fss-c1 © Audra Melton, WWF-US

NaFSA Tool

The National Food Security Assessment (NaFSA) is part of the toolbox of the Food Security Standard (FSS). It facilitates a quick and easy, yet comprehensive overview on the national food security situation and framework conditions using publicly available information from websites of UN-agencies and other relevant institutions. The purpose of the NaFSA tool is to identify potential critical issues regarding food security and the realization of the Right to Food at national level that can subsequently be further verified locally during the FSS audit.

Conducting a NaFSA for a country of interest can provide valuable information on the potential risk to food security and help to decide whether or not to adopt the FSS to reduce risks of human rights infringements. The NaFSA tool consists of 8 categories relevant for food security and the Right to adequate Food with a total of 27 indicators. Completing all indicators takes around 1 hour. In case of time constraints, we recommend focusing on selected categories of particular interest.

1.1 Activity of the World Food Program

Browse the alphabetic list of countries on this World Food Programme site:

Go to Page

When the country of interest appears on at the left of the website under "We respond to emergencies", enter "emergency" into the field of data entry.
When the country is listed below in the alphabetical overview, enter "support" into the field of data entry.
When the country is not listed on the website, enter "not listed" into the field of data entry.

1.2 Presence of an Early Warning for Food Crisis

FAO - Categories of Food Crisis

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See the middle of page (Country Analysis). Two categories are of interest:

  1. Countries in crisis requiring external assistance for food and
  2. Countries with unfavorable prospects for current crops
  • When the country of interest appears in the list of "Countries in crisis requiring external assistance for food", enter "crisis" into the field of data entry.
  • When the audit country is listed under "Countries with unfavorable prospects for current crops", enter "unfavorable" into the field of data entry.
  • When the country is not listed on the website, enter "not listed" into the field of data entry.

1.3 Presence of Food Price Anomalies

FAO - Indicator for Food Price Anomalies

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Under "Select Measure to display" choose "Consumer Food Price Index". Choose the moste recent "Time Period" possible.

Identify the IFPA (Indicator of food price anomalies) values for 'Consumer Food Price Index' for the country of interest on the Global Map. Enter the result into the box

1.4 Level of Child Mortality

UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation

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Scroll down to the bottom page to download the most recent report (Levels and Trends in Child Mortality: Report 20XX). Navigate to the Statistical Table in the ANNEX. Identify the country of interest and enter the most recent under five mortality rate (U5MR- deaths per 1000 live births) into the field of data entry.

1.5 Prevalence of Undernourishment

FAO - Indicator Prevelance of Undernourishment

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Scroll down the page and click on "Prevelance of Undernourishment (PoU)". Find your country of interest on the Map (or in the dataset of Prevelance of Undernourishment) and enter the most recent data into the field.

1.6 Prevalance of Moderate or Severe Food Insecurity

UN Stats - SDG Global Database

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Under "Select Indicators and Country or Area", navigate to INDICATOR 2.1.2 PREVALENCE OF MODERATE OR SEVERE FOOD INSECURITY IN THE POPULATION BASED ON THE FOOD INSECURITY EXPERIENCE SCALE (FIES). (GOAL2>TARGET 2.1> INDICATOR 2.1.2).

Identify the country of interest under "Geographic Area" and the most recent data entry in the respective Period column (e.g. 2016). If "rural" data are available specifically for the country, use the "rural" Data. Enter the result shown below under PREVALENCE OF MODERATE OR SEVERE FOOD INSECURITY IN THE POPULATION BASED ON THE FOOD INSECURITY EXPERIENCE SCALE into the box

1.7 Global Hunger Index

Global Hunger Index

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Scroll down to the map"Global Hunger Index by Severity" and identify the Index for the country of interest

Enter the respective index of the audit country of interest.

Potential risk at local level

The operation might aggrevate the local food security situation.

Suggestions for questions to be asked during the audit

Are farmers and communities in the area of influence food insecure (at local level)? Have food prices been rising? Do food prices vary locally extremely from national average?

Are emergency mechanisms in place, like food distribution by the government or NGOs? Are aspects of nutrition quality, diversity and balance supported and promoted by the state and by local authorities? Are people generally eating diversified diets?

