduce this problem. The important so that all households in the village fall within its boundaries and
point is that no data should ever go unchecked if they are used for any unit falling outside of it is excluded. Special cases, such as with making important decisions. The quality of RA information may be nomad or pastoral societies that move in and out of the community,
verified in several ways: replicating the exercise with other groups, have to be discussed and a decision has to be made as to whether or exploiting alternative sources of information (for example, aerial not to include these in the potential target group.
photos or prior surveys), comparing results against predicted values Household. In Latin America, the nuclear family (a man, his wife, from mathematical models, "ground truthing" by walking transects, and children) is the most common type of household, but in West
and so on. Africa, extended households (multiple generations/nuclear families
living together) are common. The definition of a household may also
change depending on whether the focus of the projected activity is
Food Security in Practice 49




production or consumption. If the project goal is production- Availability and access, however, are notional constructs that are
enhancing, then the targets are the productive units; if the intervention sometimes difficult for local people to grasp. The following is a useful
is for food relief, then the targets are the consumption units. shorthand for defining these ideas: availability relates to
Food security. From the project's point of view, food security is communities; access relates to households. Availability is defined as defined as availability and access to food by all at all times.4 the capacity of communities to obtain the supplies of food required to
Table 4.1 Realization of the village map
Informants All villagersiotherwise, selected representatives of the various stakeholder groups in the community.
Where Large open space. For 3-D maps, preferably outside so the area may be expanded if needed.
-. -------. --.-.... .---.. -.. --. ------. --.-. -... .- ..- ..--- ...- ... .................. ... ............ ... .................. ...... ... .. ... ... ... ... ... .. ... .. ... .. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .. ... ... ... . ... ... ... .. ... ... . . .. .. ... ... ... ... . ...
Time Varies with the size of the village and the degree of participation of villagers. On average, three hours should be sufficient to
complete the realization.
Objiective Have informants reproduce, at reduced scale, the distinct homes and important living areas of the village. Precision must be
sufficient so that all homesteads are clearly identifiable.
Materials Depends or' the type of map and intended durability. No need for fancy materials; instead, use only materials locally available, such
Sas sand, pebbles, sticks, and so on. These are less intimidating than paper and pen for first-time participants. Once finished, the output is copired to large paper sheets or cartons.
.. .. ..... ... .. ... . ..J _2 :! .}!t..!s .......t.. ................ ----s-....... ... ................. .. . ... .. .. ... ........ ... ....... ... ....................... . . .... .. ..... ... .. .
Concepts to define I The concepts of community, household, and food security must be defined before starting this exercise. See section on concept definitions in this chapter.
Method No single method exists for this exercise. Villagers are responsible for its realization and their spontaneous suggestions are
encouraged so villagers feel at ease with the instrument and its use. First, a decision is made as to whether a bidimensional or tridimensional map will be done. A tridimensional map takes more time but is more precise, is easier, and is more enjoyable for villagers. On the other hand, time may be short, or the weather may not favor working outside, in which case a bidimensional map I should be preferred. Whichever type is used, fieldworkers must ensure that the work proceeds systematically so it has the desired I precision. Guidelines to that effect are, first, identify well-known features, such as the central park, the mosque, and so on, and place them on the map. Then, draw the outer limit of the inhabited space in relation to these main features. Next, proceed from the center to the periphery in a concentric fashion. As work proceeds, readjustments to the initial placement of spatial features or to the outer limits of the village are made as required. As households are represented on the map, they are identified by the name of their head. Their characteristics (number of persons in the unit, presence of migrants, number of animals or fields owned, and so on) can also be added atthat point.
Products Two products are generated by this exercise. First (if a tridimensional map was done), the lay model is transcribed on a large sheet
of paper, with households properly numbered and identified (if possible, photos of the model should also be taken). All the elements of information present on the map are reported on paper, including names and number of households (note: we assume thi requirement is already satisfied if a bidimensional format is used). The second product is a spreadsheet which organizes the information elicited by the mapping exercise in a matrix format. All items locally associated with food security (for example, fields and animrials) that were elicited for each particular household are reported as variables in thle matrix. Families are listed as rows, variables as columns. Particular attention goes into coding household identification numbers, especially in cases where extended family units are common (see a model of coding in Table 4.2).
Validatione Transeets If high precision is required, an aerial photo may be used.
Source: Compiled by author
50 Food Security in Practice




feed everyone that lives there. In a famine situation, for instance, the specific population is of particular concern, a formal census format is village's capacity to maintain food supplies Collapses. Food becomes preferred. unavailable even for people who are wealthy. This is a case where
food insecurity is due to low food availability. Access refers to the Ex-aple of Comnunity 11ppa ng
capacity of households to obtain food. This dimension of food Tomba is a community of northern Mali where development agencies
security relates mainly to individual household wealth. For instance, are financing the construction of irrigation infrastructure. We visited a household that has sufficient land to harvest grain for the full year local authorities, and informed them of our desire to conduct a series enjoys greater food security than a household whose land can provide of exercises in their village to better understand the local grain for only six months of the year. characteristics of food insecurity. The local council accepted a request
Seasons. The Gregorian calendar's month names are not to map the community, and agreed to invite villagers to participate in
necessarily known to local populations. The length of months or this exercise. The time was set for the afternoon of the next day, after
seasons may also vary substantially. The seasons have to be defined they had returned from their daily occupations. A wide-open space, before construction of the timeline. used as a traditional meeting ground, was designated to hold the
mapping workshop. We also requested that a selected set of
uity M1pphig for Census 'a'king informants meet a few hours before the construction of the
Community mapping is a versatile tool used to cheaply gather community map to conduct a "concept definition" workshop to elicit
baseline information on a number of indicators-population local definitions of households, wealth, and food security.
characteristics, wealth and asset distribution, labor availability, and The next day, arriving at the meeting place, we were surprised by so on. This manual suggests considering the use of community the level of attendance: all villagers-perhaps more than 200
mapping instead of a formal census (Table 4.1). Besides being people-were expecting them. The workshop was obviously seen as a
quicker, this method may yield better results than a conventional festive occasion, and everyone came in their finest clothes. Field
census (but not always-see Christiaensen, Hoddinott, and Bergeron personnel, who spoke the local language, began by explaining the
2001). Another good reason to use this tool is the high level of objectives of the exercise to the villagers: reproduce their living space
participation it encourages: villagers usually enjoy mapping, as it is a on the ground as exactly as possible inorder to identify household good way for them to communicate issues that have a spatial units and the people living in them. The mosque and the central
dimension. The construction of a map is thus a good starting place place were laid out first (since these stand in the geographic center of
for social assessment studies. Note, however, that community the village), as well as the main paths leading to the central place.
mapping is not always the most appropriate tool for census taking- Banco (wet clay) was proposed as material, and the staff built a few
for instance in highly dispersed communities, in areas of low hypothetical street walls to illustrate the idea.
population density, or in situations where the precise targeting of a At the beginning, only two or three men seemed to understand
Food Security in Practice 51




the aim. They proceeded to correct the model. Seeing them work, vigorous discussions were heard all over as to how much of that wall
bystanders quickly joined in and soon all people present, men and was owned by this compound versus its neighbor, where did this
women alike, were busy adding their own compound to the map. pathway end, and so on. The level of participation, debate, and crossControlling the work of so many people soon became impossible, and checking was such that we are confident no major mistakes were
we were reduced to acting simply as resource persons, answering made. People clearly counterbalanced one another in making the
people's questions about procedural aspects and making sure nothing assessments and little was left unchecked. was left out. As delimitations between compounds were drawn,
Table 4.2 Matrix of household demography, assets, and food security rating: Partial listing from Tomba
Domestic Name of head Number of Number of Non- Food
Compound unit of domestic Gender domestic Ethnic household Number Owns Number Number Irrigation irrigation Migrant security
number number unit (HHH) of HHH units group members ofoxen a plow of cows goats fields fields fids ratig
1 Abdoulaye 10 4 1 1 1 1 1 0 3
Amadou Yatara
1 2 lssa Madiou 1 4 1 8 0 0 0 2 1 1 1
1 3 Mamadou Kabara 1 4 1 3 0 0 0 1 1 1 2 2
1 4 Aligui Madiou 1 4 1 4 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 2
2 1 Hamadou Mahamar 1 3 1 3 0 0 0 1 1 1 0
2 2 Mahamman Hamradou I 3 1 6 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 2
2 3 Abdoulaye Hamadou 1 3 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 2 2
3 1 Boubacar Madio 1 2 1 10 0 0 0 2 1 1 0 2
3 2 Arsina Madiro 1 2 1 2 0 0 0 1 1 1 6 2
4 1 Djougal Iko 1 1 1 4 0 0 0 1 1 1 5 2
5 1 Sidar Traore 1 1 1 5 0 0 0 2 1 1 0 2
6 1 Djoubalo Ahidji 1 1 1 7 0 0 0 2 1 1 1 2
7 1 Aisa Bocar 2 1 1 7 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 1
8 1 Ousmane Kouly 1 1 1 4 0 0 0 1 1 1 0
9 1 Ali Oumba 1 2 1 5 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 2
9 2 Hamadou Oumba 1 2 1 2 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 2
10 1 Brema 0usmane 1 1 1 6 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1
11 1 Hammnadou Abdoulaye 1 1 1 8 0 0 0 1 1 1 3 2
Source: Compiled by author f!romn survey data.
Vote: Under "gender of head of domestic unit," male household head ad 2 = emale household head; under "owvns a pl, = yes and 0 no a, See discussion of foiod-securiy rating on page 5.
5 2 Food Security in Practice




Once the main streets and family compounds had been laid out, domestic units second. Both compounds and domestic units were
people began separating individual homes within compounds by numbered in ascending sequential order (1, 2,3,4...), but the
making little clay mounds, each one representing a home. We then numbering of domestic units began anew each time compounds
asked them to represent their domestic assets, including number of changed. It was also agreed that the first domestic unit named in
persons present in the home. On each house mound, a number of each compound (which received number 1) would systematically
twigs were then planted to represent how many people lived there- correspond to the family head (Table 4.3). This way of coding was
migrant members were represented by a bent twig. Other symbols used in order to allow later analysts to associate each domestic unit
that represented the household assets were deposited in the yard with the compound it belongs to, a crucial piece of information,
adjacent to each home. Symbols used included goat feces, to given the importance of family networks for livelihood strategies in
represent the number of goats owned by the home; bean seeds, to this region.
represent the number of non-irrigated fields; rice seeds, to represent the number of irrigated fields; and so on. Fund Securifty Rating
Once the map was considered complete by informants, field staff Food security rating is part of a family of field research techniques
proceeded to record the information on a large sheet of paper and the known as group informant ratings (GIR), which allow fieldworkers summary matrix was done (see Table 4.2). Particular care was taken to (1) quickly understand how units of interest (households, plots,
when recording family identity numbers, as extended families were and so on) are different from each other on a particular aspect
common in that village. Compounds were numbered first and (wealth, food security, and so on); and (2) classify them accordingly
(Table 4.4). The resulting classification can be used to identify target Table 4.3 Model used for coding compound and family groups for specific activities. The GIR provide a rapid and low-cost
numbers assessment of unit characteristics. In wealth ranking exercises (a
Compound number" Family number
............................................................................................................ ............................................................................................................p u l r G R m t o ra i g b y o c l n f m n s a e f r h r
popular GIR method), ratings byoa nomnt r ute
001 01
001 02 credited with removing the biases of conventional survey methods by
001 03 bringing intangible elements (such as status, and access to networks
of support) to the measurement of wealth and poverty, thus bridging 002 o u the gap between outsider and local perceptions of poverty.
002 02
003 01 There are problems with GIR methods, however. The first one is
004 01 the inability to do cross-community comparisons: Ratings produced
004 02 are, by definition, contingent on each setting. The GIRs may thus
004 03 have high internal validity but no external validity whatsoever. Some
S'ure: 5iti3dSn have limitation,
N:v.o 0?J ..,:, htdiete ;;mdy W ,i attempts haebeen made to overcome this lmtiobut no
Food Secutrity in Practice 5 3




