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Months of Adequate Household Food Provisioning

Indicator Phrasing

the average duration of a period in the past 12 months when the target households had enough food to meet their members' needs
See indicator in other languages

Indicator Phrasing

English: the average duration of a period in the past 12 months when the target households had enough food to meet their members' needs

French: la durée moyenne d'une période au cours des 12 derniers mois pendant laquelle les ménages cibles avaient suffisamment de nourriture pour répondre aux besoins de leurs membres

Portuguese: not available

Czech: průměrná délka období v průběhu uplynulých 12ti měsíců, během něhož cílové domácnosti měly dostatek jídla k nasycení svých členů

What is its purpose?

There is a strong link between seasonally reoccurring hunger and child malnutrition. Reducing the duration of the "hunger gap" is among the best ways for lowering the prevalence of food insecurity and acute malnutrition.

How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data

Collect the following data by conducting individual interviews with a representative sample of your target group members: 



Q1: In the past 12 months - starting from [specify the month or an event which everyone knows] until now - were there months in which you did not have enough food to meet your household's needs?

A1: yes / no / I don't remember


(ask the next question if the previous answer is YES)


Q2: Can you please tell me the exact months in which you did not have enough food to meet your household's needs? Please try to be as precise as you can be.

A2: 1) January / February / March / April / May / June / July / August / September / October / November / December / I don't remember

       2) number of months: .......


Calculate the months of adequate household food provisioning by deducting the number of months when food was insufficient from the total number of months (12). For example, 12 months minus 3 months = 9 months. Calculate the indicator's value by summing up all the individual durations of having enough food and dividing it by the number of respondents. For example, 3,240 months divided by 360 respondents = 9 months of adequate household food provisioning. 

Important Comments

1) For further guidance, take advantage of the guide provided below. 


2) The local population might not be used to using the Gregorian calendar as their timing might be based primarily on religious festivals or agricultural seasons. Always adjust the timing according to local customs.


3) The indicator is prone to significant biases - people sometimes do not provide correct data because they do not remember the exact duration of the "hunger period" or they tend to overestimate its duration (for various reasons). Since the length of this period is a very important indicator of a household's food security, use the following tips to ensure its maximum quality:

 > explain the importance of correct answers – explain to the respondent why it is so important that the information we receive is correct

 > clarify expectations – explain that the answer which the respondent provides will not result in a (lack of) any kind of material or other support

 > probe for more precise answers - if a person says that s/he did not have enough food from June till September, ask when exactly did this period begin in June - for example, was it before or after a certain public holiday?

 > if possible, ask another family member the same question and then compare the answers - if there are any differences, ask both family members to explain them and discuss with them what the real duration was

 > the data for this indicator should be collected as quickly after the "hunger period" as possible as it is easier for the respondent to recall its exact duration


4) Disaggregate the data by the household vulnerability (e.g. female-headed households) and wealth quintile

Access Additional Guidance

This guidance was prepared by People in Need ©

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