2.1 Water Scarcity

UN Water - Global physical and economic water Scrity

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Identify the country of interest and region on the map.

Enter the corresponding classification regarding water scarcity into the field of data entry.

2.2 Number of People Using Safely Managed Drinking Waters Services

UN Stats - SDG Global Database

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Under "Select Indicators and Country or Area", navigate to INDICATOR 6.1.1 PROPORTION OF POPULATION USING SAFELY MANAGED DRINKING WATER SERVICES. (GOAL6>TARGET 6.1> INDICATOR 6.1.1)

Identify the country of interest under "Geographic Area" and the most recent data entry in the respective Period column (e.g. 2016). If "rural" data are available specifically for the country, use the "rural" Data. Enter the result shown below under PROPORTION OF POPULATION USING SAFELY MANAGED DRINKING WATER SERVICES into the box.

Potential risk at local level

Access to or availability of water might be aggrevated. Safely managed drinking water services might be not available on site.

Suggestions for questions to be asked during the audit

Are water and land for food production accessible for the local population?
Do local communities own enough land to produce food crops if desired?
Does the local population have access to clean drinking water?
Do land right conflicts occur? Were communities resettled for the operation?
Is water deviated, damned or polluted and does it affect downstream communities?
Are water resources owned, managed and operated by the state or privately?
Is irrigation common in the area and if so, is the water source regenerating and not affecting local communities?
Are international companies involved in tapping on land and water resources?

3.1 Level of Human Development

UN Development Programme - Human Development Reports

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Within the list of countries, identify the country of interest and click on it.

Use the INDEX which is given below name and flag of the country of interest and enter it into the field of data entry.

3.2 Level of Gender Equity in Human Development

UN Development Programme - Human Development Reports

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Browse the list of countries to identify the country of interest. Use the index which is given in the column Gender Development Index > VALUE (most recent year). At the time of release this was the first column after the country name.

3.3 Number of People Using Safely Managed Sanitation Services

UN Stats - SDG Global Database

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Under "Select Indicators and Country or Area", navigate to INDICATOR 6.2.1 PROPORTION OF POPULATION USING SAFELY MANAGED SANITATION SERVICES (GOAL6>TARGET 6.2> INDICATOR 6.2.1)

Identify the country of interest under "Geographic Area" and the most recent data entry in the respective Period column (e.g. 2016). If "rural" data are available specifically for the country, use the "rural" Data. Enter the result shown below under PROPORTION OF POPULATION USING SAFELY MANAGED SANITATION SERVICES into the box

3.4 Percentage of Rural People Living Below the National Poverty Line

World Band - Databank Poverty and Equity

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On the left side of the page, choose your country of interest under the tab "Country". Under the tab "Series" tick the box "Poverty headcount ratio at $1.90 a day, rural (2011 PPP) (% of rural population)" and choose the most recent year under "Year". Press "Apply changes" to see the results and enter the data into the field of data entry.

Potential risk at local level

Low educational levels might affect contract negotiations, poverty (paying people less as they are in need for income), discrimination of women might occur,female children may go to school less frequent. Basic services such as sanitation might not be available.

Suggestions for questions to be asked during the audit

Are there specific problems in the area which lead to poverty?
Are social or ethnical groups living in the country, being discriminated or at risk of food insecurity while working for the operator?
Are basic health services provided to the local population?
Is the quality good and affordable? Do basic sanitation installations exist?
Does the local population have access to basic education?
How long does it take for the pupils to get to school?
Do male workers earn more money than female workers for the same work? Are women typically discriminated at work place or home?
Is there a lot of violence against women?
Do girls also go to school and are schooling rates the same between girls and boys?

4.1 Climate Risk

Germanwarch - Global Climate Risk Index

Go to Page

On this site, download the most recent full report on the Climate Change Risk Index. Within the report, go to the Annex of the report. Navigate to the Table "Climate Risk Index" for the most recent years. Identify the country of interest and enter the respective Climate Risk Index (CRI-score) into the field of data entry.

