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Frequently Asked Questions

Is the IPC too technically complex for decision makers to understand?

Is the IPC too technically complex for decision makers to understand?

Without exception, decision makers have understood the main thrust of the IPC and the implications for action. While the IPC is underpinned by layers of complex analyses, the situation analysis and implications for action are presented in a simple manner. The IPC provides a simple and effective way, with high visual impact, for food security analysts to communicate their findings to decision makers and the media and other non-expert audiences.

How are thresholds used in the IPC classification?

How are thresholds used in the IPC classification?

The overarching thrust of the IPC is not strictly based on thresholds and benchmarks but relies on a ‘convergence of evidence’ approach (convergence of all available evidence with respect to the outcomes indicators of interest).

The evidence is referenced against internationally accepted indicators of human welfare and livelihoods. Internationally acceptable thresholds are used to classify indicators, and then the convergence of evidence approach helps reach a conclusion on how various indicators converge towards one phase.

This approach is practical due to the highly complex and dynamic nature of classifying food security situations as well as widely varying data availability.


Isn’t it adequate to just monitor the outcomes as measured by nutrition indicators?

Isn’t it adequate to just monitor the outcomes as measured by nutrition indicators?

The IPC explicitly draws, but not exclusively, from nutrition indicators. This is critical from both a practical perspective (nutrition data is not always available and needs to be triangulated with other food security data), and a conceptual perspective (it is well accepted that nutrition is a late outcome indicator of food insecurity). While the IPC uses nutrition data, it also draws from indicators that provide triangulation and give earlier indications that crisis is imminent.

Is the application of IPC country-specific?

Is the application of IPC country-specific?

No. The concepts and reference outcomes of the IPC are explicitly drawn from internationally accepted standards (e.g., the Sphere standards), which are equally applicable anywhere in the world. Different contexts, however, will require some flexibility, while the IPC provides a framework for rigour and reasonable comparability.

SICAThe World Food Programme (WFP)Save the ChildrenOxfamThe Joint research Center (JRC) of the European CommissionFood Security ClustersFEWS NETFAOThe Comité permanent Inter-Etats de Lutte contre la Sécheresse dans le Sahel (CILSS)CARE InternationalACF