About the 2012 Data
The GHI is only as current as the data for its three component indicators. This year’s GHI reflects data from 2005 to 2010—the most recent available country-level data on the three GHI components. It is thus a snapshot not of the present, but of the recent past. For some countries, such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Papua New Guinea, and Somalia, and now also for the Democratic Republic of Congo and Myanmar, lack of data on undernourishment prevents the calculation of GHI scores. Despite the existence of abundant technological tools to collect and assess data almost instantaneously, enormous time lags persist in reporting vital statistics on hunger. More up-to-date and extensive country data on hunger are urgently needed. Some efforts are underway to improve data on undernourishment and the distribution of food consumption. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is currently revising its methodology for estimating undernourishment in order to provide more timely data that integrates all relevant information, including findings of the large number of household surveys that have become available in recent years (FAO 2011b). Improvements in collecting high-quality data on hunger and food consumption will allow for a more complete and current assessment of the state of global hunger and, in turn, more effective steps to reduce hunger.
The Global Hunger Index (GHI) data is also published as Linked Open Data (LOD) and linked with ISO 3166-1 (alpha 3) code. The LOD version of the GHI is implemented using the Resource Description Framework (RDF). It uses the indicators of Child_Mortality, Undernourishment, and Child_Underweight, linked by country and by year.
The GHI scores are based on source data that are continually revised by the United Nations agencies responsible for their compilation, and each year’s GHI report reflects these revisions. These revisions result in improvements in the data, but they also mean that the GHI scores from different years’ GHI reports are not comparable with one another. Like the 2011 GHI report, though, this year’s report has the advantage that it contains not only the most recent GHI, but also GHI scores for three other reference periods—1990, 1996, and 2001—that are, in fact, comparable with one another, allowing for in-depth analyses of trends.