Nutrition is an integral part of food security analysis. Nutritional status is both a driving factor influencing food insecurity, and also an outcome of food insecurity. As a driving factor, nutrition affects the vulnerability of a population to the impact of shocks, increasing the risk of food insecurity. As an outcome, nutritional status can be an indication of a population’s level of food insecurity. Along with data on food consumption and livelihoods, nutrition data are some of the most important pieces of evidence used to classify the level of food insecurity for a population.
FEWS NET’s knowledge base on nutrition includes a 1) database of key results from small- and large-scale nutrition surveys collected over the past 10 years; 2) nutrition context documents in specific focus countries; and 3) occasional nutrition causal analysis to identify the main factors driving malnutrition in areas of concern. FEWS NET analysts use the knowledge base to evaluate the current nutrition situation and the underlying nutrition context in order to inform early warning analysis.
FEWS NET uses nutrition information and data to inform our food security projections made using scenario development, FEWS NET’s methodology to develop food security projections. Nutrition information is a key piece of evidence used to make the IPC classification for an area. In addition, FEWS NET makes assumptions about the evolution of the nutrition situation based on analysis of the causes of undernutrition and factors that are likely to influence nutrition in the future. To learn more about the process that FEWS NET uses to develop nutrition assumptions, see FEWS NET’s guidance document on Integrating Acute Malnutrition and Mortality into Scenario Development.
FEWS NET Approach to Incorporating Nutrition into Food Security Analysis
The overarching goal for nutrition is to develop an in-depth nutrition knowledge base and fully integrate nutritional information into FEWS NET's early warning and food security analysis. This goal is achieved through the following objectives:
The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on approximately 30 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, USGS, and CHC-UCSB, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica. Read more about our work.