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J Nutr. 2006 May;136(5):1449S-1452S.

Development of a universally applicable household food insecurity measurement tool: process, current status, and outstanding issues.

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  • 1Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance Project, Academy for Educational Development, Washington, DC 20009, USA.


The United States Public Law 480 Title II food aid program is the largest U.S. government program directed at reducing hunger, malnutrition, and food insecurity in the developing world. USAID and Title II implementing partners face challenges in measuring the success of Title II programs in reducing household food insecurity because of the technical difficulty and cost of collecting and analyzing data on traditional food security indicators, such as per capita income and caloric adequacy. The Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS) holds promise as an easier and more user-friendly approach for measuring the access component of household food security. To support the consistent and comparable collection of the HFIAS, efforts are under way to develop a guide with a standardized questionnaire and data collection and analysis instructions. A set of domains have been identified that is deemed to capture the universal experience of the access component of household food insecurity across countries and cultures. Based on these domains, a set of questions has been developed with wording that is deemed to be universally appropriate, with minor adaptation to local contexts. These underlying suppositions, based on research in multiple countries, are being verified by potential users of the guide. The key remaining issue relates to the process for creating a categorical indicator of food insecurity status from the HFIAS.

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