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A review of hunger indices and methods to monitor country commitment to fighting hunger

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  • Masset, Edoardo
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    Abstract

    Several indices measuring hunger and progress in achieving hunger eradication have been proposed in the literature. This paper reviews existing hunger indices and critically assesses their quality against a number of desirable properties. Hunger indices are found to be unsatisfactory in a number of ways: they ignore distributional issues; they neglect the occurrence of food and health shocks; and are sometimes based on unreliable data. Anthropometric measurements, stunting in particular, emerge as powerful indicators of hunger and are ideal for addressing a number of policy relevant issues. The paper also introduces a conceptual framework for an index measuring country commitment to fighting hunger. The constitutive elements of this index are illustrated: political will, anti-hunger policies and programmes. Suggestions are made on how a commitment index can be built and what are the data requirements.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Food Policy.

    Volume (Year): 36 (2011)
    Issue (Month): Supplement 1 (January)
    Pages: S102-S108

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:36:y:2011:i:supplement1:p:s102-s108

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/foodpol

    Related research

    Keywords: Hunger Index Food security Anthropometry Commitment Political will;

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    Cited by:
    1. d'Agostino, Giorgio & Pieroni, Luca & Scarlato, Margherita, 2013. "Social Protection and Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Evaluation of Cash Transfer Programmes," MPRA Paper 49536, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Hartwig de Haen & Stephan Klasen & Matin Qaim, 2011. "What do we really know? Metrics for food insecurity and undernutrition," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 88, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    3. Marilyne Huchet Bourdon & Catherine Laroche Dupraz & Anned-Linz Sénadin, 2013. "Impact du taux de change sur la sécurité alimentaire des pays en développement," Working Papers SMART - LERECO 13-10, INRA UMR SMART.
    4. te Lintelo, Dolf J.H. & Haddad, Lawrence J. & Leavy, Jennifer & Lakshman, Rajith, 2014. "Measuring the commitment to reduce hunger: A hunger reduction commitment index," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 115-128.
    5. Stein, Alexander J., 2013. "Rethinking the measurement of undernutrition in a broader health context: Should we look at possible causes or actual effects:," IFPRI discussion papers 1298, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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