Significant improvements have been made in food security analysis in recent years, and the range of potential responses to protect and promote food security has been substantially broadened. But it remains unclear whether these changes have resulted in improved program choice or improved impact. Building on several years of specific inquiries, the Feinstein International Center is launching a series of new studies that will look into this question.
Research begun this year includes an analysis of the role and potential of the recently launched Global Food Security Cluster. A separate study will investigate response analysis, or the way in which agencies use assessments and other information to make program choices, given recent improvements in assessment methodology and a rapidly broadening range of response options. This follows on work with both FAO and WFP on response analysis.
Outputs and Impact
The Tufts/FIC study on Targeting in Complex Emergencies led the World Food Programme to rethink the way in which it involves recipient communities in the management and targeting of assistance in conflict and complex emergencies. New Program Guidance Notes, written by the Tufts/FIC team, are now being implemented by WFP Country Programs.
The SOFI report of 2010 has resulted in the issue of food security in protracted crises being taken up by the Committee on Food Security (CFS) of the Food and Agriculture Organization, and wider recognition of protracted crises as a context that requires more nuanced responses.
- Addressing Integrated Coordination in Food Security Crises
In May 2011, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP) formally launched the global Food Security Cluster (FSC) as the UN’s global mechanism for coordinating food security responses in emergencies. The creation of the global cluster coincides with a period in which the number of food security actors has continued to grow, the operating environment has become more complex, and the range of responses has required greater levels of skill in analysis, planning, implementation and monitoring. All of this underscores the need for greater coordination.
- Targeting in Complex Emergencies: Darfur Case Study
This study examined community participation throughout the food aid program cycle to understand the role of recipient communities in the targeting of food assistance under the conflict conditions in Darfur – one of the largest food aid programs in the world. The Darfur conflict is now in its sixth year, and has drawn in a complex web of local, national, and transnational interests, which play out in different types of inter-connected conflict throughout the region. From the start of the conflict in 2003, protection threats and restricted access have been major challenges to the humanitarian community.
- Targeting in Complex Emergencies: Somalia Country Case Study
This study examined community participation throughout the food aid program cycle to understand the role of recipient communities in the targeting of food assistance under the conflict conditions in Somalia, a country that has not had a central government since the fall of the President Siad Barre in 1991.
- Targeting in Complex Emergencies: Colombia Country Case Study
Can community-based approaches to the targeting of humanitarian assistance in complex emergencies improve participation and reduce targeting error? Although the literature suggests that community-based targeting works best in slow-onset emergencies with no conflict or displacement, participatory approaches to targeting assistance have been attempted in complex emergencies.
- Targeting in Complex Emergencies: South Sudan Country Case Study
The population of Southern Sudan was caught in a civil war from 1983 to 2005. During the war, several major famines led to a massive food aid intervention by the World Food Programme – intervention that continues to the present. Much of this food was delivered to vulnerable people by air drops, with the actual targeting of assistance on the ground left to local leaders and traditional authorities. The main objective of targeting was to minimize exclusion.