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1. What types of FSI mechanisms/tools are in use to track market access, prices, and nutrition at a household level?

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Soonho.Kim
1. What types of FSI mechanisms/tools are in use to track market access, prices, and nutrition at a household level?

We will begin our virtual dialogue discussing the types of tools in place in various contexts to track households' ability to obtain nutritious food, including their resilience to shocks. Both governments and development partners have stepped up efforts to increase and improve food security information in recent years and a number of tools have been developed to improve the collection and use of food and nutrition security-related data. For example, the Food Security Information Network (FSIN) is a global initiative co-sponsored by FAO, WFP and IFPRI to strengthen food and nutrition security information systems for producing reliable and accurate data to guide analysis and decision-making. For the examples given here, it will be helpful to provide context (country) and scale of coverage. 

S.Allen
FSI systems

Food security and nutrition information can encompass a range of indicators from crop production to household water quality.  For example, in Burkina Faso, DGESS (Directorate-General for Sectoral Studies and Statistics) has a mandate to collect a range of food security and nutrition indicators at the municipality-level.  What exists in other contexts and at what scale/time-step?

Simon.Kimenju
In Kenya, the Kenya Food

In Kenya, the Kenya Food Security Steering Group (KFSSG) brings together several stakeholders including various government ministries/departments, UN agencies and development partners to monitor food security situation and give an outlook on likely effects on various indicators. It also recommends measures/interventions to reduce likely adverse effects. Information produced may include expected food production levels, rainfall performance, market performance, impacts on food availability/access and nutrition etc.

S.Allen
KFSSG and indicators

Has the KFSSG agreed on a set of indicators that are consistently tracked and at what scale and how often are these tracked?  

Simon.Kimenju
KFSSG and indicators

Yes, same indicators are tracked, which include crop and livestock production, and productivity. Other indicators like rainfall are sourced from other agencies. Collection and analysis is at national level and is done  twice a year.

S.Allen
indicators

Thank you for your response.  Are those the only indicators that are tracked by KFSSG or are there others?  Through the KFSSG agreement, is there a comprehensive site or shared space/list to allow agencies to see what indicators (nutrition, access, prices, etc), are tracked by other agencies in Kenya?

Simon.Kimenju
indicators

I do think they have a website. But membership is wide meaning there is opportunity for many stakeholders to beinvolved. Data is not published, but the reports are shared publicly

Joyce.Kinabo
Types of FSI mechanisms/tools in use to track market access
  • Household​ budget survey, which has components related to food prices, and prices of other commodities. The indices in use are food expenditure index and food inflation.
  • Consumption data and types of foods that are accessed through the market. However, there is paucity of data on diversity of food items that are accessed through the market. Most of the data is based on staples, oils and sugar but very limited data on fruits and vegetables.
  • food price is determined by a number of factors. In Tanzania for example the price of a food item would have included the cost of transportation, which include fuel cost, distance travelled and extent of loss along the way. These aspects are never captured in the current tools.
  • The HBS is done by the Bureau of Statistics and the FSIS for Tanzania is in the Ministry of Agriculture and Prime Ministers office. The information on market access and prices is not inlcuded in the food security Vulnerability assessment.
S.Allen
Market Access Info

What agencies or organizations are currently tracking the HBS or consumption data you mention in Tanzania and how often?

Joyce.Kinabo

  • Poverty Eradication Division in the Ministry of Finance
  • President’s Office,
  • Planning Commission (POPC),
  • Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism (MNRT),
  • Ministry of Labour and Employment (MLE),
  • Ministry of Water,
  • Bank of Tanzania (BOT),
  • Eastern African Statistical Training Centre (EASTC),
  • Research on Poverty Alleviation (REPOA),
  • Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF),
  • University of Dar es Salaam (College of Arts and Social Sciences),
  • United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF),
  • WaterAid, United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), Help Age and Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA
Joyce.Kinabo
Types of FSI mechanisms/tools in use to track market access

Tools for nutrition assessment include anthropometry to assess physical dimensions of the body as relates to food access. indices such as wieght for height and height for age are proxy indicators of food access. It is an indication that an individual has accessed the food and the consumed food was then translated to growth and development of the body. Also use of biochemical indices such as Hb concentration, which can alos be used a proxy indicator of food access. The tools are resilient but  need trained personnel to conduct the measurements. Currently this is not done routenly for the whole population. The data is collected after every five years. This may not be useful for planning and interventions.

