Transforming Data Into Decision Support:Strategic Directions For Food Insecurity Vulnerability Analysis And Mapping
Luduba, Achoka A.
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One of the most significant challenges for improved contingency planning in relation to food security is availability of timely, up-to-date and accurate data for planners and decision makers. Such information needs to be available to government officials, donors, non-governmental organizations and other interested parties in a comprehensive, consistent, regular and easy to understand format. This study attempts to develop a food security monitoring system based on the staple food markets in Matiliku division of Makueni district. The study identifies and establishes the common staple food items whose prices are monitored at markets centres also established by the study. The market, being a surface over which demand and supply at a specific location is expressed, was used to establish villages that are attracted to a specific market, thus forming clusters. Therefore, by monitoring prices of commodities within a market, the population affected by such prices fluctuations can be known, on the basis of the villages forming a cluster around such a market. In the event of there being a famine, the targeting the affected vulnerable populations can correctly be taken those that fall within the village clusters under the monitored market. The food Security Monitoring System developed has four components that are integrated. They feed into and complement each other to produce situation indicator maps and integrated graphs that together give a consolidated statement on the food security status of the population being monitored. The geographic information system formed the main component of data integration and analysis. The maps, showing the food security situation based on the prices of the staple foods in the respective market that has spatial influence over a cluster of villages and the time series graphs indicating the relationship between rainfall estimates and the prices are the core outputs of the system that decision makers would use to support their decisions.