The challenge of measuring hunger through survey

Date: 21 May 2015

Venue: UAntwerp, Stadscampus, Building S - Nile Room - Lange Sint Annastraat 7 - 2000 Antwerp

Time: 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM

Organization / co-organization: IOB

Short description: IOB seminar, presentation of paper by Prof Joachim De Weerdt (IOB, UAntwerp)

There is widespread interest in estimating the number of hungry people in the world and trends in hunger. Current global counts rely on combining each country’s total food balance with information on distribution patterns from household consumption expenditure surveys. Recent research has advocated for calculating hunger numbers directly from these same surveys. For either approach, embedded in this effort are a number of important details about how household surveys are designed and how these data are then used. Using a survey experiment in Tanzania, this study finds great fragility in hunger counts stemming from alternative survey designs. As a consequence, comparable hunger numbers will be lacking until more effort is made to either harmonize survey designs or better understand the consequences of survey design variation.

Read the full paper The Challenge of Measuring Hunger through Survey

Joachim De Weerdt is Associate Professor of Development Economics at the Institute of Development Policy and Management (IOB), University of Antwerp. His research is on the measurement and analysis of poverty in all its dimensions, on the effectiveness of policies that aim to fight poverty, and on developing and empirically testing economic models that improve our understanding of the lives of the poor in low-income countries.

His goal is to advance current economic though on these topics and bring micro-empirical evidence to bear on them. Most of his work is quantitative and analytical, making extensive use of panel data and exploiting experimental and quasi-experimental approaches to inference when appropriate and possible.

As a development economist he places high value on personal presence in the field and on interactions with scholars from other disciplines, ranging from sociology and anthropology to demography and epidemiology. Joachim works primarily on networks, informal insurance, internal migration, urbanisation, early childhood development, impact evaluation and measurement through surveys.

Entrance fee: Free

Registration: Compulsary:

Contact email:

Contact phone: +32 3 265 52 96