4.2 Physical Exposure of the Country to Natural Hazards

European Commission - INFORM

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In the middle of the page you find "downloads". Download the most recent INFORM Risk Index excel sheet (xlsx). At the time of release of NaFSA 1.0, this was the INFORM 2020.

On the tab "INFORM Risk" you find the list of countries with the respective Risk Index. Enter the Natural Hazard & Exposure Index into the field of data entry.

4.3 Occurence of Violent Conflicts in the Country

European Commission - INFORM

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In the middle of the page you find "downloads". Download the most recent INFORM Risk Index excel sheet (xlsx). At the time of release of NaFSA 1.0, this was the INFORM 2020 .

On the tab "INFORM Risk" you find the list of countries with the respective Risk Index. Enter the Human Hazard & Exposure Index into the field of data entry.

Potential risk at local level

Potential lack of risk awareness and risk mitigation measures regarding natural or human made disasters. The situation might get aggravated through the operations, e.g. when deforestation decreases water retention, the likelihood of floods might increase.

Suggestions for questions to be asked during the audit

Are natural disasters (floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, droughts) or human disasters (violent conflict) common in this area?
Do natural disasters impact the local population? How frequent are they? What is the government doing? Are emergency mechanisms in place?
Did extreme weather events occur more often or with higher negative impacts during recent years?
Does the cultivated crop grow well and produce sufficient yield in the area of influence or are they not adapted?
Is the operator aware that climate change may impact the area negatively?

5.1 Availability of a Development Policy and/or National Food Security Strategy

FAO - FAOLEX Database

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Identify the country of interest and click on it to see country details. Browse the list of policies and legislative acts to evaluate if the country has an economic development policy and/or a food security strategy which still is valid.

Enter the outcome in the field of data entry. The dropdown menu allows you to choose between "effective food security/economic development strategy" and "no effective strategy".

5.2 Availability of National Dietary Guidelines

FAO - Food based dietary guidelines

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Browse the list of countries.
When the country of interest is listed, choose "national dietary guidelines in place" from the dropdown menu in the field of data entry. When the country of interest is not listed choose "no national dietary guidelines".

5.3 Ratification of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources

FAO - Members of International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

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Browse the list of countries or filter by country and status.
In the last column of the table, the membership status for the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture is listed for each country. Identify if the country of interest is a contracting party and enter it into the field of data entry.

Potential risk at local level

Operations might not be in line with national or local development strategies.

Suggestions for questions to be asked during the audit

Are people in the area of influence protected against economic shocks? Is the local economy in a stable situation, are there enough income opportunities for the local people?
Does the state implement the development / food security strategies with adequate programmes? Are they effective on site?
Is a diversity of plant seeds/saplings available? Is the area characterized by monoculture production with few or only one variety?
Is the state trying to promote genetic diversification and protection of genetic resources?

6.1 Availability of a Development Policy and/or National Food Security Strategy

Economist Intelligence Unit - Democracy Index

Go to Page

Download the most recent Democracy Index Report (you need to register, the report will be sent by mail). Scroll down to the map of the most recent Democracy Index.

Identify the country of interest and enter the classification.

6.2 Status of State Fragility

DIE - Constellations of State Fragility

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Identify the country of interest and click on it to see country details. Choose from the dropdown menu the respective class of state fragility for the audit country, given in the map (the legend is below the map).

Potential risk at local level

Laws and regulations might not be respected.

Suggestions for questions to be asked during the audit

Is the political setting in the country stable? Does the state and especially the local authorities respect the laws and ensures implementation? Is corruption widespread?
Is double book-keeping or cheating on bills, payment slips, contracts common? Is the jurisdictional system functioning? Do people have a means to raise their complaints?

7.1 Ratification of Human Rights Treaties

UN - Human Rights Indicators

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In the middle column of the website, choose the interactive map "STATUS OF RATIFICATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS TREATIES" and open it. (At the time of release of NaFSA 1.0, it was the first map in the list).

Identify the country of interest. By moving the mouse onto the country you see, how many treaties are ratified by the country. Enter into the field of data entry how many treaties are ratified by the country.

