Post graduate training on Food Security Concepts, Basic Facts and Measurement Issues (26 Jun – 7 Jul 2011)

A training workshop on "Food Security Concepts, Basic Facts and Measurement Issues" was delivered at the Bangladesh Academy of Rural Development (BARD), Kotbari, Comilla, from 26 June to 7 July 2011, as part of NFPCSP’s Postgraduate Training Program. Twenty-eight professors and lecturers of different disciplines in 14 universities from all over Bangladesh and 2 FPMU staff received the training in the form of in-class lectures and three field visits. The lead trainer was Professor Mohan Rao, University of Massachusetts, who was assisted by 5 national and international FAO experts.


The objective of the Postgraduate Training Programme is to promote the capacity of universities to deliver academic training on food security, to analyze food security issues, and to deliver relevant, reliable and timely inputs to food security policy making. This training contributes to the NFPCSP’s goal of enhancing national competency so as to effectively implement national food security policies and programs on a long term and sustainable basis.


Click on each Sub-Topic title to download the PowerPoint presentation or click here to download the .zip file containing all the presentations.

Click here to download the "Manual on food security: concepts and issues"


Topic - 1: The basic concepts of food security

      Sub-Topic No - 1a: The Basic Concept and Dimensions of Food Security

  • definition and meaning of food security (FS)
  • food insecurity (FIS) distinguished from hunger, under-nourishment, malnourishment and hidden hunger and their inter-relations spelt out
  • the main dimensions of FS defined and clarified
  • poverty and FS: correlation and divergence
  • the cross-cutting dimensions of FS
  • FS at different levels and access within the household
  • entitlements and food entitlements
  • dietary intake

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      Sub-Topic No - 1b: Stability of Food Security; Emerging Challenges to Food Security

  • stability of FS: chronic vs transitory, temporary vs seasonal
  • vulnerability and resilience; sources of risk; typical vulnerable groups
  • the value of FS
  • consumption patterns and demand determinants
  • emerging challenges to FS (based on FAO, Towards 2015/2030).

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Topic - 2: Analytical approaches for food security

      Sub-Topic No - 2a: Analytics 1: Food Availability and Food Deficits

  • two analytical approaches relating to availability-access and nutrition
  • an aggregative model of the basics: requirements, demand and supply
  • three types of deficit: production deficit, supply deficit, demand deficit
  • market imbalances versus food deficits
  • graphical representation of the basics and of deficits

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      Sub-Topic No - 2b: Analytics 2: Comparative Statics

  • the aggregative model as an engine of analysis
  • meaning of parameters, parametric changes and comparative statics
  • supply parameters and demand parameters identified
  • impacts of changes in input prices, technology and imports
  • impacts of changes in income distribution and other demand parameters
  • impacts of improvements in marketing

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      Sub-Topic No - 2c: Analytics 3: Food Utilization

  • Conceptual framework of malnutrition and causal analysis
  • food utilization and body metabolism
  • nutritious and safe diets, water and sanitation
  • proper health care and disease prevention and control
  • health and demography, Morbidity and mortality, at risk groups
  • health status, health services, biological and social environment
  • seasonality, emergency and disaster situations

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Topic - 3: Economic development, agriculture and food security

      Sub-Topic No - 3a: Foundations of Economic Development

  • growth: role of investment, imports and structural change
  • determinants of investment, import capacity and structural change
  • trickle-down growth versus pro-poor growth
  • growth and distribution interactions and sources of their complementarity
  • aggregate demand, inequality and growth
  • exogenous versus endogenous growth

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      Sub-Topic No - 3b: The Role of Agriculture in Economic Growth and Poverty Alleviation

  • paradox of the role of agriculture in economic growth
  • empirical evidence of agriculture/non-agriculture growth complementarity
  • the growth costs of neglecting agriculture
  • the value of agricultural growth in reducing poverty and raising FS
  • cross-country variations and country typology
  • transforming traditional agriculture and rural or urban policy biases
  • the changing role of agriculture

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      Sub-Topic No - 3c: Institutional and Infrastructural Prerequisites

  • institutions and infrastructure identified as development prerequisites
  • reasons for public infrastructure provision
  • decisions involved in infrastructure provision and implementation failures
  • social infrastructure: public services, expenditure and institutions
  • infrastructure cost recovery and implications for FS
  • rural economic & social infrastructure, other public goods, and institutions

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      Sub-Topic No - 3d: Market Institutions and Their Functioning

