Household Hunger Scale (HHS)
English: median Household Hunger Score of the targeted households
French: Indice Domestique de la Faim médian des ménages cibles
Czech: medián Household Hunger Score cílových domácností
What is its purpose?
The indicator measures the scale of households’ food deprivation. It is based on a (validated) idea that the experience of household food deprivation causes predictable reactions that can be captured through a survey and summarized on a scale. It focuses on the food quantity dimension of food access and does not measure dietary quality. It should be used only in areas with very high levels of food insecurity.
How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data
Determine the indicator's value by using the methodology described in detail in FANTA’s very practical and easy-to-use Household Hunger Score Guide. The main steps involve:
1) Conducting individual interviews with a representative sample of your target household representatives, asking them:
> three “occurrence” questions representing an increasing severity of food insecurity
> three “frequency-of-occurrence” questions that are asked as a follow-up to each occurrence question to determine how often the situation occurred
These questions, alongside all details on their use, are described in the HHS Guide.
2) Calculating the score for each household by summing up the scores for each frequency-of-occurrence question as described in the HHS Guide.
3) Determining the indicator’s value by calculating the median (not average) value of the individual households’ scores.
1) Take maximum advantage of all the guidance provided by FANTA’s Household Hunger Scale Guide.
2) The HHS indicator is most appropriate for areas affected by very high levels of food insecurity. The HFIAS indicator, in contrast, can be used both in areas of low and high food insecurity.
3) Since HHS focuses on the food quantity dimension of food access and does not measure dietary quality, also consider including the measurement of individual dietary diversity in your survey (such as IDDS, MDD-C or MDD-W).
4) The data required for this indicator is prone to seasonal variations. Therefore, if you use HHS for measuring your intervention’s impact, the data has to be collected at the same time of the year.
5) Do not pick and choose HHS questions for inclusion or exclusion from the questionnaire, because it is the set of HHS questions together - not the use of each HHS question independently - that has been validated as a meaningful measure of household food deprivation.
6) Because the HHS questions cover more sensitive topics, it is recommended that they are asked towards the end of the survey.
7) According to the HHS Guide, the HHS indicator has been specifically developed and validated for cross-cultural use. Its results are therefore comparable across different cultures and settings.
8) Disaggregate the data by wealth.