Table 4.4 Food security rating
Purpose Classify households in a community according to their level of food security
.............. ...................................................................................................................i................... ... :......................c........................................... ......***............ ....... ........ .......... ...... ...... .............................................................................................
Informants Much care has to go into selecting informants. They must be long-standing members of the community, be knowledgeable, and be
honest. They should represent a cross-section ofthe community in terms of age, sex, ethnicity, or other locally relevant distinctions (caste, productive orientation). The number of informants per focus group should be from four to six. Separate groups may be created if members of different social status do not want to stand together in the same exercise, or if women remain silent in the presence of men. Then, however, the ratings produced by each different group have to be reconciled and standardized.
...................................................... L.......................................................... ..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
Format Focus group session
. t "t........................................ F o.............s... ....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
Where In a calm, private area, inside or outside
Materials Index cards (as many as there are households in the comrntmity plus five for labeling of piles/categories) and markers
Method Of all the methods proposed in the literature, the "index card" approach is preferred for it is comprehensive and easy to control. In
this method, the name of each household head is written on a separate index card,. Once the categories to be used are identified (see "Prior step.s" below}, a separate pile is created to represent each particular category. Informants talk among themselves and decide which category each household belongs to. If informants are unsure about one household, they put its card aside so the case can be resolved later, Once all households are rated, the moderator takes each pile and reads the names back to the group to give them a
chance to review their classification This rmay bring additional shuffling. New categories may also need to be created to
accommodate intermediary or uncertain cases. If so, all cards have to be read back again to the group, until no more discrepancies are manifested. Once the final categories are made, their attributes are discussed anew, by empirically considering the characteristics of the households falling in this group.
...................................................... ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... :...........................................................................................................
Prior steps Define the concepts of the community, household, and food security. Define a rating system: irrnformants should be allowed to define
their own rating system, so that they feel comfortable with their assessment. Usually, three to five classes are proposed.
...................................................... l........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
Time About one hour
...................................................... ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
Produrcts A listing of all households in the community with their rating in terms of food. security categories. A clear definition of what each
category of household food security (HIFS) refers to.
....... ........... ...................... ....... ................. ;......... ... :........ .......F....,.....i.......:...................................................;:;..................... ............i..........................;............ ................ .......................................................
Validation Control with attributes of household obtained from mapping. Obtain second opinion from different focus group. Classification and
Regression Tree (CART) analysis.
Source: Compiled by author:
convincing alternative has yet been offered. We recommend never one can know everybody well. One may divide the larger community
using a GIR scale outside the site where it was developed. Second, it into wards or neighborhoods, but then the problem of standardmust be recognized when GIR is not useful. In communities where ization between subdivisions surfaces (see first point above).
everybody is subject to considerable stress, such as is the case with Limitations are also noted where populations are highly mobile
refugee communities, GIR provides spurious or irrelevant details, as (such as in pastoral societies), or where households are highly
differences in wealth or food security become increasingly marginal, scattered (as in the Amazon). Third, GIRs appear to be very
Also, the approach is not very useful in large communities where no susceptible to error, both systematic and random. Tests of the
54 Food Security in Practice




reliability of ratings suggested that the main sources of error are poor how would you characterize these differences?" After some debate, a informant selection and poor training of field personnel. This can be two-way classification emerged from these discussions: (1) foodremedied by exerting considerable care in the use of the method; secure, defined as families that never have food security problems;
however, it has to be clear that it is less straightforward than it and (2) food-marginal, defined as families that seem to have food
initially appeared. security problems every year.
For all these reasons, GIR methods should be used with much The group was then asked to rate each household on the list in
caution. They should be used strictly to classify populations within relation to this categorization. The moderator read the names of
single communities. Careful selection of key informants is required, every household head in turn, asking in each case on which of the
and careful training of field personnel is an absolute must. two piles this household should be placed. Informants deliberated
and then took the card and put it on the appropriate pile. Many cards
Example of Food Security RIalifg created difficulties, so they were put aside for later categorization.
A food security rating exercise was conducted in San Marcos, a After the group had gone through all the cards, the moderator asked
community of western Honduras where a rural development project is them to consider again those that created problems. One informant
being implemented. The aim of the exercise was to examine how eventually mentioned that it seemed all of them did not fit in either
food security varied in the group of farmers targeted by the project. of the extreme categories; rather, they fell in between, not totally A listing of community members was provided by project managers. food-secure nor totally food-insecure. A third, intermediary category
We randomly selected various people from that list and visited them, was thus added, which was defined as "families that occasionally
asking who in their opinion were the most reliable and have food security problems but not every year." The moderator
knowledgeable informants in the village. Five persons were repeatedly added a new corresponding pile. He then read back the names that pointed out by villagers. These five persons-three men and two had been put on the two first piles (Food-Secure and Food-Marginal)
women-were invited to participate in a focus group session. and asked if they still agreed on this rating. Many of the households
We explained to them that they would have to create a food security from these piles were then reclassified to the intermediary category.
rating of community members. The meeting was scheduled for the Once the review was completed, the moderator asked informants
next afternoon, and held in the schoolyard. to consider again each class and the households in it, and asked,
After informants had arrived at the meeting place, we explained "What makes you think these households belong to this class?"
to them what was meant by "food security" and "households" (see Responses to that question improved understanding of food security
discussion above in "Concept Definition" section). They were asked differences in the community, and provided a point of entry for later
to add whatever they thought should form part of these concepts. project design. Mentioned characteristics were as follows:
Next they were asked two questions: "Does everyone among villagers
have equal access to food? (Yes/No)," and "If there are differences,
P00(1 Secutrity in Practice 5 5




Food-secure group qualitative version of a functional equation in which the outcome
They work at a large scale on their own lands. (dependent y ariable) is determined by a set of factors (independent
* They have good ideas. variables) that can be objectively specified and ranked in terms of
* They work hard. their respective contribution to total explained variance (Table 45
They save their money. and supporting Figure 4. 1a-c).
* They have the best lands.
* They have public responsibilities. Table 4. 1a Zoning" of the concept map into
quadrants
* They have cattle.
Food-insecure group
* They do not have much land.
They have to work for wages occasionally. Own production
They ha e to w o k for w ges occ sionall o w.................................................................
" Their families are large, and the little they produce is
consumed right away.
" They sell their product before it is harvested.
Food
Food-im arginal group ......................................
* They always have to work for wages.
* They have no money, low revenues.
* They do not make decisions; they do not have a view of the Handicrafts itt n --tr . r
future.
* They are lazy or sick people.
* They do not have a sense of responsibility.
* They must buy all their food.
* They do not have land, or their land is insufficient. Documented experience in the use of this technique is scarce. Our
field trials suggest that, although theoretically promising, obtaining Conceptual Map of Soturces of (and Threats to) Food Security good empirical results is a challenging task. We noted two main
Conceptual mapping is a relatively new technique in the difficulties. First, the map is complex and requires a very skilled
participatory rural appraisal (PRA) tool set, used to specify which moderator. Second, verification is problematic: Supporting evidence is factors contribute to a particular outcome. It can be viewed as the difficult to obtain and requires a better knowledge of the community
56 Food Security in Practice




Table 4.5 Conceptual map of food sources and threats to food security
Purpose (1) To elicit the most important pathways by which households obtain their main staple food in that community, (2)identify the most
important threats to these food acquisition strategies, and (3) assign priorities to these threats. Informants Optimal size of group is from 8 to 12 participants. Informants must be selected to represent the distinct farming strategies found in
that community. A balanced gender representation is also required. Format Focus group session held in a quiet, private area.
......................................................t.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
Materia Is Materials include a large sheet of paper and markers of distinct colors.
Methods This exercise is easier when limited to main staple foods for example, maize and beanss.
(a) General aspects. The moderator explains to the participants that he/she wants to know the sources of their staples in this community. A simple example (for example, '"growing it") is usually sufficient for participants to understand what is expected from them. Informants will mention that they get staples from their own production, donations, purchases, and so on. Always remind informants to refer only to actual, nonhypothetical sources of food. Also, a minimal number of families-for example, at least 25 percent of households--should use this strategy before it gets recorded on the map.
(h) Mapping food sources and their pathways. The moderator "holds the pen" during the whole session, so the product remains organized as it fills up. The moderator mentally divides the map in "zones" to keep sources separate from one another. An example of "conceptual map zoning" is presented in Figure 4.1a. Once the main sources of staples are listed, each source is considered individually. The main prior conditions to this source are elicited. For example, a prior condition to have "food from own production" is that there be a harvest. To have a harvest, the farmer must have land and buy inputs. Both of these require capital, which may come from savings or loans; and so on. Each of the steps in this sequence corresponds to a node; the full sequence of nodes associated with a particular source is called a pathway. The pathway and its nodes are reported on the map as in Figure 4.1b.
(c) Ranking food sources by order of inpotance. Conceptual maps generally turn out to be very similar from one village to another. What makes them different is the relative importance of each pathway in the livelihood strategies of the villagers. Once all pathways have been identified, a subjective weighting is made between them by drawing arrows of various sizes indicating their relative importance in the community. The size of each figuratively corresponds to that vector's effect.
(d) Identify threats to each food source. The moderator next asks informants to identify the main threats that exist along each pathway. The link between each node is examined, and elements that may threaten this link are elicited and written on the map, using a marker of different color. Here again, it is important that the threats identified correspond to those that exist in this village, and not merely theoretical ones. Since threats are usually different between sites, the map will also differ between villages at this level (see Figure 4.1 c). e) Prioritize reats to address first. The final step is to rank threats by order of importance. Pairwise ranking is adequate for that purpose.a To keep this manageable, a maximum of five threats per pathway is suggested. If three pathways are identified, that makes a total of 15 threats to rank.
Prior steps Identify main staples. Recruit informants.
...................................................... ...................... .............................. ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
Time Approximately two hours.
Products Products include (1) a specification of main staple sources in the community and their relative importance, (2) an identification of the
main threats to these pathways, and (3) a list of threats in order of priority. Validation The only rapid way of validating the results is to repeat the exercise with another group and triangulate findings. A household-based
survey of food consumption may provide information about sources of food, but not about pathways or threats. A prolonged stay in the community (six to seven days) is needed to verify the conclusions.
Sourc e: Comnpiledl by author
a. Pairwise rankin is a common RA ,technique in which every choice is iteratively compared with every other choice by asking which of the two is most important l this way all c!oices get ordered in terms of their relative iapottarnce one to the other
Food Sectrity in Practice 57




Table 4. 1b Nodes and pathways in conceptual map Table 4.1c Threats to food pathways
.......... ......... ................... ......................................................................................................................................................................... ......... ................... ................... ............................ ..................
Land accessed Loca obs grant jobs: Lad a cessedL rantjo
Food Foo
............ ........... ........................ ....... ........ .............. .... ... .....
tn.............es, transfers Rs..... .... tra
.... ,-.............. ........... r ---,---- iZ .17 ..71 . f~ l
and t crafs 1 annce
1.Availability of land for rent 9. Availability to travel than the little time spent doing a rapid appraisal can actually 2. Price of land to10. Wage levels
3. Rain, pests, access tocptl 11 Prices of food generate. Yet, this exercise can be very useful for assessing the sources 4. Storage losses 12. Prices of nonfood items
of (and threats to) food supply. For this reason, project managers 5 Cpacity of household 13. Arrangements to access
members (HHM) to use food materials
should be aware of its potential when exploring options for food 6. Output prices 14. Handicraft output prices
........................ .............. .. 7 ... ........ ..... ..... .... .......
... 1;i 'o d 'i 'i' ; i"l .............-----......................... ................
................... ......... ............ k..........
producing them or through purchases. No food donation programs ........................................... ...........................................
A c c e s s 1 s...l....................................................... ....... ........
ceeae eti xrccaft evr sflfr sesn h resH4,So a ndirafses1,Pie fnnodiet
Man Fod ath w su nd th i Pri Conditin s are active in this community, and few households mention r ceiling
1, A..eabrst {Hof cl foo teiat
should be aware fsa is a mountain community of western Honduras. Staple transfers. Staplrces include maize and beans, grown primarily for
secur58 Food Security in Practions. Basic guidelines about its use are provided 7 otal outpt below. It must be emphasized, however, that it should be used only if 8o,: Defan o,- ,:,e labor.,,.,,.,,.qualifiedt personnel and time are available.
EXAMPLE OF CONCEPTUAL MAP foods are maize and beans. Villagers oti hs tpe ihrb
producing them or through purchasesNofddnainpgrm Main. Foo.d Pa~tways and ltei.r Pr~ior Co.nditl.{ms are active in this community, and few oshlsmnto eevn
Santa Teresa is a mountain community of western Honduras. Staple transfers. Staples include maize and bengonprmrlIo




subsistence with small quantities occasionally sold locally for cash. their ownership rights, landowners prefer not to rent to the same Wheat was once important, but less of this crop is grown every year person from one year to another. Landless producers thus constantly due to genetic erosion, and the small amounts produced are grown have to seek new land to sow their basic grains. This lowers the
only for sale. The prior condition to production is access to land, incentive to land investment, and rented land is typically more labor, and inputs. Land in this village is either owned or rented by the degraded and of poorer quality, making it (and the family that uses producers. Labor depends on the family demographic cycle. Inputs it) more vulnerable to production shortfalls. There are few ways out
are generally bought, since organic fertilizers are little used locally, of this situation, as the land market is tight in this area, and buying The working capital for production comes from credit, savings, the land is expensive.
sale of produce, or from wage work. Assuming land and capital are secured, the next problem
Food purchases depend on income generated from two distinct confronted by producers is the price of inputs, which is always
sources: The sale of one's own production and wage work on other increasing. This complaint is certainly legitimate in the case of basic
people's land. The conditions that determine sales are the same as grain producers. Other sources confirm that the cost/benefit ratio in
those determining production. Thus, land access is the key to how basic grain production has gone down in Honduras by up to 40
much cash is derived from production. Wage work refers mainly to percent in the last two decades (compared with an increase of more
temporary migration during the coffee harvest season. than 200 percent in nontraditional commercial crops). This is bound
to have severe effects on a community like Santa Teresa, where
l'lreats to Foo(I Acqluisition people rely to a high extent on their own production to ensure their
Pathway 1-own production. The local production of basic supply of basic foods.
grains is determined by many factors. Farmers say external inputs Going down the pathway, and assuming fertilizers are obtained,
are crucial to their production of food. Most of the money to buy farmers still have to face the hazards of erratic rainfall, pest
these inputs comes from loans; but to obtain a loan one has to own outbursts, postharvest losses, and so on. Irrigation systems could
land, be a member of a producer organization, and be free of debt. In remedy rain shortages, but water sources are distant and would have Santa Teresa, about half of the people own some land. They recently to be pumped, requiring a major infrastructure investment and high formed a producer association, enabling them to access credit. For operational costs. Pest incidence is relatively low in this community,
them, the conditions to access credit are met-unless they have bad yet pesticides are needed at times, which again requires capital.
loans. For those with no land, however, the situation is more difficult. Storage losses, largely from rot and rodents, are reported to affect up They may rent land, but rented land cannot be used as collateral and to 15 percent of stored grains. does not give access to credit. Besides, land rental is insecure because Pathway 2-purchase of foods. The capacity to buy food is of the legal stipulation that a farmer who has worked a plot for more related to the wealth of a household, which is a function of the than three years can claim ownership of that plot. Fearing loss of amount of land owned, sales from one's own production, access to
Food Security in Practice 59




