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Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC)

The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) is a standardized tool that aims at providing a “common currency” for classifying food security. Using a common scale, which is comparable across countries, makes it easier for donors, agencies and governments to identify priorities for intervention before they become catastrophic.

IPC Technical Development


The IPC was originally developed in Somalia under the FAO Food Security Analysis Unit (FSAU). This successful experience led to the development of a standardized IPC approach that is now being used in several countries.

From February to March 2007, The EC-FAO Programme hosted an IPC Online Forum in which over 150 experts from 40 agencies reviewed technical and institutional aspects of the IPC. This was followed by an international review meeting where seven agencies and international NGOs (Care International, EC JRC, FAO, FEWS NET, Oxfam GB, Save the Children UK and US, and WFP) agreed on a common approach for further developing the IPC. The resulting proposed multi-agency strategy gained full support from donors at a subsequent special donor partnership meeting.

The IPC will continue to be refined and improved based on experiences in applying it at the country level.

What Is New About the IPC Approach?


1. The IPC responds to the need for a common approach for classifying  food security situations, within and among countries, and across time.

  • The IPC facilitates technical consensus among food security practitioners by providing a common language for classifying food security situations.
  • The IPC allows greater comparability of analysis across space and time, by providing a framework that uses internationally accepted benchmarks.
  • The IPC fosters increased transparency and accountability through evidence-based analysis.


2. The IPC provides stronger links between information and action.

  • The IPC draws together a wide array of food security related information and supports analysis that is meaningful and actionable for decision makers.
  • The IPC's supporting tools—ie. the Cartographic Protocols and Population Tables—are a means for effectively communicating analysis.


3. The IPC addresses the multi-dimensional nature of food security issues.

  • The IPC draws on a livelihoods approach for both analysis and response.
  • The IPC accounts for the multisectoral aspects of food security issues including health status, civil security, structural factors, etc.

The “Improved Global Governance for Hunger Reduction” programme is funded by the European Union with additional resources provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The programme is managed by FAO and collaborates with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP)”