What is outcome analysis?
One of the most innovative aspects of HEA is the ability to model the impact of positive or negative changes on household access to food and income. This process is called outcome (or scenario) analysis.
Outcome analysis assesses:
- in the case of a shock, the extent to which households will be able to make up food or cash shortfalls themselves
- in the case of an intervention, the contribution any additional or freed-up income will make to the household economy.
The three steps of outcome analysis
1. Analysis of hazard and problem specification
The hazard is translated into quantified consequences to household livelihood strategies, such as a percentage fall in crop production or an increase in food prices.
2. Analysis of coping strategies
This step takes into account the response strategies that different wealth groups could employ to deal with the problems they face. It factors in the expansion of existing food and income sources, additional options and reduction of expenditure. This information is collected during the baseline assessment.
3. Interpreting the projected outcome
The projected outcome is the output from an outcome analysis: an estimate of total food and cash income for the current year, once the cumulative effects of current hazards and income from coping strategies have been taken into account.
To determine whether an intervention of some kind is required, projected total income is compared against defined thresholds, commonly one or more of the following:
- the survival threshold: the total income needed for survival
- the livelihoods protection threshold: the total income needed to protect livelihoods
- the sector minimum expenditure basket (MEB) threshold: the total income needed to meet internationally agreed standards of wellbeing in water, sanitation, shelter, clothing, education, health and food.
Outcome analysis tools
- The Dashboard: A user-friendly Excel-based tool with which the user can run an outcome analysis for a particular livelihood zone or district. It enables the user to model the potential impact of different interventions as well as the impact of shocks.
- The Livelihoods Impact Analysis Spreadsheet (LIAS): A more complex Excel-based tool with which the user can run an outcome analysis on a large scale. Detailed problem specifications can be entered by administrative area for up to 12 livelihood zones. The LIAS is an essential tool where HEA is used in national early warning systems.
Training in outcome analysis
Training in outcome analysis takes between three and five days. It covers the steps and calculations involved in outcome analysis, the monitoring data that needs to be entered, what to do when that data isn't available, and how to use the Dashboard and LIAS.