savings, and/or earnings from wage work. The threats associated with obligation to migrate, and they would rather stay at home if they production were already described. To these, one must now add the could. Also, they complain that salaries are low (although other problem of output prices, which fluctuate quite dramatically on a sources report that coffee wages have improved over the last few seasonal basis. With respect to wage work, the most important source years). A few alternate sources of employment exist locally, but they of employment is provided by coffee harvests. However, this source of are occasional and cannot serve as a main source of income. They income is premised upon the availability of household members for also pay less. periods of out-migration and the effective demand for labor in the Finally, producers mentioned that the purchase of food is affected
coffee sector, which is a function of world coffee prices and climate, by problems of local availability (nonexistence locally) and access Coffee harvests occur only in a short, seasonal fashion, but the (high prices). Prices, they say, are particularly subject to incomes provided are secure and stable. Yet farmers resent this manipulation by intermediaries.
Table 4.6 Matrix of threats to food acquisition, with possible actions and their likelihood Problem i Possible action Likelihood of action
Inadequate tenure laws Change land tenure law Unlikely: Tenure laws are a national policy.
High land prices Change land market Unlikely: The market is already quite open.
Land reform Local land reform would provide no relief, as landowners in this community are
smallholders.
Production hazards Stabilize yields via technical Can be done. Technologies can be adapted to improve mnaize/beanslclinate/pest
improvement tolerance.
Poor access to capital Offer credit without need Can be clone, but requires organization, Alternative credit guarantees-for instance,
for collateral group lending-must be explored.
Storage losses Provide silos Can be done: Simple, cheap technologies exist,
Poor or unstable output prices Diversify in high-value crops to Diversification into commercial-output-prices crops might be envisioned, although deflect poor prices of basic grains this needs to be paired with irrigation and roads for market access. Poor labor market Stabilize labor market Unlikely: Local outlets are saturated and there is no control over demand for labor in
coffee,
Poor wages Improve wage levels Unlikely: Wage levels are determined nationally.
High food prices Remove middlemen via Possible, but difficult. Consumer co-op requires much organization and training,
consumer co-op
Favor production of vegetables Can be done. Additionally, favors involvement of women and children in food in home gardens production and offers alternative source of income and sales
Improve transport Possible, but costly. Could be paired with consumer co-op.
Source: Compiled by ufto from survey dit3.
60 Food Securitv in Practice




-Anlysis andrankin gof threats superimposed to illustrate the connections between production and
The threats identified above were listed for further discussion. consumption flows, and cycles in asset availability and demand for
A matrix (Table 4.6) was drawn to discuss the possible action, and cash. The data thus provided can be used at distinct phases of project
whether any of these actions were in the project's and the design: in initial needs assessment ("When is the hungry season?"
community's manageable interest. "What food runs out first?"), project design ("What combination of
A pairwise ranking was made to prioritize issues to be addressed early/late maturation breeds could reduce the length of the hungry by development agencies. The following were listed in order of season?" "When is labor available to realize projects?"), and
preference: evaluation ("How do calendars compare between the beginning and
1. Offer creative solutions that would provide credit funds without the end of the project?").
need for collateral.
2. Make technical improvements for yield stabilization in basic Ex.atnjll of i. n ii es
grains. Data from the community of Santa Teresa in Honduras illustrates the
3. Construct storage silos, use of timelines (Table 4.8). As already noted, mountain wheat is
4. Diversify production towards higher value crops. produced in this community in addition to the usual Honduran
5, Favor production of vegetables in home gardens. staples of maize and beans.
6. Create a consumer coop to remove middlemen. Harvests. Food harvests go from August to January, but they are
divided in two distinct subperiods: August and September, and
Seasm al Fo~od Secu.rity 'r dines November to January. The little wheat that is still harvested comes
Diagrams such as pie charts, bar graphs, and timelines are very mainly in September, although a few households also obtain small
popular among rapid appraisal workers seeking a chronological amounts of wheat in August. Maize harvest begins in November,
representation of processes. Considerable documentation is available increasing gradually until the peak month of January. Small on the various types of chronological instruments that have been amounts of early maize (elote) may be harvested also in September
developed and their uses (see References). The timeline is a and October. Most beans are harvested in December, with small
particular version of these that models time-bound processes in a amounts coming up in November.
linear fashion (Table 4.7). Timelines are very flexible: one can find Monetary revenues. Monetary incomes come mainly in the last applications all the way from history manuals, where they are used to two months of the year (November and December) and in the first describe long historical sequences, to software planning tools, where three months of the year (January to March). Cash comes either from they are used to describe sequential flows of activities in a project. In the sale of one's own production (wheat in a few cases, which is sold this guide, the technique is used to better understand the sequence of in September, and maize, in most cases, sold between December and events leading to food insecurity. To do so, multiple timelines are March, with sales culminating in the latter month), or from wage
Food Securit in Practice 61




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work during the coffee harvest season, beginning in November and August, with a culmination in the latter month, when foodstocks are
culminating in December and January. Some additional wage exhaused and school equipment has to be bought.
earnings are obtained in February, mainly obtained from working in Food reserves and monetary savings. Food reserves usually
coffee harvests, which implies seasonal migration. No other sources last until June. From that moment on and until September, when a of cash are reported; trade or handicrafts are not mentioned. few early maize cobs can be harvested, people depend almost entirely
Women's labor. Women do not work in other people's fields. They on their monetary savings to buy food. Monetary reserves reach their
work only in their family's plots. Their involvement in agriculture lowest point between the months of June and August, but the period occurs in two periods: land preparation for maize in June, and maize of scarcity may begin as early as April or May. The early maize harvests in December and January. harvests in September provide some relief at that point, if the season
Expenditures. Most production expenditures occur at the time of is favorable.
land preparation, before the sowing of maize (May-June) and shortly Summary of the timeline. In summary, the timeline indicates after fertilizer or weed killers are needed (August-September). that the supply of food is at its highest between the months of
Consumption expenditures concentrate in the months from June to November and January. Starting between April and June, we note a
Table 4.8 Development projects: Multiple timelines form (example from Honduras fieldwork)
Community: Group: (Mixed, Males, Females, Individual) Date:
Category R* Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May June J uly Aug ept. Oct. Nov. Dec.
----------- -----cr p .......... ..... .................. ................... ...... ... . ...... .................. ........... ....... ............ ..... ................ .
Harvest of (main crop)
Maize harvest
Bean harvest
Income from production
Income from wage work
Income from other work
Women's work in own farm
Women's work outside
Production expenditures
Consumption expenditures
Low reserves of food
Low reserves of cash
Source: Compiled by author
Note: R1* refers to relative importance within each category
Food Security in Practice 63




progressive decline of food and monetary resources, which factory was cited by one as a mai ore ficm, a ao
culminates in August when severe scarcity is mentioned. The small in coffee farms by another.
har-vests of maize recorded in September alleviate this situation; from *The time spent by women workinousdthhmewsuc that point on, food access and food availability improve progressively greater in two of three cases. Inbohcsswmnorefr until the cycle begins again, wages, not on their own farm. TtIrdcs orsoddt
This sequence indicates a high level of dependence on the maize an elderly couple, who reportednosucsficmeaal
harvests in September and afterwards. The total maize harvest can be (they subsisted on transfer incomefo hrte)
assessed by the end of January, and disp 'ositions could be taken to *The period for production expentuewamchsotrial alleviate future food shortages based on an assessment of total cases.
harvests at that date. Another indicator of future harvest performance *The months of scarcity were apprxmtl h ae u is the quality of the rainy season. Late or poor rainfall (which can be extended for longer periods. assessed by July) can create a difficult situation for the coming
September and October translating into a serious problem of food it was clear, from conversations wihteehoshlsNta hi
access and/or availability. A combination of these two situations can main problem was lack of access to ladh u lot ao n te be disastrous. A monitoring of the situation at these two critical productive resources. None of them owdlanadtorneml points would be useful to forestall severe food security problems. plots on a yearly basis-thus the littleaonsfprdcrprt,
Production expenditures occur mainly in the rainy season (May either for consumption or sales. This lse mhsso giutr to August). Credit funds must be available in these months if they are also explains the different timing and ieto f xedtrs to affect the current growing season. little went to production, most went to(ussec.Woe' oki
Comparison with poorer households. The same exercise was certainly of concern, as this may lowerteraiit(ocr o
carried out with three households identified as food-insecure by the younger children, without apparently bign opnaini h Food Security Rating exercise. Similar situations were reported by form of sufficient income. those three households. Differences with the general village situation The lesson from the timeline is tha utedfern trtge were particularly evident along the following lines: might need to be envisioned if the projc( stuy neetdi
*in all cases, fewer months of har-vests were reported, no matter dealing with food security issues. Alterntvst arclua
the crop. In two cases, no maize of segunda (second crop cycle) production-for example, value-addedtasomtino oal was obtained, and none grew wheat. produced goods-may do more for thoepriua aiista
*Income from sales of their own production came in fewer agriculture-oriented interventions. Thebs taeg ol et
months, if at all, and meant little. By contrast, income from combine both.
outside sources was important. Wage work in a traditional tile




Monitoring and Evaluationt Workshop to manifest some impact. It may be done on a yearly basis thereafter,
The last exercise aims at monitoring and evaluating the impact of to assess whether the project is on course and enable changes if
the project on local food security (Table 4.9). It is conducted at least needed (monitoring function). It may also be realized at the end of
one year after the beginning of the project, so the activities have time the activities, to draw lessons and guide the design of future activities
Table 4.9 Monitoring and evaluation of impact
Purpose Mon.itor the progress of activities with respect to stated goals, and evaluate the overall impact of activities at completion to inform,
orient, anl improve design.
............................................................ .....{2 r} :.9 ....:.)!!!! r X :.. .f !f ~ .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
Informants Beneficiaries of project activities.
......................................................... ................................................ ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
Format Focus group session including 8-10 informants, held in a quiet, private area,
......................................................... ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................:..........................................................................................
Materials Large chart prepared in advance, listing activities in rows, and whether they had an impact on income, food access, and food
availability in columns. The last column is left for explaning reasons for impact or lack thereof. See Appendix 4B for an example. ......... ............. ......................................................................: ... ........... ... .................................................................................1................................................ :...................... ............................. ................................:....................................................................................
Method List the activities undertaken by the project in that community (list only activities that have been implemented, and which had time
-I co m nt fi.eC, :11 thi activityi
to have an impact; for instance, the ifipact of a tree nursery on community life will not be felt before some years, so this activity is not evaluated). This list may be obtained from project officers working in the community. It is later validated with local informants in the village to ensure that the activities noted in project paperwork indeed correspond to those deployed in the community, and that no important activity is omitted (or added).
* Considering each activity in turn, ask villagers whether this activity had the effect of increasing income, food access, or food availability in the community. A good definition has to be provided for each of these notions. Access refers to the food obtained at the household level. Availability refers to the food found at the village level. Income refers to cash earnings associated with the activity (see definition above.
* Informants are asked about the reasons for the success (or failure) of the activity. For instance, if the activity is technical extension in maize production and villagers report lack of impact on food access in the first year, this may be due to poor implementatior of the activity, but it may also be due to poor rainfall or to a pest outbreak. Likewise, the failure of a credit program may be due to a late delivery of funds, but also to the unavailability of inputs locally. The actions listed in the project paperwork can be consulted to augment this characterizations (that is, each activity is supported by specific actions). In case the activity is not successful, we may ask whether the actions were indeed taken, and the failure to do so may explain why the activity did not have any impact.
* The activities considered most successful (in terms of villagers' priorities) are listed, followed by the less successful ones, and so on, until all the activities have been listed and ranked in relation to one another.
* This exercise is also undertaken with the technical staff in charge of the program. Comparing assessments between project managers and beneficiaries validates the findings and provides a more complete and balanced evaluation of the activities. Prior steps Identify the main crops and income earning activities in the community. Identify informants from the food-insecure group. Describe
seasons in local words.
Time Approximately one hour per group.,
. .. .. .. ... . .... .........
Products Once finished, project staff transcribe the result on a separate sheet, coding the size of mounds from 1 (smallest) to 5 (greatest)
Pictures are taken of the final calendar if possible. Relevant details that do not get reportedly on the timeline are collected by the relator, to be reported later at the time of write up.
Validation Repeat the exe.;rcise with another set of informants and compare results. Plausibility should also be corroborated with external data.
Source: Compied by author fromi su rvey data.
Food Security in Practice 65




