The international community has agreed on the technical definition of famine and food security/ nutrition emergencies of lesser severity. Yet major constraints continue to limit the linkage between information, analysis, and action. This study considers the constraints on data collection, analysis, and outcome recommendations and suggests means of ensuring the independence and objectivity of data collection and analysis.

Analysis procedures have built-in processes for ensuring the validity and reliability of data. However, there is relatively little emphasis on analyzing what data is missing, why, what to do about missing (or poor quality) data, and how to best manage political influences on data collection and analysis. This is especially the case in the most extreme of crises: conflict-induced famine.

This study has two main components:

  1. Data mapping to understand the technical constraints and funding gaps that lead to poor quality or missing data in the analysis of extreme emergencies.
  2. A series of comparative case studies examining the availability and quality of information, and the external influences on data collection and  analysis. Case studies include four currently famine-affected or at-risk countries: Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria and Yemen.

This project is funded by: UK Department for International Development, USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, Office of Swiss Development Cooperation, The European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operation (ECHO), Action Against Hunger, and MQSUN+.