Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 2.1 commits countries to end hunger, ensure access by all people to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year around. Indicator 2.1.2, “Prevalence of moderate or severe food insecurity based on the Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES)”, provides internationally-comparable estimates of the proportion of the population facing difficulties in accessing food. More detailed background information is available at http://www.fao.org/in-action/voices-of-the-hungry/fies/en/ .
The FIES-based indicators are compiled using the FIES survey module, containing 8 questions. Two indicators can be computed:
1. The proportion of the population experiencing moderate or severe food insecurity (SDG indicator 2.1.2),
2. The proportion of the population experiencing severe food insecurity.
These data were collected by FAO through the Gallup World Poll. General information on the methodology can be found here: https://www.gallup.com/178667/gallup-world-poll-work.aspx. National institutions can also collect FIES data by including the FIES survey module in nationally representative surveys.
Microdata can be used to calculate the indicator 2.1.2 at national level. Instructions for computing this indicator are described in the methodological document available in the documentations tab. Disaggregating results at sub-national level is not encouraged because estimates will suffer from substantial sampling and measurement error.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
This dataset contains demographic variables related to number of adults and children in the household, age, education, area (urban/rural), gender, and income. Also, the FIES survey module includes the following questions to compute the FIES-based indicators.
During the last 12 months, was there a time when, because of lack of money or other resources:
1. You were worried you would not have enough food to eat?
2. You were unable to eat healthy and nutritious food?
3. You ate only a few kinds of foods?
4. You had to skip a meal?
5. You ate less than you thought you should?
6. Your household ran out of food?
7. You were hungry but did not eat?
8. You went without eating for a whole day?
The dataset also includes derived variables computed by FAO described in the documentation.
Individuals of 15 years or older with access to landline and/or mobile phones.
Producers and sponsors
FAO Statistics Division
A dual frame (landline and mobile phone frames) was used to complete 1,011 telephone surveys. About 25% of the completes were from the mobile phone sample whereas landline completes accounted for the remaining 75%.
Design effect: 1.25
The sample data was weighted to minimize bias in survey-based estimates. The weighting procedure was formulated based on the sample design and was carried out in multiple stages. A probability weight factor (base weight) was constructed to account for selection of telephone numbers from the respective frames and correct for unequal selection probabilities as a result of selecting one adult in landline households and for dual-users coming from both the landline and mobile frame. At the next step, the base weights were post-stratified to adjust for non-response and to match the weighted sample totals to known target population totals obtained from country level census data.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Computer Assisted Telephone Interview [CATI]
Statistical validation assesses the quality of the FIES data collected by testing their consistency with the assumptions of the Rasch model. This analysis involves the interpretation of several statistics that reveal 1) items that do not perform well in a given context, 2) cases with highly erratic response patterns, 3) pairs of items that may be redundant, and 4) the proportion of total variance in the population that is accounted for by the measurement model.
As part of the statistical disclosure control process, values for number of children and number of adults that were 10 or above, were recoded as "10+" and categories for area were combined into "urban/suburbs" and "towns/rural".
Estimates of Sampling Error
The margin of error is estimated as 3.4. This is calculated around a proportion at the 95% confidence level. The maximum margin of error was calculated assuming a reported percentage of 50% and takes into account the design effect.
The variable FEWFOOD was not considered in the computation of the published FAO food insecurity indicator based on FIES due to the results of the validation process.
The users shall not take any action with the purpose of identifying any individual entity (i.e. person, household, enterprise, etc.) in the micro dataset(s). If such a disclosure is made inadvertently, no use will be made of the information, and it will be reported immediately to FAO.
Micro datasets disseminated by FAO shall only be allowed for research and statistical purposes. Any user which requests access working for a commercial company will not be granted access to any micro dataset regardless of their specified purpose. Users requesting access to any datasets must agree to the following minimal conditions:
- The micro dataset will only be used for statistical and/or research purposes;
- Any results derived from the micro dataset will be used solely for reporting aggregated information, and not for any specific individual entities or data subjects;
- The users shall not take any action with the purpose of identifying any individual entity (i.e. person, household, enterprise, etc.) in the micro dataset(s). If such a disclosure is made inadvertently, no use will be made of the information, and it will be reported immediately to FAO;
- The micro dataset cannot be re-disseminated by users or shared with anyone other than the individuals that are granted access to the micro dataset by FAO.
Disclaimer and copyrights
The user of the data acknowledges that the original collector of the data, the authorized distributor of the data, and the relevant funding agency bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses.
DDI Document ID
Office of Chief Statistician
Food and Agriculture Organization
Development Economics Data Group
The World Bank
Metadata adapted for World Bank Microdata Library
Date of Metadata Production
DDI Document version
Version 01 (January 2023): This metadata was downloaded from the FAO website (https://microdata.fao.org/index.php/catalog) and it is identical to FAO version (IRN_2021_FIES_v01_EN_M_v01_A_OCS). The following two metadata fields were edited - Document ID and Survey ID.