Understanding the indicators



HANCI-Africa compares and ranks the performance of 45 African countries based on 22 indicators of political commitment. The indicators are split between indicators of commitment to hunger reduction (10 indicators) and indicators relating to commitment to addressing undernutrition (12 indicators). By separately analysing nutrition commitment and hunger reduction commitment we identify how governments prioritise action on hunger and/or undernutrition. We also show how diverse political commitment levels relate to levels of hunger and undernutrition. In both sets they are grouped under three themes:

  • Laws (Legal frameworks – for example the level of constitutional protection of the right to food)
  • Policies (government programmes and policies – for example the extent to which nutrition features in national development policies/strategies)
  • Spending (public expenditures – for example the percentage of government budgets spent on agriculture)

This diagram shows the structure of the Index. Click on the themes to view the indicators

Hunger Reduction Commitment Indicators - Public Spending

  • 2Public spending on health as share of total public spending
    2015
    Government expenditure on health as a share of total government expenditure (Percentage).

    Colour codes or labels used in score cards:

    Green if >=15
    Yellow if <15 and >=11.25
    Red if <11.25
    none if no benchmark
    Source:
    WHO Global Health Observatory Data Repository

    Hunger Reduction Commitment Indicators - Policies

    • 1Access to land (security of tenure)
      2005-2016
      Assesses the existence of an institutional, legal and market framework for secure land tenure and the procedure for land acquisition and accessibility to all.
      The Ratings Scale goes from 6 (high) through 1 (low), as follows:
      6 - Good for an 3 years
      5 - Good
      4 - Moderately Satisfactory
      3 - Moderately Unsatisfactory
      2 - Unsatisfactory
      1 - Unsatisfactory for 3 years

      Colour code/labels used in scorecards

      Very strong/Strong if >=4
      Moderate if >2.99 AND <4
      Weak/Very weak if <=2.99
      Source:
      The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
    • 2Access to agricultural research and extension services
      2004-2013
      This indicator assesses to what extent the agricultural research and extension system is accessible to poor farmers, including women farmers, and is responsive to the needs and priorities of the poor farmers. Coding is done in the same manner as for the ’security of access to land’ indicator.

      Colour code/labels used in scorecards

      Very strong/Strong if >=4
      Moderate if >2.99 AND <4
      Weak/Very weak if <=2.99
      Source:
      The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
    • 3Civil registration system — coverage of live births
      2010-2016
      Percentage of children under five years of age who were registered at the moment of the survey.

      Colour code/labels used in scorecards

      Green if >=90
      Yellow if between 70 AND 90
      Red if <=70
      Source:
      UNICEF: DHS/MICS
    • 4Functioning of social protection systems
      2010-2016
      10 = Social safety nets are comprehensive.
      7 = Social safety nets are well developed, but do not cover all risks for all strata of the population.
      4 = Social safety nets are rudimentary and cover only few risks for a limited number of beneficiaries.
      1 = Social safety nets do not exist.

      Colour code/labels used in scorecards

      Very strong/Strong if >=7
      Moderate if >4 AND <7
      Weak/Very weak if <=4
      Source:
      Transformation Index of the Bertelsmann Stiftung (BTI)

      Hunger Reduction Commitment Indicators - Laws

      • 1Level of constitutional protection of the right to food
        2014-2017
        Strong = 3 ‘Explicit for all citizens and/or specific groups or incorporated under article protecting living standards AND/OR Ratified international law is automatically assigned equal status as constitutional law’
        Moderate = 2 ‘Implicit as part of a broader right in constitutional law.’
        Weak = 1 ‘No constitutional protection, OR as Directive Principle (not justiciable) OR Likely or confirmed equality of ratified international law to national legislation’
      • 2Equality of women’s access to agricultural land
        2011-2014
        Score based on women’s legal rights and de facto rights to own and/or access agricultural land. Value based on the following scale:
        1: equal
        0.5: Women have equal legal rights but there are discriminatory practices against women’s access to and ownership of land in practice.
        0: Women have no/few legal rights to access or own land or access is severely restricted by discriminatory practices.
        (note: HANCI calculation has reversed the original score for consistency.)

        Colour code/labels used in scorecards

        In Law & Practice if 1
        In Law, not in Practice if 0.5
        Not in Law if 0
        Source:
        Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) accessed via OECD’s Gender, Institutions and Development Database (GID-DB)
      • 3Equality of women’s economic rights
        2011-2014
        Score based on women’s economic rights at work (equal pay, job security, work at night, etc.). Value based on the following scale:
        1: All women’s economic rights are guaranteed by law. In practice, the government fully and vigorously enforces these laws.
        0.5: There are some economic rights for women under law. The enforcement of laws is effective or weak. However, the government still tolerates a low/moderate level of discrimination against women.
        0: There are no economic rights for women under law and systematic discrimination based on sex may be built into the law.
        (note: HANCI calculation has reversed the original score for consistency.)

        Colour code/labels used in scorecards

        In Law & Practice if 1
        In Law, not in Practice if 0.5
        Not in Law if 0
        Source:
        Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) accessed via OECD’s Gender, Institutions and Development Database (GID-DB)
      • 4Constitutional right to social security
        2006-2017
        The Constitution clearly references a right to social security (see Annex II of the source document).

