Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) Maps

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It all started when...

Fewsnet Integrated Phase Classification for Food Security (IPC) maps are specifically designed to show food insecurity from a combination of climate, conflict, general malnutrition rates, mortality, and household vulnerability.  They are extremely valuable and widely used by the international community. However, they are not designed to be the only tool used for food security decision making. For example:

  • The IPC maps are not often not predictive in the time-frame needed.  They are designed primarily to be event monitoring tools and in Somalia, are often available too late for the disaster financing machine to be really effective.  For example, they are released for Somalia in January, but funding decisions typically need to be made by the previous November. 
  • They have not yet been fully validated for the multiple contexts of Somalian communities.  For example, pastoralists and agro-pastoralists have different temporal IPC sensitivity. Agro-pastoralists show a rapid sine-wave with the dry and wet-season, whereas pastoralists are more resilient but can crash.  
  • It's not trivial to understand the differing layers within the map.  The IPC forecast map might go from red to orange because they are assuming people can plant in the next season. It's important to be able to understand and check those assumptions.

This study has been designed in part to see what other information is there to complement and validate the IPC maps.