(evaluation function). Note that this exercise does not aim to replace food. Thus, it is important to identifyonydrcimat.Aaohe the monitoring and evaluation procedures based on the collection example, if the project improves bean routnadhiicrse and analysis of quantitative data by the project. Rather, the aim is to production is both sold and consumedthnheastncwilav ensure that the voice of local people is heard and that their opinions an impact on incomes, on access, and ifbasreollcly)n on the activities and suggestions for improvements are taken into availability. account.
Here again the we found no documented experience in the Ex-Ampl~ 1, 1ishng the Imact E lutnIis rn t
literature on this topic, but experimental trials in certain project sites The example of Santa Teresa illustratethusofheIpc proved satisfactory. It is estimated that there are two crucial Evaluation tool. The community had be iie h rvosya
requirements for a successful completion of this exercise. First, only by an NGO. This NGO had identifiedtefloigojcie o t the direct impact of activities is evaluated. Second, the outcome activities in that village: increase maizyils(otrespcfd) variables are the components of food security (that is, food access increase bean yields, improve handlingo io peis ri and food availability). Income is also considered an outcome villagers in environmental protectionofwtrsuctaivlags
variable, as many activities directly target income, and income in proper use of credit, and implementaceitporm
indirectly affects access or availability. These three dimensions are Increase maize yields. Villagers syti olwsrahd hi
defined to the participants as follows: maize yields were higher this year thani rviu nsatog
1. Increased income refers to additional sales resulting from the precise improvement was not known hsyedices a
increased production. positive effects on food access, mainly i3 h umnaino
2. increased food access refers to the greater presence of food at subsistence production. It had veiy litlefeconitricmer the household level, and results when more food grains are food availability, however; since only afwhueod odmie
produced as a result of project activity. The increase in yield was due to ()afvrberifl nta
3. Increased food availability refers to the greater presence of food season; (2) the training farmers had.rcie rmteNOi at the village level, and obtains when the activity results in improved seed selection, better agronomcpatcs adpoe s additional food being sold in the village, thus augmenting the of fertilizer; and (3) the availability fcrdtfrpchsnipu.
amount of food available in the village as a whole. Increase bean yields. Bean yieldswr eotdl ihrti
For instance, technical assistance in coffee production may result year than in previous ones. This goalwarecdltogaai in increased income, but not in increased food access nor food the exact improvement is not known.Thinraenbanyldhd
availability, as coffee is not eaten. Only through the increased income positive effects on income (in Santa Teea en r smc generated by coffee sales may food access be improved-but it may cash crop as a staple), on food access(hueod'pdctnofhi not have this result, since the increased income may not be spent on staple went up), and on food availabilt(mrofhepduinwa




sold locally). Teresa's inhabitants, as it incited bte omnt raiain
The reasons for improved yields were similar to maize: improved Credit was obtained in the lasprdcineao.Tefetsn
agronomic practices, and better fertilization and pest control outcome indicators were indirect, u ilgr a thdaciia
practices. Farmers also received improved genetic materials throug h influence on final yields. the NGO. Favorable rains also helped production. Farmers also
received credit, which allowed them to buy the inputs they had been Exa~mple 2: .1111 th Ipa, viai ~ n
taught to use by the NGO's agronomist. The impact evaluation instrumencaalobusdyprjt
Improve handling of minor species. No activities were managers to evaluate how well the r on loalhwwl
developed around this objective, so it had no effect on any of the particular classes of activities serveteojcie fipoigfo three outcomes. Villagers said they did not know why the NGO had security, and how well particular N~ r on nipeetn left aside this part of the work plan. When consulted, the NGO staff their contract. To illustrate this,reutwrecmidfom1 said their contract with their funding agency had come to an end, communities of western Hondurasweeanme fN~
and no resources were available to develop this aspect. implement development activities.Attlo 6tpso ciiiswr
Train villagers in environmental protection of water carried out across all communitie-ohwvrtannefte
sources. The same situation as for training in minor species was communities hosted more than 8(ciiis'nttl abe4.1i
reported on this activity. No training took place, and plans for Appendix C reports on the resultbrekn onb ilg reforesting riverbanks were left undone. Here again, the NGO blamed (columns) and activity type (rowsec yebigi un iie
this on a miscommunication with their funding agency by its impact on income (Y), foodacs(A)anfodvilbit
representative. (DA). An additional line specifies h G ncag o hspriua
Train villagers in proper use of credit, and implement a community. Examination of the tbeofr h olwn nihs
credit program. Credit principles were taught, and villagers said it The overall rate of successwa33pret was very useful. Part of the training consisted of creating a producer e The three most successful tyeI fitreto o mrvn association responsible for channeling and administering the income were agronomic traiigi ofepoutocei
individual loans. The creation of this association had secondary programs, and agronomic tann nba rdcin
benefits, such as providing a conduit to farmers' requests for *The three most successful tyeI fitreto o mrvn
technical assistance and providing a focal point for the realization of food access were agronomics riigi az rdcin public goods activities like road repairs, soil conservation structures, training in care of minor spceadarnoi riigi and so on. Thus, although this training had no direct effect on bean production and diversiiaino rdcin
incomes, food access, or food availability, it was undeniably
beneficial to the long-term well-being and food security of Santa




* The three most successful types of intervention for improving APPENDix 4A: METHODS FOR OCAL ONCEPT
food availability were diversification of production, training in DEFINITION
care of minor species, and agronomic training in bean
production. In this appendix, we review a few of the most important techniques
used to identify and define local concepts. Three techniques are
This information suggests that the overall rate of success is rather examined: cultural domain identification (or free listing and pile low. This assessment is tempered by many factors, however, as sort), Delphi analysis, and cultural consensus modeling.
revealed by detailed consideration of the data. First, it seems that
agricultural production-oriented interventions usually work well. Cultural )nmiaii verification
Other types of interventions by contrast-improving Practically speaking, to define a cultural or cognitive domain is to
commercialization, inciting alternative income-generating activities, make a list of its elements. Such a definition is needed when one has protecting the environment-do poorly. Project managers should a general idea of the domain, but does not know exactly which items
thus consider whether to emphasize these types of activities in the belong to it in the particular society under study. To determine this,
future, or (given their poor rate of success) abandon them altogether. anthropologists commonly use free listing techniques (akin to In making this decision, due consideration should be given to the brainstorming sessions), in which a set of respondents is requested to
guidelines emitted earlier to direct NGO work, and whether the name all items matching a given description. For example, if
conceptual tools were available to them to develop this type of interested in the domain of "food vulnerability," one asks each
activity, informant to individually identify all the elements he or she
Other elements may explain the poor overall rate of success. First, associates with that term (it may be working for wages, or lacking many activities have been implemented only recently, and have not land, but also may refer to traits that are specific to that culture, for
had time to manifest their impact yet. Thus the same assessment instance, being in a casted group, or not having a camel, and so on).
should be made again at a later date-say, in one year-to see if the Once the brainstorming has elicited all the attributes associated with
patterns documented here hold over time. Second, and unlike the the term of interest, the list is further processed using particular
example in Santa Teresa, many communities suffered from adverse techniques, such as "pile sorts" and "ratings." They consist in simply
climatic conditions in the last production year, and this may have counting up the number of times each item is mentioned, and
thwarted any beneficial influence from the interventions, sorting the list in order of decreasing frequency. A well-understood
concept (for example, one that informants easily associate with their
daily lives) will typically have a core set of items that are mentioned
by many respondents, plus a large number of items that are
mentioned by few or just one person. It is assumed that the core set of
68 Food Security in Practice




items reflects the existence of a shared cultural norm regarding that commonly mentioned, or that were theoretically expected to be concept, while the additional items represent the idiosyncratic views associated with the domain. In many cases, the reason why an
of individuals (Borgatti 1993). The shared cultural norm is what is of informant does not mention a particular criterion may not be that it interest. is irrelevant, but that it did not occur to him or her at the time of the
The first step in distinguishing the "shared" from the questioning. Such "informant blanking" can be rectified through
"idiosyncratic" is a distribution of the frequency with which more discussion. If the variation in frequencies is due to real
brainstorming items are mentioned. If represented in a scree plot, the individual differences in opinion, however, then more steps are
cutoff point between shared and idiosyncratic items should be needed. The researcher should first make sure that the concept is
indicated by a drop (or "elbow") in the plot. In Figure 4A.1, for clear to the informants. A concept like "food security," for instance,
instance, items 1 and 2 are mentioned 10 times each, and others with may be diffused, and need to be reformulated before consensus is
declining frequency. The elbow method suggests a natural cutoff point reached on its local meaning. It may also be that the concept per se
between item 6 (mentioned 7 times) and item 7 (mentioned twice). is unfamiliar to local people. An example of this situation arose in
The concept here is thus formed by the six first items. If no clear elbow Guatemala when indigenous people were asked about their natural shows, then one can pick the top n items, or items that are listed by resources conservation methods. The informants did not understand
more than x respondents, as the cultural definition of the domain, the question because conservation exists as an intrinsic part of the
Whatever the rule used to eliminate noncore items, one should farming system, not as a set of activities independent of it. If it is
always ask why some respondents did not mention items that were concluded, as in that example, that the lack of concordance on a
concept is due to the absence of a precise cognitive referent, then the
Figure 4A. 1 Scree plot of core iters researcher should resort to one of the other strategies listed below
that rely more on "specialists" (people who understand this problem
because of their particular situation or knowledge)
10
Delphi Method
E b The so-called "Delphi method" is an iterative definition process
designed to achieve consensus among a group of persons considered
4 experts on a particular topic as to the criteria used in evaluating this
4
3 topic. This is especially useful in situations where no standard criteria
2 yet exist for doing this evaluation. The method is well documented
1 3 4 7 and has been used in a wide number of applications.
Item nummr
.$fI.rce. Coiei~d hy suthar iron sL-,11y Ino.
Food Secidy in Practice 69




The procedure consists of the following steps. Begin by identifying cues, but asking respondents to select among the list of criteria
a set of "experts," or individuals who have a vested interest in the elicited in tlV first round. Respondents are also informed that they do
issue. Then each is asked a few questions, following a standard not have to list the same ones as before; rather they should consider
format. For instance, assuming that the two areas of interest are whether any of the criteria mentioned by others would be a better
criteria for evaluating food security, and criteria for evaluating criterion than any of those they originally proposed. This procedure
causes for loss of food security, these questions could take the has been demonstrated to drastically cut the number of criteria
following form: mentioned. Finally, the most important criteria are isolated using
Question 1. Assume you are in the middle of the dry season. individual criterion scores, ranking them from most important to
Please list the five most important criteria you would use in least important, using a five-point Likert scale. The final list of
assessing your food security situation on that day from your valuation criteria may be finally reduced to the five or 10 most
own point of view (that is, as a cattle rancher or as a coffee important ones, according to this last ranking exercise.
grower). Once you have made your list, please rank each of
these criteria from one to five, with five being the most Cultural Ce-iisus Modelling
important factor. Give reasons for the importance given to each Cultural consensus modeling describes and measures the amount
factor. Also, give an an opinion as to how each could be and distribution of cultural knowledge among a group of informants
measured. (Romney, Weller, and Batchelder 1986). Consensus analysis has two
Question 2. What are, in your opinion, the five most goals: first, to determine the culturally correct answers to questions
important reasons for deterioration in food security? Once you relative to a particular domain and, second, to evaluate the "cultural
have made your list, please rank each of these criteria from one competence" of each informant (Borgatti 1993). The first goal is that
to five, with five being the most important factor. Give reasons which is most relevant to our work.
for the importance given to each factor. Also, give opinion as to Romney, Weller, and Batchelders' cultural consensus theory is
how each could be measured. based on the insight that informants who agree with one another
about some item of cultural knowledge tend to know more about the
The next step is to reduce the quantity of information provided to domain than informants who disagree with each other. The idea is a manageable number of criteria. This is necessary because of the illustrated in West Africa on manioc classification. Researchers
large number of responses that may be elicited. A large number may walked 58 women through a manioc garden and asked them to
be useful in terms of domain mapping, but it is impractical in terms identify the various plants. They found that the more women agreed
of establishing streamlined evaluation criteria. To reduce the impact with each other on the identification of the plant, the more they were of too many responses (and also to reduce the impact of informant likely to know what the plant actually was. In other words, as
blanking), a second round of questioning is done, using the same cultural competence increased, so did cultural consensus (Ryan and
70 Food Security in Practice




