n Africa Insight - Towards comprehensive food security measures comparing key indicators

Volume 45, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


Food security is a multi-dimensional issue that has been difficult to measure comprehensively, given the one-dimensional focus of existing indicators. Three indicators dominate the food security measurement debate: Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS), Dietary Diversity Score (DDS) and Coping Strategies Index (CSI). In light of the absence of a specific 'composite indicator' (a catch-all measurement tool), this article examines the potential of these three indicators for use in a complementary manner. Identifying how the key indicators complement each other in capturing multiple dimensions of food security (availability, access, utilisation, stability and complex societal undertone), the study recommends bringing them together in one survey instrument, in order to give greater insight into the multi-dimensional phenomenon of food security and help guide a multi-dimensional treatment response.

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