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Session 3 . Identifying Those Most at Risk of Food Insecurity During a Pandemic. Purpose of this session: . To become familiar with methods used to gather information that will help to assess who in a community: is currently most affected by poverty and hunger

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Session 3

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Session 3

Identifying Those Most at Risk of Food Insecurity During a Pandemic

Purpose of this session:

  • To become familiar with methods used to gather information that will help to assess who in a community:

    • is currently most affected by poverty and hunger

    • will suffer the most in terms of meeting household food needs during a pandemic.

Let’s review Food Security

  • availability - food is physically present.

  • access - individuals have the resources to obtain available food

  • utilization - people’s bodies are able to make the best use of the nutrients in the food they eat

What is Livelihood Security ?

  • Livelihood securityrefers to the ability to continuously maintain or enhance a healthy and secure life.

  • Livelihood Systems include

    • Skills and abilities

    • Assets (both material and social resources)

    • Activities, decisions. people make

What is a Food and Livelihood Security Assessment (FSLA) ?

  • A FSLA identifies the poorest populations and those which will be at greatest risk in a disaster.

Purpose of a FLSA

Decisions to protect food and livelihood security must be based on an understanding of the following:

  • The things that help people to survive each day—skills, abilities, material and social assets, activities, decisions made.

  • The impact of the pandemic on current and future food and livelihood security.

  • The groups that are most at risk of suffering from the impact

Conditions of groups typically at risk in all emergencies

  • Limited or irregular income

  • No emergency reserves of money or food

  • Poor health

  • Stigma

  • Isolation

  • Homeless or internally displaced

  • Elderly

  • Little or no transportation

  • Orphans and vulnerable children

Additional conditions which place groups at risk during a pandemic

  • Reliance on markets for the majority of food purchases

  • No knowledge about how to prepare for a pandemic

  • Employed in work sector that may be severely impacted (tourism, restaurants, taxi drivers, etc.)

  • Reliance on public transportation for work

  • Must migrate for income

  • Must care for dependents

How do we conduct a local FLSA ?

Assemble a team to gather information using a variety of methods:

  • Community interviews

  • Key Informant interviews

  • Focus group discussions

  • Transect walks

  • Seasonal calendars

What will be different about collecting information during a pandemic?

If social distancing measures are in place:

  • Community interviews are not appropriate

  • Focus group discussion should be smaller (5-6 people)

  • Household interviews may be the best option

  • Seasonal calendars can be used to organize info, but people should not be gathered to create a calendar

Who can help conduct the FLSA ?

  • Traders, health-care workers, school teachers, community workers, and agriculture technicians

    • Good listening skills

    • Comfortable interviewing people

    • Ability to reflect and summarize

    • Open attitude

    • Good interpersonal skills

    • Ability to adapt on the spot

What types of information should be collected?

Ask specific questions about:

  • How people are making a living

  • How people are meeting their food needs

  • Who is currently most affected by poverty and hunger

  • Who may suffer most in the ability to provide food for their household during a pandemic

Making sense of collected information

  • Organize the collected information into patterns and categories using matrices, tables, etc...

  • Sort the population into livelihood groups

Making sense of collected information

  • Identify how the various livelihood groups access food and income.

    • What skills and assets does each group have that help them to survive each day?

  • Determine who might need assistance.

Making sense of collected information

  • Determine why each group may need assistance.

    • Could people protect themselves if they were provided with information and/or resources before the pandemic virus arrives?

Making sense of collected information

Small Group Work

  • Turn to page 9 in the tool.

  • Looking at the sample chart, try to predict potential food and livelihood security problems that might surface for each group.

  • Who will be at-risk and why?

  • What are the strengths of each group?

  • What are the challenges ?

Choosing the most appropriate type of assistance

A wide range of actions can support and protect food and livelihood security during a pandemic, including:

  • Widespread public awareness campaigns

  • Supporting/increasing the methods in which HH produce or process food.

  • Protecting access to market goods and services

Assessment Updates

After the first wave of a pandemic passes, get better prepared for possible 2nd and 3rd waves


  • How the pandemic has affected people’s food and livelihood security

  • Who has suffered most

  • Who has been more resilient

Assessment Updates

Update FLS information to determine how the pandemic has affected :

  • the different sources of food and income for each of the livelihood groups identified.

  •  the amount of food that households eat.

  •  the usual seasonal patterns of food security for the different groups.

  •  access to markets and prices of essential goods.


  • Is the collection of new information essential for decision-making?

  • Are other groups (governments, international organizations, NGOs, community groups, and so on) collecting similar information?

Thank You

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