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FAO Food Insecurity Experience Scale Microdata Now Public
Gallup Blog

FAO Food Insecurity Experience Scale Microdata Now Public

by Carlo Cafiero, Meghan Miller and Sara Viviani

Each year, the report on the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) documents the world's progress toward ending hunger, achieving food security and improving nutrition, and provides in-depth analysis on key challenges for achieving this goal in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

This year's report, which launched this week, looks at the problem of food access through a wider lens than in the past, not just through that of extreme hunger. For the first time, the report includes estimates of moderate, as well as severe, levels of food insecurity, based on data from the Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES*). People who face moderate food insecurity may not suffer from the more severe experience of hunger but still lack regular access to nutritious and sufficient food, putting them at risk for various forms of malnutrition and poor health.

Also for the first time, in tandem with the report's release, policymakers, international organizations, academic institutions and the general public will be able to access the FIES microdata from all countries in which the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has collected data through the Gallup World Poll and for which national statistical authorities have consented to their use (77 countries).

Policymakers, researchers and others can use the microdata to:

  • replicate country-level results on the prevalence of moderate or severe food insecurity based on the FIES published in the 2019 SOFI report
  • explore some socio-economic determinants of food insecurity within and between countries and over time, using individual-level computed variables of food insecurity along with some demographic and socio-economic variables disseminated in the same database
  • merge the full Gallup World Poll database (if they have access to it) with the FIES computed variables and perform additional analysis

Read the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2019 report.

Download the microdata.

*Since 2014, Gallup has collected FIES data for FAO as part of their Voices of the Hungry project, which supports FAO's goal of monitoring global progress toward the goal of ending hunger and achieving food security. When official national data are not available, the FIES data collected on behalf of the FAO through the Gallup World Poll are used to produce Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicator 2.1.2, which is the prevalence of moderate or severe food insecurity.

For countries that provide authorization to FAO, results are published as based on FAO data, provisional and subject to revision as soon as suitable data from official national sources are available.

Anne Kepple from FAO contributed to this post.

Cafiero, Miller, Viviani and Kepple are all members of the FAO's Voices of the Hungry project team.

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