Martinez 1996). As for the Delphi method, a focus group of Alternative Met hods for Impact Evaluation: TIe SWOT
"specialized" informants is required to conduct these exercises. Analysis
SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis is Which Method? a common tool used by program managers to elicit and analyze the
The choice among the three approaches presented above should be relative merits and deficiencies of particular activities, and
informed by the concept to be defined. This project requires that the possibilities for improvement. This instrument was initially developed
concepts of wealth, poverty, food security, and food vulnerability be for use by specialists, but it can easily be adapted to an RA setting as
defined in their local meaning. Table 4A.1 suggests guidelines to the its realization is well developed and very straightforward. SWOT
exploration of those concepts. analysis is easily explained to participants using a matrix (Figure
Once the meaning of those concepts has been elicited, some 4A.2) where the time frame (present/future) is placed on one axis,
additional exploration may be appropriate. For instance, in the and evaluations (positive/ negative) are on the other.
normative diet, a rank ordering of essential foods could be obtained This framework is particularly well-suited to examine the present
through pairwise scoring or contingent valuation. These tools will be performance of single development activities for food security (say,
reviewed later. credit or technical extension) and evaluate their future implications.
Considering the present, what works well and why (strengths) is first examined. Informants work in a brainstorming mode, where all
Table 4A.1 Concepts to define, approaches to use, and outputs to obtain
Concept Approacl : Fo nmat/Parficipants Output
Wealth and poverty Cultural domain Focus group!cross section of all villages List of attributes associated with wealth and poverty in
that c community
Household configuratiots Cultural domain Focus group!cross section of all villages List of household forms (extended, nuclear, gender of
household heads) and their relative occurrence
............................................................. .......................................... ................................................................................................. ......................................................................................................................................... ..................................................................
Food security Delphi Separate focus groups of men, women, List of attributes associated with food-secure and foodproject staff insecure situations; may also include a list of graded
responses to food insecurity (to be used as indicators)
Indicator for food security Cultural domain Focus group/cross section of all villages Ordered list of responses to food insecurity
.................................................................................... ......................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... .............................................................................................................................
Food vulnerability Cultural domain Focus group/cross section of all villagers List or local livelihoor strategies and of threats to these
strate-,gies
Normative diets Delphi or cultural Focus group/senior women of households Minimum list of foods and their quantity needed by
consensus average adult to lead a healthy life
source: Compieid by auti:or
Food Security in Practice 71




Figure 4A.2 SWOT matrix APPENDix 4C: SUMMARY OF IMPACT VALUATION
........ ......................... i .......................................... S x ee y e o n er e to s e e ca re uti ot l( a le 4 )
Time Sixteen types of interventions were carried out in total (Table 4G.1).
resent Fu e Interventions were not always the same from village to village, as (1)
the choice of activity was defined by community members
.................... 4............ .........................
Positive [ Stren s prtues ] themselves; (2) the service provider varied from village to village; and
vacationn (3) programs were generally directed either at men or at women, and
:, ................... .... ............. ..... . .. .
. .Neg lie L kieses levels of participation varied by gender between communities. Global
evaluations of the programs are thus difficult to make, and we can ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................ evalu atio n s of th e p ro g ram s a re th u s d i f c l to m k a d w c n
iote: SWO vT stands for steMgths, weaknsses opportunties, and treats.
only offer crude measures of the general performance of the activities promoted by PLANDERO in the ten communities. Disaggregating comments are welcomed and listed. The same is done with what is not measures by gender, by service provider, by intervention type, and by
working, and why, in present implementation plans (weaknesses). The community can, however, improve the evaluation. The analysis is
examination of future opportunities may refer to ways to improve on supported by a review of the reasons invoked by informants as to the
present weaknesses, or new initiatives that may be added that would reason for success or failure of each activity.
enhance the present strengths. Future threats refer to possible negative Respondents felt that about one of every three (32.8 percent) of
impacts of the activity on food security or the emergence of constraints PLANDERO activities improved the food security of their income. This
that may impede the continuation of identified strengths or the rate of approval differs by gender, with women positively viewing the
realization of future opportunities. Programmatic implications contribution of activities to food security 41 percent of the time, and
naturally follow from these considerations. men 25 percent of the time. The various dimensions of food security
were also rated differently by gender. Overall, 24 percent felt it APPENDix 4B: IMPACT EVALUATION INSTRUMENTS improved their income, 50 percent felt it improved the local
(EXAMPLE FROM HONDURAS) availability of foods, and 25 percent felt it improved their access to
Comn it: Gop: R taur food. When contrasted by gender, however, men viewed positively the
Impacts contribution to income in 16.8 percent of cases; to food availability,
Activiti es/g oalsm Cond itions
................. ..Y A .A in 36.9 percent of cases; and to food access in 23.2 percent of cases
--_- -- while women viewed positively the contribution to income in 36.6
percent of cases; to food availability in 56.6 percent of cases; and to
............. ................................. .. ....... ....... .. ....... . .............. ....... ...... --- --.
Food access in 29 percent of cases (Table 4C.2).
7 2 Food Security in Practice




Table 4C.A Summary of impact evaluation
Number of
ommuite
eMean rate of
where Nam[ber of Percent of positive
activity positive positive apact
Villages is deployed impacts, Mi impacts M oss iF
Activity Affected 1 2 3 4 5 5 7 8 9 10 11 12 MF groups gop groups r rops
Augment maize Y 011 0/I 0 0 0 0 0/0 011 0/1 0/- 1 1/0 12!11 2/4 1716 27
production of AA 0/1 011 1 0 1 1/0 1/1 1/1 1/ 1 1 12 C1 9/9 75/82 79
(wIeat) DA 0"1 0/1 0 0 0 0 1/0 010 011 1/ 1 0/1 12111 3/5 25/4 _35
Au g rlt Y -i- --/- 0 0 0 1 -1- 110 0/- 1 I 087 4/3 50143 4
production of AA .... .... 0 1 0 1 .... 1ill .... 0/.... 1 I11 8/7 5/5 63/71 7
beans DA / 0 0 0 1 ... 1/0 0-. 1 111 3i! 4/3 50/43 47
........................................................... ............................... ......................................................................................................................................................................................,. ............................................. .....................................
Augnient Y i- -1- 1 1 1 0i--- -1- -- 3'2 2/2 87100 84
, ~ ~....s .... ..i..2 7/ 0 i 8
production of AA .... .... 1 .... .... 1 0/ .... .... .... .3/2 2/21A
Coffee DA ... 1 f 1 .. 0 ... 3 2/6110084
............................................................ .............................. ...................................................................................................................................................................................... ........................................................................... .......... ..........;............t .......................
Augieiit Y 1- 0 0 i- 0 53 01 033 8
production of AA .... .... ... 0 0 .... .... .... 01 .... ... 0 5i3 0/1 03 18
horticuLIturals DA 0 0 0 .. 0... 0 5/3 0/1 0/33 18
Diversify Y 00/ 21; 0-production AA 1 / .. / 0 .... .... 2/ .... 1/ 0
DA 0i ....1.... .... .... .. .. / .... .....0. .... 2' 0/ 01 0
... ......... ... .. .. ..... ..... ...*................................ ... ... ... ............ .... ...... ................ ........ .......................... .......................................... .................. ... .. ...... ........ ......... ........................ .............. ...
Built conservation Y 1i/ 0 0 1 01- 01- 5!2 110 200 1 10
infrastructures and AA 1 .... .. ......... 0 0 .... I .... 0/ .... .... 52 20 400 20
agroforestry systems DA 1f /.. .... ........ 0 0 .... 0 0/. 5/2 110 2010 10
........................................................... 4-............... ... .......... ............................................................................................................................................................... .. ............................. ........... ....................................
Protect anid delimit Y 0 -i- 0 -1- 0 -13 010 00 0
sources of w ater AA 0 --- .... .... .... ... ..... . .... i.... 0 .... ... 0 / !3 0i0 0/0 0
_ _ _0 .... ...... .... .... .... ... ..... .... 0 .... 0 3 0 0 0 0 0
Stop slash-and- y 1--- ---. .-0 01- ---- <;1 11 33100 7
burn practices AA I .. ................. 0 .... 31 2/1 b7i100
fJ~\ .../............... 0 0 .. ....0 ~ 1
........... .... .. ..... .. .. .. .... ... .. .. . ....... ..... .. .. ................ .. ... ... ......... ... ... ... ......... ... .. .. ..
Involve primary Y -1---- 0 -1- -/2 -11 -o 50
school in AA .... i. .... .... .. ..... ... .... .... ...2 50 50
environm en tal DA 1 I ... ........ .. .... .... .. .... .... .... /0 .... .... ....s 50
activities I
Credit education Y 0 0 1 1 0 1 1/0 I 0/1 0 1I i 1112 6/9 1275 65
and programs AA 11t 0 1 1 0 1 1/0 ..1 1/ 1 1 1 111 11/12 9!10 82/83 1 83
D A 1/1 0,1 0 1 0 1 1/0 -/00 i 0 1 1/1 1112 C/7 5558 57
Extension in y 0 .... .... ... .... .......... 0 2 0/0 0 0
envir nm ent l A A ... s... 0 .... ... .. .. .... .... .... !.... .... s:... .... /.... 0 .... i.. /
environnionta1 AA ... 0 ... /.. ...0 2/2 000
protection DA -f- 0 -- 0 2/2 0 0 0
Souc. of byb author f.oi ,. SiWVIr .
Food Security in Practice 73




Table 4C.1 Summary of impact evaluation (cont.)
Number of
communities Number of Percent of ean rate of
where activity positive positive positive
Villages is deployed, impacts, M/F impacts, M/F impact across
Activity Affected 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 M/F groups groups groups M/F groups
7 .................................... ........... ............... . ......... ............ ........... ........... ........... ............ ........... ..... ........... ............ ........................ ...................... ......................................... i........................... .... i ........ ....................
Extension in hand ig Y / 0 0 -1 0 1-- -10 0 -!- 4/7 1/1 25/14 20
m or s;ec Ies A A 0 1 -- 1 0 -0 -- '1 0 -1- 4/7 2/3 50/43 47
also value- --added DA / 0 1 ... 1 0 /0 ./ 0 0 -- 4/7 2/2 50/29 40
p od rtint
.................................. t.............[............................ ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... ................................................ .........................................
Improve 0- 0 -/ 2/2 0!0 0/0 0
i ; ....... ... ... .... 0.-- .... ....
comnimercialization AA /.... .... .... .... 0 -- 0 ..../ / 2/2 00 0/0 0
DA -!- 0 -- 0 /- -- -/- 2/i2 0/0 0/0 0
Family/school Y 1....... !...... .... .. ...... -/1 -il -100 100
garden AA ... .......... ......... 1 i / !1 1 -/100 100
...................................................................--.............:......................................................-............-........... !............................................ :........................................................................................................ ......................... ................................................ ............. ......
Improve women/ Y ; 10 / 1 -0 i0 0
youth participation AA i ... ... .... ........ .... ........1 .... .... /100 100
DA -/--- ------/0 1 -!0 -'0 0
............................................. ... .... ...... .. ... ... ... ... ... .. ... ... ........... . ...............0 0
Foment handicraft Y .. O 1/1 0!0 00 0
industries AA ... .... .. 1 1/1 01 0/100 50
DA -!-- ------ i 0 11 010 010 0
Soarce : fCompiled by author from survey data.
Noteo. Data are disltiguoe b gend er (m .denemo,) when approprate. Y = come; AA = food access; DA food availablity !n 12 colms unde i/ages, 0 means "ad o pos itime pact; 1
means had positive impact? and means'".o activity was reported." M = male; F = female "Mean rat of posi v impact" s a simple average ofthe proporos of ma/e and emale groups report. ing a positive impact
Key to :iiaes: 1: El Aguacate 3: C oca del Monte 5: El Moral 7: Plan El Rancho 9: San Marcos 11 ina
2: Cani Sant Juan 4: La Mohaga 6: iNueva Virtud 8: El Rosario 10: Tapezcuinte 12: Laguna Seca
Table 4C.2 Individuals viewing intervention positively on dimensions of food security, by gender
Dimensions of food security All informants ae informants FMale informants
............................................................................................................. .......... .....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
Household income 24,1 16,8 36.6
.................................................................................................................................. .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................. ............................................................
Availability of food in community 50.4 36.9 56.6
-. ------------------ .! .,.o ..... ...... ....<.- .! ..!.. .... ........... ..... ........ .... ... ..................... ... ... . .. ................. ............. ...... .... .......... .............................. ........ ................... .......... .................. ......... ....... ......... .... ... ...... _........ ..... ... . ..
Access of food by household 25.2 23.2 2.5
Imprnpoved food security 32 23 40
Source: Compiled by author from survey data.
74 Food Secnrit in Practice




ENDNOTES
1. Rapid appraisal (RA) techniques and participatory rural appraisals (PRA) 3. It is assumed that the situation here is one in which no previous contacts
are often thought to be the same: They seek local input using similar exist and no activities have yet been programmed for that community The
techniques and assuming a similar attitude on the part of project staff. situation will obviously be different if the community graduates from a
There are differences, however. The ultimate goal of PRA is community previous development program, or if development activities have already
empowerment. This involves intensive community participation and been defined.
assumes an open research agenda. This can hardly be done quickly. RA 4. There are several definitions of food security that can be found in the
methods, by contrast, are meant to provide researchers with data quickly. literature. USAID for instance includes food utilization (in addition to food
RA requires the participation of community members but the research availability and food access) as part of the definition of food security,
agenda is predefined and the time frame is short. Use of the word whereas FAO, IFAD and UNDP include only food access and food availability
"participatory" here is thus in reference to a methodological style rather Since this chapter was done under commission for IFAD, its definition of
than an epistemological posture. food security, which includes only access and availability, is used.
2. For the purpose of the exercises described in this manual, a typical team is 5. This method is quite tolerant about choice of respondents: In fact, it is
composed of one "moderator," who explains the activities, channels the preferable to avoid selecting respondents, as the concept should have as
interactions, and so on; and one "relator" who takes notes and keeps track wide a currency as possible among inhabitants of the target village. It is
of all the information that is provided, including that which does not get thus best carried on in a workshop setting where all villagers are invited.
transcribed on the final group output. One such team is required for each
working group.
Food Secur'ity in Practice 75




