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 GeoPoll. 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
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?
In addition to the FIES questions, socio-demographic information on the respondent/household including gender, age, urban or rural area, region, education, composition of the household was collected.
Individuals of 15 years or older.
Producers and sponsors
FAO Statistics Division
A sampling quota of at least 200 observations per each Administrative 1 areas is set:
Design effect: NA
Post-stratification weights are provided. Population statistics are used to weight the data by gender, age, and, where reliable data are available, education or socioeconomic status.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Computer Assisted Personal Interview [capi]
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 NA. 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.
Since the population with access to mobile telephones is likely to differ from the rest of the population with respect to their access to food, post-hoc adjustments were made to control for the potential resulting bias. Post-stratification weights were built to adjust the sample distribution by gender and education of the respondent at admin-1 level, to match the same distribution in the total population. However, an additional step was needed to try to ascertain the food insecurity condition of those with access to phones compared to that of the total population.
Using FIES data collected by FAO through the GWP between 2014 and 2019, and a variable on access to mobile telephones that was also in the dataset, it was possible to compare the prevalence of food insecurity at moderate or severe level, and severe level only, of respondents with access to a mobile phone to that of the total population at national level.
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.
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- 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 (COM_2021_FIES_v01_EN_M_v01_A_OCS). The following two metadata fields were edited - Document ID and Survey ID.