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FSIN Technical Working Group on Measuring Food and Nutrition Security

How is FSIN moving food and nutrition security measurement forward?

A wide range of indicators for analyzing food and nutrition security have been developed in recent years, responding to urgent calls for improved, broadly shared, technically sound and easily collectible measures to monitor progress around the world. As of 2014, more than 50 distinct indicators are in current use by one or more international organizations, national governments or other agencies.

In response to the recent proliferation of food and nutrition indicators, a Technical Working Group (TWG) on Measuring Food and Nutrition Security (MFNS) was established under the FSIN in December 2014 with Uma Lele and William Masters as Co-Chairs. The primary objective of this TWG including Joyce Kinabo, J.V. Meenakshi, Bharat Ramaswami and Julia Tagwireyi with Winnie F.L. Bell and Sambuddha Goswami and an Expert Advisory Panel of 15 members, is to recommend the most effective possible suite of indicators to help FSIN stakeholders monitor progress towards meeting their food and nutrition security objectives over the coming decades, in a variety of settings and at national and subnational levels. Use of shared indicators will help local, national and global actors adopt the necessary policy and programmatic measures in support of their multiple goals and coordinate with each other, thereby facilitating the harmonization of policies and programs within and across national borders.

Main outputs of the Measuring Food and Nutrition Security Technical Working Group

The specific tasks of the FSIN’s MFNS TWG are to build a detailed inventory of indicators in current use with existing data sources, evaluate their value to FSIN stakeholders for guiding their policies and programs, identify if there are critical missing measures, and recommend one or more dashboards with associated user’s guides.

In June 2016, the MFNS TWG produced a paper entitled: An Independent Technical Assessment and User’s Guide for Existing Indicators. The document helps users choose and interpret food security and nutrition indicators to guide a wide variety of policies and programmes around the world. Users can apply the results of the user’s guide in their work to improve agriculture, food security, nutrition and health. The document intends to complement practitioners’ own knowledge of their own circumstances, to spread best practices and improve every country’s use of the best available food security and nutrition indicators.

The MFNS TWG welcomes your comments and feedback on the User’s Guide to current indicators of food security. Please follow this link and submit your suggestions!


Meet the members of the MFNS TWG

The TWG is composed of leading experts in the field:

  • Dr. Uma Lele, TWG Chair, Independent Scholar & Development Economist, United States and India
  • Dr. William A. Masters, TWG Co-Chair, Professor in the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, United States
  • Dr. Joyce Kinabo, Professor (Human Nutrition) at the Department of Food Science and Technology, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania
  • Dr. J.V. Meenakshi, Professor at the Department of Economics, University of Delhi, India
  • Dr. Bharat Ramaswami, Professor & Head, Economics and Planning Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, India
  • Ms. Julia Tagwireyi (MPS), Nutrition Policy and Advocacy, Independent Consultant, Zimbabwe

The TWG will be supported by a 14-member Expert Advisory Panel who will provide peer review and feedback on their outputs:

  • Dr. Awudu Abdulai, Professor of Food Economics and Food Policy, and Head of Department of Food Economics and Consumption Studies, University of Kiel, Germany 
  • Dr. Harold H. Alderman, Senior Researcher, Poverty, Health ad Nutrition Division, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), United States
  • Dr. Zulfiqar A. Bhutta, Robert Harding Inaugural Chair in Global Child Health at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada and Founding Director of the Center of Excellence in Women and Child Health, at the Aga Khan University, Pakistan
  • Ms. Laura Birx (MPH), Program Officer, Agriculture-Nutrition, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, United States
  • Dr. Calogero (Gero) Carletto, Manager of the Survey and Methods Unit and the Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS) program, Development Research Group, World Bank, United States
  • Dr. Jennifer Coates, Assistant Professor, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, United States
  • Dr. Cheryl Doss, Senior Lecturer, Economics and African Studies, Yale University, United States
  • Dr. Jessica Fanzo, Assistant Professor of Nutrition, Institute of Human Nutrition and Department of Pediatrics and Senior Advisor of Nutrition Policy, Center on Globalization and Sustainable Development, Columbia University, United States
  • Dr. Lawrence Haddad, Senior Research Fellow, Poverty Health and Nutrition Division, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), United States
  • Dr. Nanak Kakwani, Professor at the University of New South Wales, Australia and IPEA, Brazil
  • Dr. Elizabeth W. Kimani-Murage, Wellcome Trust Research Fellow and Associate Research Scientist at the African Population and Health Research Centre (APHRC), Kenya
  • Dr. Reynaldo Martorell, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of International Nutrition at the Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University, United States
  • Dr. Eunice Nago Koukoubou, Lecturer and Researcher, Department of Nutrition and Food Science at the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin
  • Dr. Ricardo Uauy, Professor, Public Health Nutrition, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom and Institute of Nutrition, University of Chile

In addition, two research assistants will work closely with the TWG throughout the process:

  • Winnie Bell (MS, MPH), Independent Food Security and Nutrition Consultant, United States
  • Sambuddha Goswami (MA), Research Assistant, India