HEA and Famine Early Warning


An accurate analysis of food security – and especially a predictive analysis of food security –rests on linking together two core pillars:

  1. An understanding of how people access the food they need to survive, and;
  2. Timely monitoring of the shocks that affect this access to food.

The first pillar is what FEG has specialized in over the past 18 years; we have developed, refined, tested, improved and provided extensive training in an approach that provides actionable information about how people live. The way that FEG organizes this information allows it to be embedded in a predictive food security framework. The second pillar – timely monitoring of shocks that affect people’s access to food – is something that a range of partners brings to the table, including USGS, NOAA, government agriculture ministries and market monitoring agencies. FEG has worked closely with these partners in whatever setting to ensure the right shocks are being monitored in the right places, and – just as importantly – that the tools are available to link this information on shocks back to an understanding of impact on household food security.

Thus FEG, over the past 19 years since its inception, has worked directly on improving the analysis of emergency food security and making sure that timely, accurate and transparent analyses are carried out on current and future acute food insecurity. We have brought this experience to bear as a central partner in the USAID-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) since 2000; and as the prime contractor for the USAID-funded Livelihoods Integration Unit (LIU) in Ethiopia from 2006 through 2011, and as the main technical partner on the current USAID-funded Household Economy Analysis Project in Ethiopia, which began in 2016 and is a follow on to the LIU. FEG has also worked with UN agencies (WFP & UNHCR in particular), NGOs (SC, Oxfam, ACF, CARE, World Vision, CRS, among others), donor agencies (the World Bank, USAID, ECHO, the EU, among others) to help them answer critical questions related to early warning of food security crises.