Measuring food security across cultures: a validation study in shrimp farming households in Sri Lanka Jessica Wu, S. Checkley, R. Silva*, T. Westers, C. Ribble, T. Fung, S. Daniel, & C. Stephen University of Calgary *Wayamba University of Sri Lanka
Outline • Background information • Project • Sri Lanka • Food security • Objectives • Methods • Results • Challenges • Conclusions Shrimp ponds Traveling to shrimp farms
Why Sri Lanka? • Multi-project collaboration over the past 10 years • Concerns identified by the Government of Sri Lanka • Veterinary surveillance • Wildlife • Aquaculture development for food security and poverty alleviation • Partners with Wayamba University of Sri Lanka
Background • Aquaculture in Sri Lanka is considered an important livelihood that supports income diversification • Why shrimp farming? • Opening of the Eastern and Northern Provinces • Is there a possibility of income generation for people who have re-settled after the war?
Objectives • What is the food security status of shrimp farming households? • How should we measure food security? Shrimp in a feeding tray Selling shrimp in the local market
What is food security? • Food security is defined as “a situation that exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life” (World Food Summit, 1996) A typical Sri Lankan meal
Pillars of Food Security • Food supplies • Food supplies • Sufficient resources to obtain food • Economic and physical resources • Using the food to ensure appropriate nutrition (FAO 2008 An Introduction to the Basic Concepts of Food Security)
Methods • Cross-sectional study of 225 shrimp farming households in Sri Lanka • Structured surveys included the Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS) (Coates et al. 2007) • 9 yes/no questions followed by timeframe question if answered affirmatively • Forward translation into Sinhala and Tamil • Back translation into English followed by revisions if required Local seafood market
Methods • Validation of the HFIAS • Cultural acceptability through expert panel consultation • Food security experts from both countries • Academic experts familiar with the target population • Government worker familiar with target population • Feasibility • Pilot study • Construct validity • Factor analysis of dichotomous outcomes • Internal reliability • Cronbach’s alpha • Accuracy in relating to other food security measures (correlation to socioeconomic status)
Results • The HFIAS showed high cultural acceptability • Has been used in unpublished studies in Sri Lanka • Feasibility indicated no logistic or comprehension challenges • Factor analysis • One factor extracted with factor loadings 0.94 or greater • Cronbach'salpha was high (0.934) • Association between food insecurity scores and socioeconomic status was significant (p = 0.032)
Results • The majority of shrimp farming households in Sri Lanka are food secure Typical market place
Food Security Status of Shrimp Farming Households *National average in Sri Lanka in 2009 (not incl NP and EP): 80% of households food secure (using expenditure data)
Challenges • Translation • Two languages = twice the number of translators • Not all translators can type in Sinhala and Tamil • Part of a larger survey • Only one construct derived from factor analysis • Small sample size
Conclusions • The HFIAS, adapted to the Sri Lankan context, is promising as a valid measure of the access pillar of food security in this country • The majority of shrimp farming households are food secure • First documented use of the HFIAS in the aquaculture sector in Sri Lanka and can be a useful tool for future food security assessments in this country
Acknowledgments • Participating shrimp farmers in Sri Lanka • Funding from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Government of Canada, provided through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) • Supervisor Dr. Sylvia Checkley • Fellow graduate student Dr. Trisha Westers • Committee members: • Dr. Carl Ribble, Dr. David Hall, Dr. Craig Stephen • Sri Lankan partners: • Dr. Sam Daniel • Dr. Renuka Silva • Translators Trisha and Sam
Questions? Feline food security???