FAO strengthening Tanzania’s capacity to analyze food security and nutrition data to improve nutrition and end hunger through robust data-based policies and programs

Tanzania, like other countries in the world, has committed to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 2 “end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture” by 2030.

The country has made strides to tackle hunger and malnutrition, although Childhood undernutrition remains a public concern at an estimated 40 percent.

The indicators used to monitor progress towards achievement of SDG 2 is the Prevalence of Undernourishment (PoU) and the Prevalence of moderate and severe food insecurity based on the Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES). However, the quality of data produced by countries that is necessary to produce these indicators has historically been limited.

Capacity to analyze accurate basic data

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with the government through the National Bureau of Statistics, the Food and Nutrition Security Secretariat under the Ministry of Agriculture, conducted a week-long capacity building workshop for key stakeholders to analyze food security and nutrition data to effectively monitor SDG Target 2.1 using standardized tools that are internationally comparable.

The workshop was fully funded under the project “GCP/GLO/943/JPN – Supporting Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2.1 Monitoring by Strengthening Food Security and Nutrition information in Africa” courtesy of the Government of Japan through the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

Currently, Tanzania analyzes PoU and the FIES based indicator from the several rounds of the Household Budgetary Surveys (HBS).

The workshop’s main focus was on SDG Indicator 2.1.1 (the PoU) and 2.1.2 [FIES based indicator] which are two indicators that focus on food insecurity. It also aimed at promoting the inclusion of the FIES and food consumption modules in national surveys for monitoring SDG target 2.1 and for evaluating projects directed to reduce food insecurity.

About 30 participants took part in the training, from national government officials at the central and local levels; to higher learning institutions. Participants discussed on how PoU and FIES based indicators fit into the SDG monitoring process and why they are important tools for food security monitoring. Equally, previous rounds of HBS data were analyzed to compute not only the PoU and FIES based indicators, but several other critical food and nutrition security indicators.

Integrating SDGs into national plans

Stakeholders had the opportunity to share experiences and information on several issues, among which mainstreaming SDGs into the national plans. Tanzania Food Security and Nutrition Analysis System (MUCHALI) and other stakeholders agreed to include the FIES and food consumption modules in Food security assessments for monitoring SDG target 2.1.

“The training will enable Tanzania to produce SDG Indicators on prevalence of undernourishment and prevalence of moderate or severe food insecurity, based on the Food Insecurity Experience Scale. It is especially relevant now as the country embarks on drafting the Comprehensive Food Security report based on these indicators,” said Titus Msomba, Principal Statistician at Tanzania’s National Bureau of Statistics.

“The training drew experts on food security analysis from all the relevant institutions, including the academia. The participants have embarked on formulation of a very concrete workplan to produce timely food security reports for Tanzania based on the data analysed during the workshop,” said Talent K. Manyani, Food and Nutrition Security Analyst with FAO Statistics Division.

Through this capacity building, the country will be able to produce SDG Indicators 2.1.1 (Prevalence of undernourishment) and 2.1.2 (Prevalence of moderate or severe food insecurity, based on the Food Insecurity Experience Scale [FIES]).

Prevalence of undernourishment (PoU)

PoU is an estimate of the proportion of the population whose habitual food consumption is insufficient to provide the required energy in calories

Food Insecurity Experience Scale Module (FIES)

FIES data allows for the computation of a measure of the severity of food insecurity experienced by individuals or households, based on direct interviews.

The FIES-Module data allows for the computation of two SDG 2.1.2 indicators which are, Prevalence of Moderate and Severe Food Insecurity in the population, and Prevalence of Severe Food insecurity in the population. Ends
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of FAO Regional Office for Africa.

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