  • market as an institution and institutions for proper market functioning
  • product market institutions and factor market institutions
  • land: ownership distribution, tenancy, land titling, communal resources
  • labour market institutions and the meaning of labour market flexibilization
  • credit market institutions
  • approaches to institutional reforms and risks thereof to FS

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      Sub-Topic No - 3e: Issues and Institutions in Governance

  • the political and institutional environment
  • goals vs instruments; wills vs abilities
  • lack of influence of the poor: cause or result of governance failures
  • cooperation and coordination as concepts in governance
  • the role of non-state organizations: food sector organizations, local and community organizations, non-government organizations

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      Sub-Topic No - 3f: The Policy and Institutional Framework for Food Security in Bangladesh

  • Bangladesh national food policy (NFP): conceptual frame of FS system
  • objectives, strategies, instruments and activities of NFP
  • food policy research, analysis and coordination
  • NFP plan of action: key areas of intervention, implementation, monitoring
  • institutional setup for food security in Bangladesh
  • main bodies for formulating and implementing food security policies

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Topic - 4: Factors affecting food security

      Sub-Topic No - 4a: Factors in Food Security 1: The Food Chain, and Sources of Its Instability

  • definition and aspects of the food chain
  • general and special food chain dependency
  • physical versus financial flows along the food chain
  • functions of the marketing system: information, physical and social access
  • the concept of food entitlements; direct or exchange entitlement failures
  • seasonal variations in food chain functioning including supply instability

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      Sub-Topic No - 4b: Factors in Food Security 2: Trade and Aid

  • trends in the role of food trade and their significance
  • the competitive structure of global food markets
  • international specialization: pro and con FS
  • unbalanced trade, concept of terms of trade, and the food terms of trade
  • the GATT Agreement on Agriculture; implications of WTO for FS
  • role and types of food aid: programme, relief and project aid
  • analysis of aid impacts: aid types and deficit types
  • avoiding disincentive effects and improving aid efficacy

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      Sub-Topic No - 4c: Factors in Food Security 3: Nutrition in the Lifespan

  • nutrition through the life stages
  • dietary, energy and nutritional requirements in:
    • infancy –birth to 1 year
    • childhood and adolescence
    • pregnancy and lactation
    • intergenerational effects of malnutrition
    • diet, energy and nutritional requirements in adulthood
    • nutrition during ageing and the elderly

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      Sub-Topic No - 4d: Issues in Nutrition and Policies for Its Promotion in Bangladesh

  • food and nutrition plans and policies
  • conceptual framework in designing food & nutrition security interventions
  • linkages between food security and nutrition
  • National Nutrition Services
  • important issues of nutrition and malnutrition situation in Bangladesh
  • institutional arrangements and nutrition interventions of MH&FW

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Topic - 5: Policies for promoting FS & reducing vulnerability

      Sub-Topic No - 5a: The Choice of a Policy Strategy

  • policy strategies: broad classification including supply approaches, entitlement promotion approaches, and utilization/nutrition approaches
  • choice of strategy governed by types of dominant food deficit coupled with major problems in utilization/nutrition and stability
  • key features of production and supply based approaches
  • rationale & objections to self-sufficiency; self-sufficiency vs self-reliance
  • general role of poverty reduction, safety nets
  • food-based nutrition interventions: dietary improvement, food fortification
  • micronutrient supplementation and related health interventions

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      Sub-Topic No - 5b: Policies for Raising Food Entitlements

  • poverty reduction, entitlements, safety nets and FS
  • targeted policy interventions to improve access to food
  • impact path of targeted interventions
  • targeted asset distribution and production support
  • public works, their assessment and their cost-effectiveness
  • food for work programmes
  • special and supplemental feeding programmes
  • targeted food subsidies: geographical and commodity targeting
  • fair price and ration shops; food stamps

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      Sub-Topic No - 5c: Policies for Ameliorating Instability in Food Security

  • alleviating seasonal and cyclical FIS
  • two types of shocks and related stress: time and spatial dimensions
  • household coping strategies under stress
  • a multi-pronged approach for stability of FS
  • production policies for stabilization
  • stabilization through food storage, and price policy instruments
  • stock management (working vs. buffer vs. emergency stocks)
  • using trade (food imports and exports) for stabilization

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      Sub-Topic No - 5d: The Scope and Limits of Targeted Policies

  • universalism versus targeting in social welfare approaches
  • type I (false negative /exclusion) & type II (false positive /inclusion) errors
  • administrative costs in identifying targeted beneficiaries
  • tradeoffs between type I error and administrative costs versus type II error
  • application to food subsidy, food for work and other food security policies

