Mission Measurement will lead a team of food security funders, practitioners, and experts from corporations, private foundations, NGOs, and government, to create a model that standardizes measurement of hunger and food security outcomes, and forecasts the success of related programs.
The Food Security Genome team will begin by cataloguing existing evaluation research, drawing on data and expertise from consortium members to support these efforts. The resulting inventory of research will enable Mission Measurement to define a common language of universal outcomes for the field. These universal outcomes will enable ?apples-to-apples? comparisons of diverse approaches to solving hunger and food security.
Next, Mission Measurement will conduct a comprehensive review of available social science research, analyze existing program evaluations, and work with leading experts in the field to rank and weight the factors that predict whether a program will produce the desired hunger/food security outcome.
Using this research base, Mission Measurement will develop statistical models to predict programs? capacities to deliver an outcome. The Food Security Genome will estimate what it will cost any food-security related program to produce a common outcome, each program?s likelihood of success, and how many individuals each program will reach.
The Food Security Genome will allow funders to better assess their grantees? potential impact and make more informed investment decisions, and will enable NGOs and other program providers to design better, more effective programs based on existing data. With a systematic process for making more informed investment decisions and designing better food security programs, both funders and program providers can provide incrementally greater impact at less cost over time.
This first phase of this work will be limited to the U.S. market, and later phases will apply the same approach in international markets.
Phase 1: Food Security Genome & Evidence Base Development (Jan-April)
-Building of Genomic framework
-Building of comprehensive Evidence Base
-Deliverable: Standardized ?Hunger/Food Security? outcomes
Phase 2: Food Security Genome & Evidence Base Integration (Week of 6/1/15)
-Development of Outcome-specific Genomic framework
-Codification of Evidence Base via Outcome-specific Genome framework
-Deliverable: Key Efficacy Factors for each ?Hunger/Food Security? Outcome
Phase 3: Statistical Modeling of Food Security Genome Data (Week of 7/6/15)
-Gene/Factor weighting per Outcome
-Statistical modeling for programs, Evidence Base
-Deliverable: Analysis/mapping of programs from Consortium member programs
Phase 4: Benchmark Data Preparation & Delivery (Week of 8/3/15)
-Compilation of benchmark data (Efficacy Score, Expected Outcomes, Cost Per Outcome)
-Preliminary benchmark data for wider social policy area
-Deliverable: Presentation of Universal Impact? materials to Consortium members
Phase 5: Test Benchmarks (Aug 2015 ? Mar 2016)
-Empirical testing of benchmark data for system fine-tuning
-Deliverable: Report on improvements made to statistical models based on empirical testing
Phase 6: Limited Rollout (Apr 2016 ? Dec 2016)
-Dissemination of program scorecards to controlled set of funder and service provider organizations
-Deliverable: In-depth case studies of impact of program scorecard data on key rollout partners
Phase 7: Full-Scale Rollout (Jan 2017 ? Dec 2017)
-General rollout of program scorecards to all interested funder and service provider organizations
-Deliverable: Report on estimated total impact of program scorecard data on food security programming and beneficiaries
As of 2013, nearly 50 million Americans were struggling with food insecurity. For children, the lack of proper nutrition affects development, physical and mental health, and academic achievement. For seniors with limited incomes, the choice between medicine and food is often a difficult one. And among vulnerable populations, food insecurity is tied to ongoing issues of unemployment and poverty. Food insecurity is pervasive, existing in every community across the country, whether rural, urban or suburban, and its impact can be devastating. In the United States we spend and produce enough food to feed every American, but food insecurity and hunger persist. This is in part because of waste and inefficiency in anti-hunger programs. As with other social impact programs, most spending on food security is geared toward paying for activities and outputs rather than outcomes. Moreover, we don?t know which programs are effective in really moving the needle on overcoming hunger and addressing food security. And this challenge is not unique to the United States; the same need is present in nations around the globe. Whether domestic or international, we need better data and analytics to really understand which interventions can help end hunger and improve food security. The Food Security Genome is designed to quantify what works and what doesn?t in improving food security. The resulting tool will enable funders and program developers to understand how effectively and efficiently their programs will address hunger and food security before those programs even begin, thus saving tremendous amounts of time and money across the field. By working together, sharing information and resources, this group of companies, Foundations, NGOs, and experts hopes the new data created, combined with predictive analytics, can double the impact of food security programs and halve the cost; first in America and ultimately in markets around the world.
Mission Measurement invites any interested funders and practitioner organizations to join the Food Security Genome Consortium, a convening of organizations which funds, implements, and studies outcomes related to domestic hunger relief. These organizations support the efforts of the Food Security Genome by sharing research and field expertise at critical points in the R&D process.
The Food Security Genome will be a universal evidence base for what works in domestic food security and hunger-relief programs. This evidence base compiles program evaluations, expert knowledge, and practitioner experience to identify which program features most effectively drive sector outcomes.
The Food Security Genome is an initiative of the larger Impact Genome Project® - a field-wide, systematic method to codify and quantify the factors that drive social outcomes. The IGP aims to be the most comprehensive evidence base of what works in solving social problems. The IGP will benefit the social sector in three ways: 1) create a universal evidence base to make evidence accessible and actionable across the entire sector by codifying what we know, 2) improve the capacity of nonprofits to measure and improve their impact, and 3) create predictive data and benchmark metrics to help optimize allocation of resources.