The objective of this paper is to provide lessons of experience for managers and technicians
concerned with food security and vulnerability information systems, particularly systems which
involve several countries within a region. The lessons are derived from an analysis of the
development of food security and vulnerability monitoring in Southern Africa. This analysis is done
from the perspective of Save the Children (UK), and it is accepted that other institutions may have
other perspectives on the events presented. The paper is intended to contribute to a larger body of
reference and guideline material that can be used by SC(UK) and other stakeholders to advocate for
the development of appropriate food security and vulnerability information systems. This larger body
of work will also draw on SC(UK)вЂ™s experiences elsewhere in Africa.
Critical learning points come from an exploration of the development of both institutions and
methodologies in the Southern African context. The paper draws out key issues from different
вЂњstagesвЂќ of development in these areas. The stages are:
These sections are preceded by some definitions and an explanation of the scope of the paper.
Food security and vulnerability assessment in Southern Africa in the context of famine early
warning: 1993 вЂ“ 99.
The development of regional co-ordination mechanisms for vulnerability assessment: 1999 вЂ“
Food insecurity and vulnerability monitoring in a regional food crisis: The rolling
assessments of 2002-03.
Beyond vulnerability to food insecurity: Vulnerability Assessment in the context of new
meanings of vulnerability and links to poverty monitoring.