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Methodological Review and Revision of the Global Hunger Index

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  • Wiesmann, Doris
  • Biesalski, Hans Konrad
  • von Grebmer, Klaus
  • Bernstein, Jill

Abstract

The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is a multidimensional measure of hunger that considers three dimensions: (1) inadequate dietary energy supply, (2) child undernutrition, and (3) child mortality. The initial version of the index included the following three, equally weighted, non-standardized (i.e. unscaled) indicators that are expressed in percent: the proportion of the population that is calorie deficient (FAO’s prevalence of undernourishment); the prevalence of underweight in children under five; and the under-five mortality rate. Several decisions regarding the original formulation of the GHI are reconsidered in light of recent discussions in the nutrition community and suggestions by other researchers, namely the choice of the prevalence of child underweight for the child undernutrition dimension, the use of the under-five mortality rate from all causes for the child mortality dimension, and the decision not to standardize the component indicators prior to aggregation. Based on an exploration of the literature, data availability and comparability across countries, and correlation analyses with indicators of micronutrient deficiencies, the index is revised as follows: (1) The child underweight indicator is replaced with child stunting and child wasting; (2) The weight of one third for the child undernutrition dimension is shared equally between the two new indicators; and (3) The component indicators of the index are standardized prior to aggregation, using fixed thresholds set above the maximum values observed in the data set. The under-five mortality rate from all causes is retained, because estimating under-five mortality attributable to nutritional deficiencies would be very costly and make the production of the GHI dependent on statistics about cause-specific mortality rates by country and year that are published irregularly, while the expected benefits are limited.

Suggested Citation

  • Wiesmann, Doris & Biesalski, Hans Konrad & von Grebmer, Klaus & Bernstein, Jill, 2015. "Methodological Review and Revision of the Global Hunger Index," Working Papers 228856, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:ubonwp:228856
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.228856
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    2. Husmann, Christine & von Braun, Joachim & Badiane, Ousmane & Akinbamijo, Yemi & Abiodun, Fatunbi Oluwole & Virchow, Detlef, 2015. "Tapping Potentials of Innovation for Food Security and Sustainable Agricultural Growth: An Africa-Wide Perspective," Working Papers 228855, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
    3. Adamou, Pr. Rabani & Ibrahim, Boubacar & Bonkaney, Abdou Latif & Seyni, Abdoul Aziz & Idrissa, Mamoudou, 2021. "Niger - Land, climate, energy, agriculture and development: A study in the Sudano-Sahel Initiative for Regional Development, Jobs, and Food Security," Working Papers 308806, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
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    6. von Grebmer, Klaus & Bernstein, Jill & Prasai, Nilam & Yin, Sandra & Yohannes, Yisehac & Towey, Olive & Sonntag, Andrea & Neubauer, Larissa & de Waal, Alex, 2015. "2015 Global hunger index: Armed conflict and the challenge of hunger," IFPRI books, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), number 978-0-89629-964-1.
    7. Daum, Thomas, 2018. "Of Bulls and Bulbs: Aspirations and perceptions of rural youth in Zambia," Working Papers 275061, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
    8. Mbaye, Linguere Mously & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2016. "Natural Disasters and Human Mobility," International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics, now publishers, vol. 10(1), pages 37-56, November.
    9. von Grebmer, Klaus & Bernstein, Jill & Prasai, Nilam & Yin, Sandra & Yohannes, Yisehac & Towey, Olive & Sonntag, Andrea & Neubauer, Larissa & de Waal, Alex, 2015. "2015 Indice globale della fame: I conflitti armati e la sfida della fame," IFPRI books, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), number 978-0-89629-967-2.
    10. Salvatierra Rojas, Ana & Torres Toledo, Victor & Mrabet, Farah & Müller, Joachim, 2018. "Improving milk value chains through solar milk cooling," Working Papers 276621, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
    11. Olayide, Olawale Emmanuel, 2021. "Nigeria - Land, climate, energy, agriculture and development: A study in the Sudano-Sahel Initiative for Regional Development, Jobs, and Food Security," Working Papers 308807, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
    12. Osman, Abdelrahman Khidir & Ali, Adil M., 2021. "Sudan - Land, climate, energy, agriculture and development: A study in the Sudano-Sahel Initiative for Regional Development, Jobs, and Food Security," Working Papers 308810, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
    13. von Grebmer, Klaus & Bernstein, Jill & Nabarro, David & Prasai, Nilam & Amin, Shazia & Yohannes, Yisehac & Sonntag, Andrea & Patterson, Fraser, 2016. "2016 Global hunger index: Getting to zero hunger," IFPRI books, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), number 978-0-89629-226-0.
    14. von Braun, Joachim, 2018. "Innovations to Overcome the Increasingly Complex Problems of Hunger," Working Papers 271348, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
    15. von Grebmer, Klaus & Bernstein, Jill & Hossain, Naomi & Brown, Tracy & Prasai, Nilam & Yohannes, Yisehac & Patterson, Fraser & Sonntag, Andrea & Zimmerman, Sophia-Maria & Towey, Olive & Foley, Connell, 2017. "2017 Global Hunger Index: The inequalities of hunger," IFPRI books, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), number 978-0-89629-271-0.
    16. Gulati, Ashok & Sandip, Das, 2020. "India-Africa Partnership in Trade and Investment: With Focus on the Agriculture and Food Sector," Working Papers 304756, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
    17. Bekchanov, Maksud & Evia, Pablo, 2018. "Resources Recovery and Reuse in Sanitation and Wastewater Systems: Options and Investment Climate in South and Southeast Asian Countries," Working Papers 274732, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).

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    Keywords

    Agricultural and Food Policy; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; Food Security and Poverty; Risk and Uncertainty;
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