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      Sub-Topic No - 5e: Supporting Policies for FS with Monitoring, Forecasting, and Early Warning

  • concepts of monitoring, forecasting and early warning with respect to food production and supply
  • production and price monitoring of food commodities
  • early warning for domestic food production and supply
  • methods used to arrive at forecast of production and prices of food crops
  • early warning system for natural disasters
  • rapid intervention and emergency management
  • review of early warning practices in Bangladesh
  • integration of national early warning with global early warning systems (GIEWS, FEWS and others)

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      Sub-Topic No - 5f: Options for Raising Entitlements & Reducing Vulnerability in Bangladesh

  • social protection framework and interventions
  • targeted social protection interventions
  • risk reduction, risk mitigation and risk coping measures
  • social protection and the PRSPs
  • social safety net programs in Bangladesh
  • policies and institutional measures for reducing vulnerability and poverty
  • key challenges and policy options for reducing vulnerability and poverty

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Topic - 6: Measurement and empirical evidence

      Sub-Topic No - 6a: Varieties of Measurement for Food Security: Classes + Sources

  • measurement approaches (economic, nutritional, anthropometric; secondary data, surveys, qualitative or subjective approaches)
  • relating measurement to policy purpose and data availability
  • starting with the object of measurement, identifying strengths and weaknesses of alternative measures
  • classes of FS measures, and their uses, data demands and ease of use: food access, dietary status, nutritional status, food utilization, health status
  • assessing options by their consistency and appropriateness to different situations, demands of FS monitoring entailed, underlying FIS causes, etc.

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      Sub-Topic No - 6b: Concepts & Measurement in Nutrition I

        Anthropometric measurement and nutritional status

  • demographic and health surveys, multiple indicators cluster surveys, Food Security and Nutrition surveillance
  • age assessment, growth cards and charts
  • measurements, indices and indicators : weight for age, weight for height and height for age measures; underweight, wasting and stunting; z scores
  • chronic energy deficiency (CED), body mass index (BMI)
  • overweight and obesity
  • iodine deficiency disorders, total goitre rate, urinary iodine levels, water and soil iodine content
  • vit. A deficiency, clinical signs, serum retinol levels, U5 mortality rates
  • anemia, haemoglobin and hematocrit assessment

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      Sub-Topic No - 6c: Concepts & Measurement in Nutrition II

        Dietary Assessment and links with nutritional assessment

  • National and household food consumption surveys, data
  • Assessment of individual intakes, intra household distribution;
  • Conversion of dietary intakes to nutrients, food composition tables and nutrient values
  • Dietary diversity as a component of household food security and nutrition assessment,
  • Minimum acceptable diets for infants and young children
  • Rapid methods of dietary assessment, simplified assessment for specific micronutrients, food frequency questionnaires
  • Validation of dietary assessment

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      Sub-Topic No - 6d: Monitoring Global Food Security (WFS Targets; and FIVIMS)

  • WFS, 1996, and the Rome Declaration
  • the WFS plan of action
  • need for FS monitoring systems
  • national early warning and nutrition monitoring systems
  • monitoring the WFS target and MDG hunger reduction objective
  • the different frameworks and levels of analysis (FIVIMS, SETSAN, VAM; global, national, local, household, individual)
  • identifying the vulnerable, vulnerable mapping and livelihood profiling, vulnerability measurements

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      Sub-Topic No - 6e: Data Sources, Uses, and Limitations in Bangladesh

  • data sources for food security analysis and mapping
    • household income and expenditure survey
    • poverty monitoring survey
    • child nutrition survey
    • demographic and health survey
    • multiple indicator cluster survey
    • nutrition surveillance project, HKI/IPHN
  • Bangladesh: national household survey report on Food Security
  • metadata for national agricultural statistics
    • major domains and selected indicators of agricultural statistics
    • coverage, availability, data sources and responsible agencies
  • the Food Balance Sheets of the Food and Agriculture Organization
  • application of the data sets
  • limitations of the data sets

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      Sub-Topic No - 6f: Measurement and Policy Feedback for Food Security in Bangladesh

  • status of food security and nutrition level in Bangladesh
  • different approaches to nutritional measurement in a FS perspective
  • research activities related to food security, nutrition and policy framework
  • implications and achievements of policies aimed at food and nutrition security in Bangladesh
    • priority investment programmes to improve food and nutrition security
    • overall policy considerations
    • the way forward and implementation of challenges

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