Validating Operational Food Insecurity Indicators Against a Dynamic Benchmark: Evidence from Mali
31 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016
Date Written: November 2000
Indicators of household food insecurity are typically static and thus ignore a key dimension of food insecurity.
An explicitly forward-looking food insecurity indicator is developed that takes into account both current dietary inadequacy and vulnerability to dietary inadequacy in the future. Relative to this dynamic benchmark, three readily available indicators are evaluated.
Christiaensen, Boisvert, and Hoddinott develop an explicitly forward-looking indicator of food insecurity that takes into account both current dietary inadequacy and vulnerability to dietary inadequacy in the future.
Application of this measure to data from northern Mali shows that neglecting the future dimension of food insecurity causes serious underestimation of food insecurity in this area.
The authors evaluate the performance, relative to their dynamic benchmark, of three readily available alternative indicators: - An agricultural production index. - A dietary diversity index. - A coping strategy index.
Despite the uneven performance of these indexes relative to the individual components of the dynamic food insecurity indicator developed in the paper, they all demonstrate strong associations with that indicator. This is a promising result, given the urgent demand for reliable indicators of food insecurity.
This paper - a product of the Poverty Reduction and Social Development Unit, Africa Region - is part of a larger effort in the region to understand the evolution of poverty and inequality in Africa in the 1990s. Luc Christiaensen may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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