...... ..........................
...... ....
ii ii ii~ .... .... .. ...
..... .... IM M EN M,~i ....
: : :. : ,ii~ii~i '' '' ..: i!!! i!i~iiii' !~iii ....... ; ii?'iiiii~~~iii~~ii II~iii ~iiiiii!
i iiii il iiiiiii!iiiiiiiil iiiiiiii i i!!iiiii! .: ,,,,, iine ,




5. Constructing Samples for Characterizing HousehodF d
Security and Monitoring and Eva tuati ng, Food Securit ntrenin
Calogero Carletto
Introduction WHY RANDOM SAMPLES?
R eliable information on household food security is a
prerequisite for the accurate and effective design, Rmtndom Sa i Ies Ra' th tha i C ensuse.s
monitoring, and evaluation of development projects. In One alternative to a random sample would be to obtain information
marginalized areas, where many development agencies work, this on all observations in a population census or a census of agriculture.
information is often either not available or grossly out-of-date. But The advantage of a census is that it seemingly provides an accurate collecting data is not a costless exercise. This chapter discusses how "snapshot" of the population at a particular moment in time. It also random sampling techniques-methods that use some mechanism ensures that numerically small groups, which might be missed in a
involving chance to determine which farms, households, or survey, are counted. Censuses are characterized by (1) individual
individuals are to be studied-can economize on the costs of enumeration (each unit of obseration, say farm household, is
gathering information while increasing the likelihood that it will be measured separately); (2) universality within a defined territory or both accurate and available in a timely fashion. domain (information is obtained on everone in a certain area); and
The chapter begins with a brief explanation of why random (3) simultaneity (everyone is interviewed at the same point in time).
sampling techniques are a powerful means of obtaining information The key criterion is simultaneity. The census should be conducted
on household characteristics such as food security. It then takes the within a short and well-defined period of time to reduce omissions reader through a step-by-step process of constructing a random and duplications.
sample. Having outlined these issues, a worked example is then There are a number of drawbacks to conducting a census. First, it
presented. Readers interested in pursuing the issues raised in this is usually much more expensive than conducting a survey. (This is not guide are encouraged to consult Bernard (1988), Casley and Lury true, of course, where the population is veiy small.) Second, the
(1987), Casley and Kumar (1988), Devereux and Hoddinott (1992), processing and cleaning of a census is enormously time consuming.
and Newbold (1988). More technical discussions are found in Kish Further, a smaller sample allows the researcher to devote extra effort to
(1965) and Cochran (1977). ensure the information obtained is accurate. The gains from a smaller
more accurate survey could well outweigh the benefits of obtaining less
accurate information on a much larger group. Finally, many topics,
such as those involving detailed transactions of individuals or firms,
require extensive interviews or observations that cannot be carried out
Food Secutrity in Practice 77




in a census. So issues of cost, time, precision, and quantity of data all you could choose a sample of "wise old men." A fourth method is suggest that a survey is preferred over a census. referred to as networking. Here, you find one person to interview and ask
There is a further reason. Censuses are unnecessary. You can them to name others who are also suitable candidates, given the topic of
learn all you need to know about a given population with a random interest. If the population is small, this can be a useful means of
sample of that population. This is referred to as inference. You draw a building up a sample. However, in larger populations every person or sample of a certain number of observations from a given population unit of observation does not have an equal chance of being sampledthen calculate parameters of interest such as means and proportions that is, the sample selected is not representative of the underlying
that, by inference, represent the characteristics of the underlying population. However, networked samples are very useful when exploring
population. networks (you want to find people who know each other) or when
dealing with hard-to-find groups.
Ran._.m Versus Nnnvandn Sam pli.n g Under a number of circumstances, nonprobabilistic sampling
It is not necessary to obtain information on all units of observation. methods are appropriate. For example, if the population is Is it necessary, however, to choose those households or farms to be homogeneous ("describe one unit of observation and you describe
studied in a random, or probabilistic, fashion? Why not use them all"), these methods produce information identical to that
nonrandom, or nonprobabilistic, methods instead? derived from probabilistic techniques. They are also appropriate if
Nonprobabilistic methods are those in which the analyst there is no intention to extrapolate the results to the larger
consciously chooses who will be interviewed. Examples of these population (for example, where the objective is to describe a village
include the following. One is accidental sampling. This involves in general terms rather than obtain a statistically representative
interviewing respondents as they are found, for example, walking picture). Finally, such methods are useful where a sampling frame is
down a track or r6ad and interviewing whoever you happen to meet. unavailable or too costly to obtain.
A second is quota sampling. Here, enumerators are instructed to But there are also significant drawbacks to these methods.
contact a specified number of observations possessing certain Statements made on the basis of observations found in these ways
characteristics (for example, 15 farms with no livestock; 10 farms must be limited to the sample itself-it is not possible to make
with 1 to 3 head; 5 farms with more than 3 head of cattle). These legitimate inferences about the wider population. Further, standard
quotas are assigned on the basis of what is known about the statistical techniques-such as comparing means of two groupsunderlying population. However, the actual selection of observations cannot be used either. For these reasons, the use of nonprobabilistic
is left up to the enumerator. A third method is purposive sampling, methods by development practitioners is strongly discouraged. They
Here, individual units of study are chosen on the basis of some should only be used where probabilistic methods are infeasible.
judgment criteria. Suppose you want to learn about long-term processes
of environmental change in a rural area. To obtain this information,
78 Food Secturity in Practice




STEPS IN CONSTRUCTING A RANDOM SAMPLE Dete rmining the Sampling Uit
The appropriate sampling unit-or unit of observation is guided There are five steps involved in constructing a random sample: largely by the objectives of the survey and the project. For example,
(1) determining the sample unit, (2) determining the "universe," where a project seeks to increase farm yields, the relevant sampling
(3) constructing a sampling frame, (4) deciding on the sample size, unit for evaluation purposes would be the farm household. If the
and (5) choosing the sample. Although these are discussed objective was to improve the nutritional status of children under five,
sequentially, it should be noted that it is often necessary to iterate the relevant unit of observation would be children in that age
back and forth among these. So, for example, practical bracket. What is important here is that the definition of the sampling
considerations associated with choosing a sample may have an unit should be unambiguous and conform to local understanding
impact on the manner in which the sample frame is constructed and and acceptance. The most common ultimate sampling unit in
the calculation of the sample size. A glossary of sampling terms is multipurpose socioeconomic studies is the household, even if
provided in Box 5.1. individual-specific estimates are sought. In some countries, there
may be a generally accepted definition of what constitutes a Box 5.1 A glossary of sampling terms household-for example, the definition adopted by the central
statistical office. Even where such a definition exists, it should be Universe The location or population or group that the validated locally before proceeding with the listing exercise.
analysis seeks to describe.
Sampling units The unit of observations of the study, such as farms, households, individuals, and so on. Deter mining te Uive rse
.......... ... ----.-. ------ ------------------.-. --.-.- ------.-.-------.-.-- .- .._ .. ........................... ...... .- .--- .-.----- .-.----Samplinq frame The list of sampling units. It must contain all units The "universe" is the location or population or group that the study
within the Universe
within the universe ...........- seeks to describe. Again, this is likely to be determined by the
Self-weighting A sample in which all units have an equal samples probability of selection. objectives of the project. If the project is located in, say, western
.............. ....................................... ............................................................................................... :.............................................................
Sampling The ratio between the sample size and the Honduras,then western Hondur
fractions popuflation size. Also caldthe selectioni probabilityHwvr ti o laspatclt uvyteetr oain h
..... .. ............................. - .-t- -------------------- ---i{ -- ---!.-}- ---.-l- ^- --- .........-..-.- .-.- .-.- H ow ever, it is n ot alw ays p ractical t u v y t e e t r o a i n h
Domain A part of the population for which separate
estimates are sought. Examples are farms of a discussion below on "choosing the sample" and the worked example
certain size, individuals of a particulr aegru.HR from Malawi illustrate solutions that are available when this
.................................................. ...................... ....................................................................................................................................ofro mhMa law i illu stra tewso lu tio n
Cluster The aggregation of sampling units, often based problem arises.
on geographic proximity. Examples are a village
or a section of village.
Take The number of sampling units drawn from a Constructing a Sample Frame
selected cluster.
s cd custer. The use of probabilistic methods to select a sample requires a
Source: C compiled by a;thor. sample frame.
Food Security in Practice 79




The frame for a sample is a list of the units in the population (or "When I first arrived in my chosen village of Pusiga I introduced
universe) from which the units that will be enumerated in the myself to the subchiefs in the two sections, Terago and Tesnatinga (or
sample area are selected. It may be an actual list, a set of index Teshie), in which I planned to work. These sub-chiefs had recently
cards, a map, or data stored in a computer. The frame is a set of compiled lists of households for their sections, which were used by
physical materials (census statistics, maps, lists, directories, records) the District Administration to distribute small quantities of that enables us to take hold of the universe piece by piece (Casley and government food aid (following the two successive poor harvests Lury 1987, 52.) mentioned above). Had these lists been compiled for an unpopular
Examples of lists that can be used as sample frames include lists purpose such as tax collection, I would have had reservations about of administrative areas, census materials, ordinance survey maps, tax their accuracy. But since everybody had an incentive to register for listings, land registries, and lists of project beneficiaries. In practice, food aid, I decided to use the sub-chiefs' lists as a basis for household there are a number of dangers when working with such materials, enumeration.
Take, for example, a list of households. First, the frame may be Nonetheless, these lists were inaccurate in several respects....
inaccurate. This could result from errors in recording information Over-reporting occurred mainly in large, complex compounds, and
names might have been misspelled, adults were listed as children, typically took the form of young men claiming to be separate
households contain people who are not recorded, and so on. households when they were, in fact, still farming with their brothers
Alternatively, these errors might have occurred because the or father: The explanation for this was simple. When the household
information was collected from neighbors because household lists had been drawn up, local residents were well aware that the
members were absent or unavailable when the frame was created. purpose was to distribute food aid. People in large compounds
Second, the frame might be incomplete. Households or groups of reasoned that if each household was to receive free food, it was to
households may have been omitted. This might have occurred their advantage to exaggerate the number of separate households in
because the frame is out-of-date (for example, households have their compound. When I made my first round of interviews, the
subdivided or migrated in or out) or because of poor enumeration expectation that I would be bringing some kind of free or subsidized
when the frame was created. There might have been difficulties in assistance to the village was high, and overreporting was standard
determining the location of boundaries, with the result that certain practice. During the year I gradually discovered which compounds
households were missed. Third, there might be duplication. Some had overreported household numbers, and simply crossed them off
households are included twice, possibly because (1) the lists were my list. (A clear indicator was when I asked several 'household
compiled by more than one person; (2) there is confusion over heads' in a compound about planting, harvests, and asset ownership,
names; or (3) disputes over land claims exist. Devereux and and received identical or near-identical figures since they were
Hoddinott (1992) provide a good example of some of these problems each listing, in fact, the same (joint) production and assets.) ...
in this description of surveying households in northern Ghana. Under-reporting of households occurred most commonly with old
80 Food Security int Practice




women, especially widows. Although most old widows are looked after Where no such listing of houshloruisfobevtns by a son or son-in-law, this is not always the case, and some old available, or where such lists are s udtdo ncuaea ob women constitute separate households, either because they insist on useless, two possibilities remain.Thsar(1toceealitr(2 retaining their independence by farming their own land, or because to derive a sample without a frame hs r isusdi un they have been cast adrift to fend for themselves. In my sampling Creating a sample frame canreatm-osmn n xesv
frame there were three such single-person 'households,' one in the exercise. For this reason, there ma epacia dvnae first category and two in the second, all of which I missed until it was associated with using multistagesapig(ecbdblo)r too late to incorporate them in the lists of households from which my restricting the universe to be studid o xmla vlaino samples were randomly selected. project might be limited to certainlclte ahr hnalaesi
The reason why these widows were missed is to be found in the which a project has operated. It isipratontehtbydpig local conceptualisation of a household, which corresponds broadly to such strategies, probabilistic samp r e ersnaiefarsrce the Western notion of a 'production- consumption unit.' A man is universe and as such any extrapolto ftereut hudb said to constitute a separate household if he is 'farming separately' confined to it. (from his father and brothers) and 'feeding himself' (and his wives One approach is to start with alsee n hti nw ob and children)-that is, both a production entity and a consumption inaccurate. For example, in northenMlsre okbgnwt entity. The two widows living on their own were virtually beggars, lists of households that had beenropldsvrlyaspeiul being too infirm to work and having no one to help them with for the distribution of food aid. ThI uvyta, copneb
farming. in fact, they were dependent on handouts from relatives and village leaders, walked through thevlae acignmso h neighbours. So they did not strictly qualify as households in terms of list to households, adding new naendeltgthsnoogr the local definition because they were neither 'farming separately' resident in the village. nor 'feeding themselves"' Deveraux and Hoddinot (1992, 50-53). Where even rudimentary lists.r nvialmp a eue
It follows that survey designers should always plan to have any as a starting point. A first step inarasmlnmyivoethue existing list checked. In monitoring and evaluation exercises, the of a map providing a graphical rersnainoih nvre o population under study, or at least a domain of it, is generally example, a region or a province.Usneaiydntfblntul composed of the beneficiaries of a certain project or program. In boundaries, the map can then beritindit prxmtl many instances, the lists of project beneficiaries are readily available equal-sized segments. Once all thesget/ilae aebe with the project management. However, even in these apparently delimited and some chosen, sketchmp a eesl rdcdi
favorable conditions, it is imperative to check these lists for relatively short time without need fmc xets.O ore h inconsistencies, omissions, and duplications. By no means should amount of time and resources gingithsmpigeecs their accuracy be taken for granted. should be suited to the objective a ad nms aevr og




