In the early 2000s, the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (Comité permanent Inter-Etats de Lutte contre la Sécheresse dans le Sahel, CILSS) developed a Harmonized Framework for the analysis and identification of areas at risk and vulnerable groups in the Sahel (Cadre Harmonisé).
The framework is based on different methodologies used by actors involved in food security analysis, with the aim to inform decision makers and guide action and response within the region.
The Harmonized Framework Technical Steering Committee comprises various governmental and non-governmental stakeholders at the regional level. This Committee is responsible for monitoring and directing activities towards the implementation of the initiative in CILSS countries.
Similarly to IPC, the strength of the Harmonized Framework is to rely on the existing information systems already in place.
The 2005 crisis in Niger stressed the importance of measuring the severity of food insecurity as well as to rely on a monitoring system that can encompass different indicators to triangulate food security information in the region. At the meeting of the Technical Committee of the Harmonized Framework held in Niamey in July 2008, it was agreed to introduce some elements of the IPC analysis in the Harmonized Framework. Particularly, some of the indicators, the severity scale and cartographic protocols were introduced.
With the development of IPC Manual V2.0, discussions is progressing to further the synergies between Cadre Harmonisé and the IPC. A team of technical experts including representatives from CILSS, WFP, FAO, FEWS NET, Oxfam, ACF, Save the Children, with the participation of the IPC Global Support Unit (GSU), are leading technical consultations to modify some elements to fit the context of West Africa.
The Harmonized Framework underwent validation tests in the CILSS countries leading to the drafting of a Cadre Harmonisé Methodological Note. Based on the Note, the first draft of the Cadre Harmonisé Manual was finalized in February 2014. There are 16 countries currently implementing the Cadre Harmonisé: Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Chad, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Conakry, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Togo and Senegal.
4 additional countries are joining the CH in 2014, they are: Benin, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.