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INDICATOR 1: Food Consumption Score (FCS)
Why this indicator? What will it measure and provide information for?
Developed by WFP. Percentage of households with sufficient food consumption. Food access indicator, based on both dietary diversity and the frequency of food groups consumed. The FCS is a score calculated using the frequency of consumption of different food groups consumed by a household during the 7 days before the survey. The FCS is used to classify the observed population into three groups (with poor, borderline and acceptable consumption).
What Sustainable Development Goal is the indicator connected to?
  • SDG Goal 2
Definitions and key terms
The Food Consumption Score (FCS) is a proxy indicator of household food security based on the weighted frequency (no. of days in a week) of intake of 8 different food groups
Data and information required to calculate the indicator
  • Numerator: the number/percentage of people with poor, borderline or acceptable FCS index
  • Denominator: The total number of surveyed people
Suggested method for data collection
  • WFP (for method):
Possible data sources
  • Primary data collection: project household surveys
  • Secondary data
  • Local/national/regional food security assessments
Resources needed for data collection
The quantitative and qualitative data collection, storage and analysis should be conducted by CARE and partners. Partners may include research / university partners. Data collection needs to be included in the monitoring and evaluation plan and budgeted
Reporting results for this indicator: number of people for which the change happened
  • Reporting Purpose: þBaseline þProgress þ Evaluation
  • Baseline: How have food consumption patterns changed because of the crisis?
  • Progress: Measuring results attributable to projects that aim to improve access to food?
  • Evaluation: Measuring the impact of projects in improving food access
Questions for guiding the analysis and interpretation of data (explaining the how and why the change happened, and how CARE contributed to the change)
  • What food items did you eat during the last 7 days?
  • How many times a day did you eat each of them during in your household during the last 7 days?
  • Listed food items should be classified by food group and the appropriate ranking applied (please refer to the tool guidance notes)

This indicator provides information on the frequency and diversity consumed food by people in specific geographical area and ultimately the quality of their diet
Other considerations
  • Food access can be affected by several factors such as insecurity, market functionality, poverty, and social discrimination. Thus, qualitative data collection should be used to triangulate FCS score findings
  • Food availability and access is highly seasonal in developing countries, and more pronounced in fragile states. Therefore, diachronic FCS assessments should be carried out during the same period of the year to allow relevant data comparison over a period of time
  • The FCS does not consider foods consumed outside of the household
  • It does not provide any information on intra-household food distribution
  • Collecting data on the number of days each food item was consumed in the last seven days makes it difficult to discern the quantity of food eaten
  • A seven-day recall period provides a short-term picture of food security irrespective of seasonality