sketches describing the main roads and pathways and some unit by spinning a pen or bottle. Only the households along this
landmarks (for example, a church, a mosque, a borehole, a river and direction up to the edge of the cluster are enumerated, and one is
so on) clearly delimiting different sub-areas of the segment/village chosen at random. Starting from the chosen households, and along
could suffice. In most cases, however, the inclusion in the sketch of the direction line, seven adjacent households with children in the the individual domiciles, properly numbered, may be necessary. As in target age are selected and interviewed.
the case of working with listings, it is important to verify that no area A plethora of variants have been tried in recent years to partly or sampling unit of the universe has been missed and that no overcome some of the limitations associated with the standard
overlapping occurs between different maps, since this would design. Choosing seven adjacent households in the case of a restricted
obviously result in unequal probability of selection for the elements target group (such as children between 12-23 months) may actually of the chosen population. result in a quite spread-out sample within the cluster. In another
There may be instances where it is simply not feasible to circumstance in which eligibility criteria are not so stringent, the
construct a sampling frame. In such circumstances, the following selection is likely to identify a highly concentrated conglomerate of
two-stage technique-EPI Cluster Survey Design, developed households. Under the plausible assumption that adjacent
originally to monitor and evaluate the Expanded Programme on households exhibit very similar socioeconomic characteristics, it is
Immunization (EPI)-can be used. evident why the standard design does not perform well in multiThe original design, used for the monitoring of immunization indicator socioeconomic surveys.
coverage of children within a target age (generally 12-23 months), With the goal of selecting more heterogeneous elements within
involves the selection of 30 primary sampling units or clusters the cluster, a possible variant to the standard design would be to
(villages or other types of area units), and the subsequent drawing of select the third, fourth, or fifth household, starting from a central (or seven ultimate units (children) from each cluster, for a total sample randomly chosen) location after a direction is picked. From this last size of 210 children. The clusters are selected from a comprehensive selected household, you repeat the procedure and proceed in a
list of villages or area units with probability proportional to estimated random-walk fashion until the quota is met. Alternatively, the village cluster size. Census information and administrative records may be could be split into smaller areas and from the center of each unit (or
used to generate the list containing the estimated size of the cluster, any randomly chosen point), a direction picked, and the nth The second-stage selection of seven children in each cluster was household meeting the eligibility criteria interviewed.
originally envisioned as a random selection from a list of children in
the target age living within the cluster. However, enumeration 1)ecid'ng on the Sainple Size
difficulties have led to the development of more simplified Calculating sample sizes is one of the most technically demanding
procedures. A commonly used variant of the original scheme suggests aspects of survey design. Although a number of software packageschoosing a random direction from a central point in the village/area such as Epi-Info and STATA-automate these calculations, it is still
8 2 Food Secitly in Practice




necessary to understand what information is required in order to run unlikely to produce more precise estimates than a sample of 200 these routines. This subsection provides an overview of these issues. from aopulation of 10,000 (sampling fraction 2 percent).
Abstracting from practical issues such as the time and
resources available to undertake a survey, a decision regarding Ch1wsi0 g tie Sample
sample size is strongly linked to the required level of precision in Armed with a suitable sample frame that lists units of study and the variables we seek to measure. Precision-or sampling error- knowledge regarding the desired sample size, the last step is to select
is described in terms of a margin of error and a confidence level, the sample in a random or probabilistic fashion. There are four types For example, you might want to estimate sample maize yields of probabilistic methods: systematic, simple random sampling,
within 3 percent of the true mean (the mean we would obtain if stratified, and multistage.
we measured all maize yields). This statement implies that if you A relatively straightforward method of selection is systematic
were to take 100 samples, you would expect that the sample sampling, where draws are made at fixed intervals through the list
means would be within 3 percent of the true mean at least 95 starting from a random unit. For example, suppose you want to
times. Three other factors will also play a role. One is the extract the same sample of 10 households from the list of 150
distribution of the variable of interest. If maize yields are identical households. You randomly select a number between 1 and 15 (150 across all households, then you would only need to sample one divided by 10) and, starting from that unit, select every 15th
household in order to determine the average level of maize yields. household. If 5 were the randomly selected number, then the sample
By contrast, more dispersed distributions require a larger sample would be composed of households 5, 20, 35, 50, 65, 80, 95, 110, 125,
size. Second, sample sizes are affected by the particular sampling and 140.
design chosen. Multistage designs require larger samples than Note that in addition to being a random selection method, this
single-stage designs in order to achieve the same degree of method has another advantage when the list is ordered on the bais
precision. Third, increasing the number of variables that you seek of some feature related to the variable of interest. Suppose you want
to estimate may also affect the sample size needed to attain a to estimate crop yield, and the list is ordered based on farm-size class
certain degree of precision. then systematic selection would guarantee that a wider spectrum of
Finally, there is a widespread but erroneous belief that sample farm-size classes are represented in the sample. Following this
size depends on the size of the population and therefore on the systematic method, you can be almost certain that the first sample
sampling fraction. The size of the population only marginally element (household 5) belongs to a different class of, say, element 8
affects the precision of the estimate. The precision of the estimate (household 110) or 10 (household 140). Set against this advantage is is directly related to the absolute size of the sample, but much less a potential danger. If there is some subtle, difficult-to-observe so to the sampling fraction. A sample of 100 units drawn from a ordering of the sample (resulting, for example, in small farms never
population of 1,000 (sampling fraction 10 percent) is highly having numbers ending in zero or five), the observations drawn will
Food Security in Practice 8 3




not be a random sampling of the population. 30 large farms and 70 small ones. The proportions in the sample are
A second method is systematic random sampling (SRS). A simple identical to those in the underlying population.
illustration of this is the following. Write all the farm identification Random stratified sampling is an attractive means of obtaining a numbers on individual slips of paper and throw these in a hat. Shake sample. However, it is helpful to note two potential problems. First, the hat vigorously. Pick out the number of farms you want to the relevant stratification variables must be known in advance.
interview and that is your sample. However, in large populations this Second, you must know the underlying population proportions of is a rather tedious operation (and might require a very large hat!). each stratum. Addressing these problems requires additional An alternative method is to use a table of random numbers. information on each unit of observation. For example, lists of farms
There is a potential weakness with both systematic and systematic may contain only the name of the household head. a short survey random sampling. Suppose you are drawing a sample of 100 farms may be necessary to obtain information to stratify and this may be
from a population of 1,000. You know from the census that 30 too time-consuming or expensive.
percent of these have more than 10 acres of land, so the sample A fourth form of sampling is multistage or cluster sampling.
should contain 30 such farms. However, this is only true on average. Whenever the universe from which you want to draw the sample is Though the likelihood is high that the sample will contain 30 large geographically spread out, single-stage procedures such as SRS or farms, it is also possible that it will contain 20, 25, or 40. Suppose it systematic sampling may not be logistically feasible, since they are contains only 15 such farms. Other things being equal, if larger both likely to generate equally dispersed samples. The necessity to
farms have better access to formal-sector credit than smaller farms, lower transportation and organizational costs, as well as reduce and given that the larger farms have been underrepresented, you nonsampling errors (enumerators working on a large area may be
might feel that inferences regarding credit will not be reliable. One more difficult to supervise, increasing the likelihood for errors), tempting possibility would be to pick two or three other samples and suggests that a multistage design may be more appropriate. In choose the one you thought was most representative. The difficulty addition, multistage designs can produce substantial savings in terms
with this approach is that the sampling procedure being used-the of time and financial resources that must be allocated to the listing
population is sampled until you find a sample you like-can no operations.
longer be justified and the results are no longer suitable for the A two-stage design would generally call for the selection of
purposes of inference, geographically delimited nonoverlapping primary sampling units
There is a solution to problems such as these: random stratified (PSU), also known as clusters (examples of clusters are a region, a sampling. The first step is to divide the population into groups or district, a village), the selection of a limited number of clusters, and strata. Here, the division would be between the 300 large farms and within each cluster, the random selection of a certain number of the 700 smaller ones. Using the random number method, select 10 ultimate sampling units. Given that a two-stage design is chosen, a
percent of farms in each category, so the resultant sample contains number of issues arise. How do you select the clusters from the
84 Food Security in Practice




universe? How many clusters do you select? How many ultimate units budgetary constraints made it necessary to restrict the survey to a
do you draw from each cluster? single region. Field visits conducted in the regions (one or two days
The way clusters are selected depends primarily on the for each visit, combined with extensive talks with key informants)
availability and accuracy of a complete sample frame. In the simplest revealed significant differences between these regions. For this reason case scenario in which such a list is available and the clusters are of a random selection of one region was not appropriate. Instead, it was equal size, we can select a number of them using simple random decided to select an EPA in Central region. To facilitate the contrast of
sampling and, within each, draw an equal number of ultimate units. the two projects and rule out differences in location-specific features (or having to control for them during data analysis), it was decided
A WORKED EXAMPLE to select an EPA in which both projects were active. This restricted the
choices to a pool of only two EPAs with very similar characteristics;
This example outlines how a random sample of farmers was obtained one EPA was randomly selected. An implication of this decision was
in order to assess the impact of two projects directed toward that it was not possible to extrapolate any findings from this region to
smallholders in Malawi. As is discussed in Chapter 7, it was necessary the whole country. to survey participants in both projects, as well as households enrolled
in neither ("control households"). The example illustrates practical Cmstru.tig the Sapling ame ald S detig
difficulties encountered in sampling, the solutions adopted, as well as ti e Sample the time requirements of the different steps. Given that the objective of the study was to compare the two projects
against each other, and against the control group, it was necessary to
Seleuting the >Saplinl g Ulnit sample households in both projects as well as households in neither
Both projects targeted smallholder farmers. Consequently, the project. These three groups constitute separate "domains.'
sampling unit was a smallholder farm household, classified using a (Technically, the universe-the EPA-was stratified by domain.)
local definition as a rural household with less than 10 hectares of One way of doing this would have been to enumerate all households land. in this area and select households from each domain in proportion to
their number in the EPA. However given the relatively low coverage
Sdecting the Ulliverse of both projects, this technique would have led to the selection of an
The next step was to select the area(s) for the data collection. Based insufficient number of observations among the two beneficiary on a classification by the Ministry of Agriculture, the country of groups. Since the main objective of the study was to compare these
Malawi is divided into three regions (North, Central, and South), groups and not to extrapolate the group or domain estimates to the
further divided into extension planning areas (EPAs). Although it EPA as a whole, the research team chose to select an approximately
would have been ideal to work in all three regions, time and equal number of observations in each of the three strata, namely the
Food Security in Practice 8 5




food security and agriculture development project beneficiary group names in joining the club. Local keyinom tsfedaitns and the control group. and village headman-helped screen hde"dulctos
Smallholder farmers belonging to either project were organized Once the research team accounted o hs orcso msin
into clubs of variable size between 10 and 30 households. The club *and duplications, they ended up withalito14cusfrheod was selected as the primary sample unit. The lists of clubs belonging security project and 71 for the agricultrldvopetrjc.Th to each project were available with the project management units. next step was to enumerate all the memeso(ahclb hs it But because membership in these groups changed radically over were not available. The only informatinraiyacsila h
relatively short periods of time, these lists were not considered total number of members at the year o lbfrain ie h
reliable. Further investigation (one or two days talking to key dynamic nature of membership, these iue eentcniee
informants) revealed the existence of several such lists. In some reliable. Therefore, enumeration of thecuswsdemdncsay instances, a list would differ from the others quite substantially. To reduce the amount of time necessary o hsoertoi a We spent several days trying to reconcile the different sources in an decided to select only a limited numbero lb rmtearclua attempt to come up with a unique list that reflected actual project development list. To this end, 30 agricutrldvlpetcuswr membership. selected, using a fixed probability of slecin
The first step in the verification process was to clearly define Once enumeration for these 30 club a encmltd membership for each project. Given the objective of the stratification because of the variable size of the clusestereactamdw (to enhance the group contrast and measure project impact within from each cluster a number of househod rprinlt h ieo
each domain), a club was considered a beneficiary of project A if it the cluster. The procedure resulted in asl-egtn apewti had been active within the project for at least two seasons and it had the agriculture development domain. Det h led iie never belonged to project B. "Active" meant that it had produced and number of food security clubs eligible o nlso i h ape sold tobacco in both seasons and had participated in the project's full census was considered appropriatefrtiloan activities. Based on the definition, some clubs were excluded from the The selection of the control grouplle o ifrn list, either because of dual membership or because they had not methodology altogether. Available censdt a eemrhn1
produced and sold any tobacco. years old, and hence suspect. Alternatieamnsrtiercrswr
In the case of the food security project, determining membership not available. Tight time constraints md opeeeueaino was slightly easier since it could be related to access to the credit the selected villages infeasible. In addiin( ordcetasotto package being disbursed by the project. A club was considered a food costs and to avoid selecting householdfrmvlaewhenitr security beneficiary if it had received a full or partial credit package project was active, it was decided to selci oto oshl o in both of the last two seasons. The main difficulty with this group every other beneficiary household in tevlaei hc h was represented by the common practice for members to use different beneficiary household resided. One comlcto(a ta h xc




