6.4 Types of Assessments – Food Security Specific Assessments
  • 06 Dec 2023
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6.4 Types of Assessments – Food Security Specific Assessments

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Article summary

Objective: Food security assessments are required throughout a crisis to show how the context evolves and to enable responses to be adjusted appropriately. Assessing a list of key food security indicators will help all stakeholders to properly:

  • Understand the situation, current needs and how to meet those needs.
  • Estimate how many people need assistance.
  • Identify groups at highest risk, and/or
  • Provide a baseline to monitor the impact of a humanitarian response.

See the list of indicators to be considered by the FSC (also for multisectoral assessments) in Annex II. FSC Coordinator actions, by assessment phase, is explained in 6.3.

Sphere Resources

Details of how assessments should be conducted are included in the Sphere Standards on Food security and nutrition assessments. The Sphere standards for food security assessments includes details on key actions, key indicators and guidance notes. See also:

  • Appendix 1: Food security and livelihoods assessment checklist.
  • Appendix 2: Seed security assessment checklist.
  • Appendix 3: Nutrition assessment checklist.

Sphere’s guidance on livelihoods (within the food security chapter) is enhanced by guidance found in the MERS and LEGS handbooks. Both help assess key elements of disaster-affected communities’ livelihoods.

Method and Tools: Examples of some of the more widely-used food security assessment methods and tools are described below (acknowledging that this is not an exhaustive list and that many FSC partners also have specific additional tools). When agreeing on an assessment method, it is important to consider any established policies and practices in the country and the expertise available. Further research by the FSC Coordinator is recommended to ensure an appropriate understanding of the different methodologies. 

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