New Classification Tool Integrating Food Security and Humanitarian Action
A new tool has been developed at the Food Security Analysis Unit ( FSAU) to harmonise and improve the rigour of classifying and providing early warning of various stages of food security and humanitarian situations. Developed in-situ in Somalia, the Technical Manual for the Integrated Food Security and Humanitarian Phase Classification (IPC) draws on internationally accepted standards and so is applicable in a wide array of livelihood contexts and crisis types.
The IPC is not an assessment method and does not replace existing food security information systems or methodologies. Rather, it is a complementary classification system that integrates multiple data sources, methods, and analyses to provide a 'common currency' for food security and humanitarian crises, explicitly linking analysis to action.
Key aspects of the tool include:
- Situation Analysis: where fundamental aspects of a situation (e.g. severity, cause) are identified.
- Classification of food security and humanitarian situations into one of five phases based on outcomes on lives and livelihoods - (1) Generally Food Secure, (2) Chronically Food Insecure, (3) Acute Food and Livelihood Crisis, (4) Humanitarian Emergency, and (5) Famine/Humanitarian Catastrophe. Using key information, Early Warning Levels (EWL) are used to communicate the risk of a worsening phase: (1) Alert, (2) Moderate Risk, (3) High Risk.
- A Strategic Response Framework is provided for each phase with a view to mitigating immediate negative outcomes, supporting livelihoods, and addressing underlying/structural causes.
Organised into four components, the IPC comprises a core Reference Table (covering phases and EWL), Analysis Templates (to help organise key information), Cartographic Protocols (mapping and communication tools to visualise situational analysis on one map), and Population Tables (to aid effective communication of population estimates).
The manual is available from the Food Security Analysis Unit - Somalia, Kalson Towers, Parklands, Box 1230 Village Market, Nairobi, Kenya Ph: 254-20-3745734 Fax: 254-20-3745098 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Or online at http://www.fsausomali.org
Ideas for future improvements are welcome and should be directed to the FSAU.
Ref: FAO/FSAU 2006. Integrated Food Security and Humanitarian Phase Classifi cation: Technical Manual Version 1. Nairobi, FAO/FSAU Technical Series IV.11
1Since 1999, an interagency collaboration (IFE Core Group) has been committed to developing training materials and policy guidance on infant feeding in emergencies. The IFE Core Group currently comprises UNICEF, UNHCR, WFP, WHO, ENN, IBFAN-GIFA, Fondation Tdh, and CARE USA, co-ordinated (since 2004) by the ENN.
Taken from Field Exchange Issue 28, July 2006