Developing a resilience indicator for food security monitoring and evaluation: Index construction and household classification for six African countries
The objective of the study was to develop an indicator of household resilience as a measure of progress towards achieving the first of four elements identified in the Framework for African Food Security. A review of the literature provided support for the use of assets owned by a household as an indicator of household resilience. Several methods of constructing household asset indices emerged from the literature reviewed. The application of four of these methods to Demographic and Health Survey data from six African countries is presented in this paper. The resulting indices were used to estimate individual socio-economic status scores for all households. All four methods performed similarly across the assessment characteristics, but yielded different results when the households were grouped into quintiles based on the estimated socio-economic status scores. As suggested by the literature, quintiles were used to classify the study households into categories of socio-economic status based on the estimated socio-economic status scores. However, socio-economic status was not evenly distributed across the study households making the use of a quintile approach inappropriate for grouping the households. Cluster analysis was applied as an alternative to the quintile classification to group the study households. Cluster analysis appeared to be a more effective approach to grouping households, both in that it does not assume an even distribution of socio-economic status across households – as the quintile approach does – and it provides a useful indication of changes in the per cent of households falling into different socio-economic status groups over time.