village of residence of the beneficiary household was not known until this "random walk." If, instead, another team was required to select the household was actually visited, so enumeration of selected an additional control household in the same village, the random
villages in advance was not possible. In addition, time constraints walk would start again from the center of the village by randomly would not have allowed for it. For the selection of the control choosing a new direction.
households, a variant of the EPI cluster design was used. One of the potential problems with this variant of this selection
Once the research team visited a village in which selected design is that it tends to underre sent households located in more
beneficiary households lived, they randomly selected one remote areas from the village center. To partly prevent this problem,
nonbeneficiary household for every other beneficiary household in bigger villages were often divided into sub-areas and a center chosen
the sample. For example, assume that a total of eight beneficiary in the sub-area in which the selected beneficiary household fell.
households belong to village x. A total of four nonbeneficiaiy Another potential problem was that the selection must follow a
households were to be drawn from this village. The first step was to natural path, restricting the number of options in terms of the roughly sketch the village to locate a central point. From this central direction an enumerator can take from the central point. Whenever point, a team of enumerators, jointly with a supervisor, chose a possible, the enumerators were instructed to cut through fields and
random direction by spinning a pen on a flat surface. Once a follow as closely as possible the direction chosen.
direction was selected, the enumerators were asked to follow that
direction and, starting from the 4th dwelling, interview the first (alculating the Siamle Size
household that met the eligibility criteria to belong to the group, that Sample size calculations took into account the degree of precision is, they owned less than 10 hectares of land and they had never required, statistical power, design effects, and estimated nonresponse
belonged to either the food security or the agriculture development rates. A total of 202 households per stratum, for a total sample size of project. If the same team had been assigned another control approximately 600 households, were pursued. The value corresponds
household, the supervisor would again spin the pen in front of this to a prevalence of about 0.7, a difference in the magnitude of 0.15, a first selected household, choose a new direction and, starting from one-tailed statistical significance of 95 percent, a statistical power of the 4th dwelling, identify the next household to be interviewed along 80 percent, and a design effect of 2.
Food Security in Practice 87




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A's .-Fin
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John Hoddinott
Introduction THE PRINCIPLE OF TAR NG
Targeting refers to the practice of limiting access to an
intervention to a select group of individuals. Generally, this Iheinli til Ob)jefi-ve
can be accomplished by: explicitly applying criteria for Many development agencies seek oipoehueodfo euiy
participation that include some groups, but exclude others (variants which is generally defined as Aqaecestofdatllim, of this are described as categorical targeting and individual throughout the year, and from yea oya.Spoeti eea
assessment); allowing, in principle, anyone to participate but setting definition is specified more narrol.Seiialahpteia up the intervention in such a fashion so as to discourage female person is food-secure if thenmelfclre vial o
participation by certain groups (typically described as self-selection); her to eat exceeds her requirement.I aoi viaiiyi esta or by some combination of the two. It is widely praised as an attempt nutritional requirements, she isdecidasfo-ncu. to reach the poorest of the poor, yet it is not always straightforward to Accordingly, it is tempting to assuetathobcivofartngs implement. A poorly targeted intervention can be more costly and less to produce the greatest decrease i h ecnaeo niiul h effective than one that is randomly allocated or made available to all are food-insecure. households. To avoid costly mistakes, development practitioners must Unfortunately, matters are notites ipe osdrFgr understand the principles and practice of targeting. 6. 1. The horizontal axis is a rankn ofidvdasfo.es oms
This chapter considers three principles underlying targeting: food-secure. The vertical axis shoindvda aoi viaiiy Targeting should never be undertaken for its own sake, but The horizontal line indicates requrmns Noeta'h ubro
should be assessed against a benchmark, such as its impact on calories available to person A is js eo e eurmns hra
reducing the severity of food insecurity, caloric availability for person B i infcnl eo e
" Targeting is not costless. It is effective only when the benefits requirements. Suppose enoughcaoiswr"tnfeedfomBo associated with additional reductions in food insecurity A so that A can now meet her requrmns(h esr ffo
outweigh the additional costs associated with doing so. insecurity-percentage insecure-wudrgse nipoeet
*Where resources are limited, there is a strong case for even though the poorest person haI enmd oreof hsi
categorical targeting, for example by using geographical presumably not the intention ofinevtosdsgedorduefd
criteria. However, even in this case, regional rankings can be insecurity.
veiy sensitive to the criteria used in the identification process.
Where resources are limited, the case for individual assessment
is considerably weaker.




Table 6.1 Example of data necessary for calculating PO, P1, and P2 Now consider the following formula:
i Food insecurity gap Severity of food
(itf oo[inser, insecurityDaily caloric Food-insecu'e; requirement- ( n i fod-insec 'e: P, 1.
Person availability (Ves/N) availability) equats gap squared)
.................................... ................... ................................................ .............................................................. .............................................................. ...
0 2325 No 0=)
22i 1.900 Yes (=1) 2,200--.1o00= 300 00,000 where n is the number of individuals; y; is the measure of food
3 2,100 Yes (H1) 100 10,000 security for the ith person; z represents the cutoff between food
4 1 /00 Ye. (+1) b00 20,000 security and insecurity (expressed here in terms of caloric
. 2,100 No (=0) 0 0 requirements); q is the number of food-insecure individuals; and u
Sum .. 3 900 350,000
s)..'.rc C:1,,1,ul, a ... is the weight attached to the severity of food insecurity.
An alternative way of measuring food insecurity might be in Figure 6.1 Stylized distribution of food security
terms of a food-insecurity gap. This can be thought of as the total
amount of increase in food security needed to eliminate food : f it a b!' I i
insecurity among all food-insecure households. In the example !
l Food security gap .
above, this would be calculated by adding up the caloric shortfalls of /
all individuals for whom availability was less than requirements- R-,--.,-
the shaded area in Figure 6.1. This measure shows the folly of using
the percentage measure. In the example above, although the
percentage of food-insecure individuals falls, the food-insecurity gap
increases. However, consider a second example. The number of B D --A -r--i------s
calories available to person C is below her requirements. Caloric .o .
availability for person D is even lower than C's. "Transferring" a r, ,
small amount of calories from D to C causes both individuals to
remain food-insecure. The percentage measure would remain Giving no weight to the severity of food insecurity is equivalent to
unchanged as would the food-insecurity gap. However, the most food- assuming that a = 0. The formula collapses to P(O) = q / n, or the
insecure person is now even more food-insecure and this is not being percentage measure. This is also called the head-count ratio.
captured in either measure. One way of resolving this would be to Giving equal weight to the severity of food insecurity among all
apply more weight to a reduction in food insecurity among the most food-insecure households is equivalent to assuming that X 1.
food-insecure individuals. Such a measure explicitly emphasizes the Summing the numerator gives the food-insecurity gap; dividing this
severity of food insecurity, by z expresses this figure as a ratio.
90 Food Security in Practice




Giving more weight to the severity of food insecurity among the The eefits atid Costs f T"1 getin
most food-insecure households is equivalent to assuming that ox > 1. The basic case for targeting is tantalizingly simple. As above, food
A common approach in the poverty literature is to set ca = 2, yielding security is defined in terms of their being enough calories available
for individuals to satisfy there requirements. Using survey data, food P 2) (1/ n) z--)/z] (6.2) acquisition is graphed, ordering the sample from worst to best-off.
b IThis initial ordering is represented by a dashed line in both panels of Although this formula is fairly straightforward, it can look a little Figure 6.2. In the left-hand panel, a uniform transfer of calories of
intimidating for someone who has not used it before. For this reason, amount z is given to every person. By doing so, every person meets
it is helpful to work through the following example (Table 6.1). his or her minimum caloric requirements. In the right-hand panel,
Consider caloric availability for five people. Caloric requirements are anyone with caloric consumption less than z is given a transfer
assumed to be 2,200 calories per day. sufficiently large so as to bring initial consumption plus transfer up
Recall that the formula is to minimum requirements. This achieves the same objective but at
far less cost. The uniform transfer is plagued by two sources of P(c ) (/) : z../,i ], (6.3) excessive expenditure: leakages to the nonpoor (represented by the
black quadrilateral) and payments to the poor in excess of their where n is the number of individuals; y, is the measure of food needs (represented by the empty triangle).
security for the ith person; z represents the cutoff between food security and insecurity; q is the number of food-insecure individuals; and a is the weight attached to the severity of food insecurity.
Here, there are three food-insecure people, so P0 (percentage of Figure 6 2 The benefits of targeting
food-insecure people) = 3/5 = 0.6. The food-insecurity gap, P1, is -t--- fo- f co..n.I tk. Fia food ,o,,pom
(1/5) (900/2,200) = 0.08. Finally, the severity of food insecurity, P2, is (1/5) (900/2,200) 2 = 0.03. Final foodo
Which measure should be used when considering the impact of targeting an intervention so as to reduce poverty or food insecurity? If insecure people, than P(O) is the correct measure. If the objective is
to reach out to the poorest of the poor, then P(2) is the correct
............................................................ ..... ..... ..... .....
metric. z Intialfod consumption .g. Initial fod consumption
Source: Devised by
Food Security in' Practice 91




The case for targeting is complicated by several factors. First, participate, 15 percent of the population, are counted as an error of
targeting is not costless-it imposes administrative costs that reduce exclusion.
the amount of money available for the actual intervention. These An alternative way of looking at this phenomenon involves
costs will vaiy with the degree, or fineness, of targeting. One might calculating leakage and undercoverage rates. Leakage is calculated imagine that there are certain fixed costs associated with targeting. by looking at program participants-those found in the top row of Initial targeting, say, on the basis of geography, may be relatively Table 6.2. The number of food-secure beneficiaries is divided by the
costless. As targeting moves below a certain geographical level (say, total number of participants-20/65, yielding a leakage rate of
the district) from villages to households and individuals, it becomes about 30 percent. Undercoverage is calculated by looking at those increasingly costly. Second, when interventions are targeted, there is a who should be participants in the intervention but are not-those
real possibility that some food-insecure households will be missed found in the second row of the second column of Table 6.2-relative
and some food-secure households will benefit. This can be described to the total number of potential beneficiaries. The number is divided
as errors of inclusion and exclusion. An error of inclusion is one in by the total number of food-insecure households-15/60, yielding
which an intervention reaches individuals who were not intended to an undercoverage rate of 25 percent.
be beneficiaries. An error of exclusion occurs when intended All other things being equal, lower leakage (inclusion error) is
beneficiaries are not able or permitted to participate in the preferable to higher leakage. Lower undercoverage (exclusion error)
intervention. Table 6.2 provides an illustration. is preferable to higher exclusion error. Why do these errors exist?
Some undercoverage may be due to factors such as lack of knowledge
Table 6.2 Errors of inclusion and exclusion that the intervention exists or the presence of constraints (say,
Par icipation Food-insecure Food-secure Total catastrophic illness or sudden death, which reduces household labor
PI sCCess InCousion error supply) that make it impossible for an eligible household to
eartlclp)at4e in interventionr, 45 20 6
................. .............. ............... ..... ............ .................. ......................p a ti ip te-S m e el gi le h o se o ls-ay de id-t at th-b n ei t
Fxrlu on error uccess ~participate. Some eligible households a5 eietattebnft
SExclusion error Sticcess
Do not Participate 15 20 35 associated with participation do not outweigh the costs associated
Tota. 60 40 100with doing so. Some leakage may occur due to faulty project design
zo,'tf-i:: o:,, fm ,id by f !y1,,:, or implementation.
Two additional factors that affect leakage and undercoverage
There are four groups in Table 6.2. An indication of successful rates are the indicators used to screen participants and the resources
targeting is when food-insecure households participate in the available to fund participation. In order to focus solely on these,
intervention and food-secure households do not participate. The suppose that none of the reasons for inclusion or exclusion listed
food-secure who participate, 20 percent of the population, are above are applicable. There are 100 households in the sample, of
counted as an error of inclusion. The food-insecure who do not which 33 are food-insecure (Table 6.3). Consider, as a baseline, a
92 Food Security in Practice