S.Allen
Nutrition indicators

Thank you for your perspective on nutrition indicators, which indeed can be many and complex to measure and should be regularly tracked.  What agencies or organizations are currently tracking this information in Tanzania every five years and are their initiatives to collect this more routinely?

Joyce.Kinabo
Types of FSI mechanisms/tools in use to track market access

Organisations and agencies that track this information include Tanzania Food and Nutrition Centre, UNICEF, Ministry of Health, Higher learning institutions, Bureau of Statistics, WHO, DFID, Prime Minister's Office. With the deployment of nutrition officers at district and regional levels, there are indications that they will be involved in routine data collection. However, this will be coordinated and based on demand by the district or regional authority. One of the mandates of nutrition officers at district level is to provide nutrition data that can be used to guide decision, investment and interventions at district level. But this will depend on the motivation of the district leaders and allocation of resources for such an activity. We still have a long way to get to this level. In general data generation of any kind has never been a priority at local government level and national level in terms of allocation of resources and we do not know the cost of data generation and management. There is a big gap in this area. It is often assumed that data collection and management is expensive but we do not know by how much? In addition, there is a need to establish robust systems that can support the amount of data that will be generated from districts. Again management of the database will be a challenge in terms of technical capacity and support systems such as equipment and reliable supply of power. The mobile technology can be useful but it needs management and coordination.

Joyce.Kinabo
As you correctly pointed out

As you correctly pointed out that the agencies that track HBS do track different indicators and therefore come up with recommendations thgat are based on just few indicators that are being tracked by a specific organisation or agency without refering to other indicators. In this regard we miss out on the holistiv view of issues. Obviously there is no coordination, often with some duplication, data inconsistency and lack of standardisation of indicators or even measurements, wastage of resources when two or more organisations of agencies track on the same indicator. At policy and consumer or community levels there is confusion as to what indicator should be used to assess market access and nutrition. In addition, one indicator can be translated differently by different agencies.

S.Allen
increasing efficiency in FSI

How can better coordination be achieved in order to reduce duplication and to have better clarity on the indicators?  It would be great to get your thoughts on this below (in Question #2 and #4).  We definitely need to address these challenges and the dialogue strives to provide recommendations for how to do so.

 

Joyce.Kinabo
Gaps in data regarding food access and nutrition in the region
  • Limited allocation of resources by the Local government level and national level for data collection and management.
  • What is the cost of data collection and management. It is often assumed that data collection and management is expensive but we do not know by how much?
  • Data on roads and markets infrustructure, transport system, food distribution network (all foods and not just cereals or grains), food waste along the transportation system and influence on price.
  • Seasonal household Income and expenditure on food especially in rural areas. Household budget survey is basically carried out in urban areas, especiallly on food expenditure.

 

Sheryl.Hendriks
Available data

I wonder how much data is available and not analysed or the results not communicated?

Sheryl.Hendriks
Sub-regional data unexplored

We recently conducted a systmatic review of food secuirty studies in South Africa. We found 139 sub-regional studies conducted in 20 years. None of this feeds up into national decision making processes despite being incredibly rich with regard to coping strategies, the experience of hunger etc. There is a huge gap in bridging the richness of these studies with national population-wide studies that have limited data due to cost constrints and logistics.

S.Allen
Use of sub-regional data

This is a good point and something we see across a number of countries.  Can you provide thoughts on how to better coordinate this information from your perspective under Question #4?

Kemeze
FSI systems

Supplemental irrigation provides a tools to mitigate rainfall variability risk in rainfed agricultural production and enhance the adoption of new technologies. But unfortunately little is been done to dissimilate this technology in Africa. What do we think can be done to enhance the adoption of rain harvested supplemental irrigation in Africa? If given more attention, supplemental irrigation can play a key role in reducing food insecurity in Africa.

S.Allen
information dissemination

One would hope that the same technology used to track information at the HH level would be able to disseminate information on new technologies and practices (including climate-smart agriculture).   This is still a work in progress and much more coordination and support is needed to create this feedback loop of relevant and timely information.

Demba
Demba's picture
In West Africa FSI mostly in silos, we need SYNERGIES

It's less about the number of entities making FSI their agenda, I'm yet to see a comprehensive integrated combo with agregate data for better decision making, such isn't available. Today technology is in a measure to allow such FSI aggregation and it takes an overhauling approach to combine the whole! Same way donor coordination has been and remain a challenge, same way existing FSI infrastructure is pointing irrelevance of existing data structure for lack of timely updates... Most in silo and yet claiming limited resources in further delivery.

 

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