7.2 Status of Human Rights Institutions

UN - Human Rights Indicators

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In the middle column of the website, choose the map "ACCREDITATION OF NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS INSTITUTIONS" and open it. (At the time of release, it was the last map in the list).

In the pdf, identify the country of interest and the respective classification, given in the legend.

Choose the respective status from the dropdown menu in the field of data entry.

7.3 Presence of Extreme Food Price Anomalies

FAO Global recognitions of the Right to Adequate Food

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Within the list of countries, identify the country of interest and click on it to see further details.

At the top of the country details, a brief description is given, how the Right to Food (RtF) is recognized in the national legislation. Below the blue box "Constitutional Recognitions of the Right to adequate Food", a heading with the category of recognition is given. Choose the respective category in the dropdown menu in the field of data entry.

7.4 Ratification of the International Convent on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights

UN Human Rights - Status of Ratification/Interactive Dashboard

Go to Page

In the dropdown menu "select a treaty" at the topmiddle of the website, choose "International Convent on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights".

Identify the country of interest. By moving the mouse onto the country you see the status of the respective country. Chose the respective status from the dropdown menu in the field of data entry.

Potential risk at local level

The operations might not respect human rights if there is no legal obligation and enforcement.

Suggestions for questions to be asked during the audit

Are human rights organizations accepted in the country and by business/in the farming sector? Are people aware of the(ir) human rights?
Are human right activists prosecuted or live in fear?
Can people claim their human rights, including the right to food, at court? Do people have access to work and can afford food and decent living conditions?

8.1 Ratification of Fundamental International Labor Conventions (ILO)

ILO - Ratification of ILO Conventions

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Within the list of countries, identify the country of interest and click on it to see further details.

At the top of the list, there is an overview, how many and what kind of conventions are ratified by the country. Choose the number of ratified FUNDAMENTAL CONVENTIONS from the dropdown menu in the field of data entry.

8.2 Ratification of International Labor Conventions Regarding Governance (ILO)

ILO - Ratification of ILO Conventions

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Within the list of countries, identify the country of interest and click on it to see further details.

At the top of the list, there is an overview, how many and what kind of conventions are ratified by the country. Choose the number of ratified GOVERNANCE CONVENTIONS from the dropdown menu in the field of data entry.

Potential risk at local level

Local respect of labour laws might not be given, there might be a culture of ignoring basic rights of workers.

Suggestions for questions to be asked during the audit

Are there sufficient national laws to protect the labour rights? Do workers in the area frequently experience labour right offenses?
Is there a culture of ignoring worker rights? Is the breach of worker rights followed up or usually left unpunished?
Is child labour or forced labour common? Are there unions available in the local area and are people members?
If not, are they too afraid to be members?
There are also many FSS indicators regarding labour rights, which require to go beyond and in more detail than those presented here.

Share with FSS-secretariat

How to interpret the Risk Levels?

An overall risk level is calculated for each of the eight categories, indicating whether a broader topic, such as labour rights, is of concern or alarming at national level. The local food security situation and context, in the audit region, however, might differ from NaFSA results that refer to the national level as local data are often not available, not accessible or out of date. The average national context may be less serious than at the audited production site; especially issues like undernourishment and hunger, poverty, water availability or disaster risks could be locally alarming but do not appear nationally as a major concern.

Categories with increased and high risk levels require special attention to the identified issues at the audit. To help the auditor to cross-check the situation at the production site and area of influence, the Excel-version of the NaFSA tool provides a list of potential questions to be asked and discussed with different stakeholders.

High-Risk

The result “High Risk” means that at national level there is a substantial threat to national food security and the Right to Food.”

Increased Risk

The result “Increased Risk” means that there is an enhanced likelihood of threats to food security and the Right to Food.

Moderate Risk

The result “Moderate Risk” means no acute risk, but nevertheless a likelihood of threats to food security and the Right to Food.

Citation: Voigt, Holm; Beuchelt, Tina; Schneider, Rafaël; Gamba, Liliana: Food Security Standard (FSS) National Food Security Assessment (NaFSA) tool 1.1. Food Security Standard (FSS), 2020.

License: The National Food Security Assessment Tool (NaFSA) is licensed under the Creative Commons license CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/