        Green if ‘yes’
        Red if ‘no’
        Source:
        FAO information paper

        Nutrition Commitment Indicators - Public Spending

        • 1Separate budget for nutrition
          2012-2017
          0 = no budgets or where no confirming information could be found
          0.5 = sectoral budgets for nutrition
          1 = separate budget line for nutrition

          Colour codes or labels used in score cards:

          Yes if 1
          Sectoral only if 0.5
          No if 0
          Source:
          SUN Compendium of fiches; IDS Nutrition Governance; Save the Children Nutrition Barometer; WHO Landscape Analysis; Global Nutrition Report (N4G tracking tables).

          Nutrition Commitment Indicators - Policies

          • 1Vitamin A supplementation coverage for children
            1996-2015
            The percentage of children aged 6-59 months who received 2 high doses of vitamin A supplements within the last year.

            Colour code/labels used in scorecards

            Green if >=90
            Yellow if >70 AND <90
            Red if <=70
            Source:
            MICS Indicators, UNICEF field offices and WHO, Countdown 2015 reports, author calculations based on government data
          • 2Government promotes complementary feeding
            2010-2014
            Whether governments promote complementary feeding practices of children aged 6–9 months and continued breastfeeding of children at ages 12–15 and 20–23 months.

            Green if ‘yes’
            Red if ‘no’
            Source:
            Sun Reports; world breast feeding trends initiative
          • 3Population with access to an improved water source
            2014-2017
            The percentage of population with access to an improved drinking-water source.

            Colour code/labels used in scorecards

            Green if >=90
            Yellow if >70 AND <90
            Red if <=70
            Source:
            Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) for water supply and Sanitation - WHO/UNICEF
          • 4Population with access to improved sanitation
            2014-2017
            The percentage of population with access to improved (not shared) sanitation facilities.

            Colour code/labels used in scorecards

            Green if >=90
            Yellow if >70 AND <90
            Red if <=70
            Source:
            Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) for water supply and Sanitation - WHO/UNICEF
          • 5Health care visits for pregnant women
            2007-2017
            Percentage of women aged 15–49 years attended at least once during pregnancy by skilled health personnel (doctor, nurse or midwife).

            Colour code/labels used in scorecards

            Green if >=90
            Yellow if >70 AND <90
            Red if <=70
          • 6Nutrition features in national development policy
            2017
            Source: Web-based searches. The total count of key search terms in a selected policy document divided by the number of pages in the document, expressed as country ranking relative to other countries. Search terms: nutritio*.*; undernutrition/under-nutrition; malnutrition/mal-nutrition nutrient; diet*.*; stunt*.*; wasting/wasted; short-for-age; short for age; height-for-age; height for age; weight-for-age; weight for age; weight for height; weight-for-height; Underweight; under-weight; Low birth weight; Thinness; Micro-nutrient; micronutrient; 1000 days; one thousand days; Breastfeed*.*; Behavior change; behaviour change; Iron deficiency anaemi/anemi; Zinc; Deworm; de-worm; Vitamin A; Supplementary feed; complementary feed.

            Scorecards present the ranks of these scores

            Strong if rank <=15
            Moderate if rank 16 to 30
            Weak if rank >=31
            Source:
            web-based searches.
          • 7National Nutrition Policy/Strategy
            2013-2017
            Whether a national nutrition policy, plan or strategy exists.

            Green if ‘yes’
            Red if ‘no’
            Source:
            EIU Global Food Security Index
          • 8Multisector and multistakeholder policy coordination
            2012-2017
            Whether a multisectoral and multistakeholder coordination mechanism exists.

            Green if ‘yes’
            Red if ‘no’
            Source:
            SUN fiches/Country docs and unpublished SUN country documents
          • 10National nutrition survey in last 3 years
            2017
            Has there been a Demographic and Health Survey / Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey /comparable national nutrition survey in the past three years?
            1: Yes, if the survey was dated 2013 or thereafter, or currently underway.
            0: No, new surveys were not undertaken after 2013.

            Nutrition Commitment Indicators - Laws

            • 1Enshrine ICBMS in domestic law
              2016
              The extent to which the International Code for Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes is enshrined in law.
              4 = ICBMS is fully in law.
              3 = Many provisions of ICBMS are in law.
              2 = Few provisions are in law.
              1 = No legal measures.

              Colour code/labels used in scorecards

              Fully Enshrined if 4
              Few/Many Aspects Enshrined if 2 or 3
              Not Enshrined in Law if 1
              Source:
              World Health Organization, UNICEF and IBFAN

              We include indicators that allow the index to assess ‘curative’ action (efforts that seek to address immediate needs) as well as ‘preventive’ action (efforts to avert hunger and undernutrition, to reduce food insecurity and to prevent people from becoming malnourished). Consequently, some of our proxy indicators measure interventions that are not primarily instituted to combat hunger or undernutrition (e.g. civil registration of births or investments in public health). Nevertheless, governments recognise that these efforts do contribute to hunger reduction and improved nutrition statuses in the short, medium and long term, and are therefore included in the index.