Monitoring and Evaluation of Transdisciplinary Food Security Interventions in Kenya
Sergio Alejandro Urioste Daza1, Emil Gevorgyan2, Marijke D'Haese1
1Ghent University, Department of Agricultural Economics, Belgium
Monitoring and evaluation of food security interventions of inter- and transdisciplinary research projects is challenging. To relate expected changes on food situation in a given socioeconomic context to these interventions, a proper set of measurement indicators are required. The HORTINLEA project in Kenya supports transdisciplinary research to improve horticultural value chains with a specific focus on rural and urban poor in Kenya. The project measures producer's food security status along the value chain using four indexes: (1) Household Dietary Diversity Score; (2) Food Consumption Score; (3) Adequate Household Food Provisioning and (4) Coping Strategy Index. Despite these indexes have been widely analysed, its applicability in project's context and its relation to the household characteristics needs further research. On the other hand, similar organisations have opted to use household characteristics that demand fewer resources for measurement as proxy indicators of food security. Thus, the objective of this research is to analyse the suitability of different proxy indicators used by HORTINLEA and other organisations in Kenya for measuring food security. Furthermore, it aims at understanding the challenges that existing monitoring and evaluation frameworks face. A mixed-method approach was used, by combining quantitative multivariate analysis for studying household characteristics and the food security scores recorded in the indexes; and a qualitative analysis through thematic research of semi-structured interviews with food security monitoring and evaluation stakeholders. Income, agricultural productivity data and self-qualitative assessment were among the most used proxy indicators of food security. Due lack of resources and difficulties on data recalling and reliability, many organisations have opted to not use the indicators that HORTINLEA is currently using; and those who have been using them, highlight the need of completing the information with other indicators. The multivariate statistical analysis confirmed the suitability of using certain household characteristics as proxy indicators of food security, specially income. The results of this research are expected to contribute to the design of a monitoring and evaluation framework of HORTINLEA and similar projects; as well as to the existing literature on food security measurement.
Keywords: Adequate household food, coping strategy index, food consumption score, food security, household dietary diversity score, indicators, monitoring
Contact Address: Sergio Alejandro Urioste Daza, Ghent University, Department of Agricultural Economics, Krijgslaan 250, 9000 Ghent, Belgium, e-mail: sergio.urioste.dazagmail.com