IFPRI and FAO Bridging the Information Gap

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Photo Credit: FAO/2015

To support its member countries in their efforts to become food secure, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has been working with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in designing accessible tools built on accurate data and sound analyses to foster evidence-based formulation and evaluation of policies and actions.

Established at the request of the G20 Agriculture Ministers in 2011, the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) is an interagency platform that encourages major players in agrifood markets to share data, best practices, and methodologies across the primary producing, consuming, and exporting countries for four important crops: maize, rice, soybeans, and wheat. Its secretariat is housed at FAO and is formed by the following international organizations: FAO, Group on Earth Observations Global Agricultural Monitoring Initiative, IFPRI, International Fund for Agricultural Development, International Grains Council, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, United Nations High-level Task Force on the Food Security Crisis, World Bank, World Food Programme (WFP), and World Trade Organization. IFPRI’s most substantive contribution to AMIS is the Excessive Food Price Variability Early Warning System, one of AMIS’s early warning systems, that gives policy makers daily visual alerts when world markets are experiencing excessive food price fluctuations. With real-time data, policy makers can pursue rapid, evidence-based, country-level responses to food price spikes.

IFPRI’s work on measuring and monitoring hunger through the Global Hunger Index (GHI), published annually in a thematic report that highlights successes and failures in hunger reduction and provides insights into the drivers of hunger, is largely based on FAO’s indicator on the Prevalence of Undernourishment. Recently, FAO and IFPRI discussed the possibility of also including FAO’s indicator on the Prevalence of Food Insecurity, computed using the Food Insecurity Experience Scale, as one of the components of an improved version of the GHI.

At the 2010 Stakeholder Symposium organized by the European Commission, an informal committee, comprised of FAO, IFPRI, and WFP, was established to prepare a roadmap for the Food Security Information Network (FSIN). Launched in 2012, FSIN created a global community of practice that shares standards, methods, tools, knowledge, news, and capacity-development opportunities while promoting consultations among government institutions, development partners, and food and nutrition security professionals. Today, FSIN has more than 1,000 members from nearly 100 countries who share their expertise and knowledge in food and nutrition security, information, and analysis. FSIN and AMIS, along with other networks and resources, helped inform the action plans of the G20 in France (2011), Mexico (2012), and Australia (2014).

In 2015, the G20 Agriculture Ministers, as part of their commitment to curtail unacceptable amounts of food loss and waste, invited FAO together with IFPRI to set up the Technical Platform on Food Loss and Waste. Launched in December 2015 with support from the IFPRI-led CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM), this platform was designed to share information and experiences in measuring and reducing food loss while raising awareness and increasing coordination between developed and developing countries.

For more information on IFPRI's work in partnership with FAO, please go to this brochure.