Tools for Food Security and Nutrition Analysis

Household Economy Approach and Cost of the Diet

Login

Register

About the Household Economy Approach

The Household Economy Approach (HEA) is a unique livelihoods-based framework designed to provide a clear and accurate representation of the inside workings of household economies at different levels of a wealth continuum and in different parts of the world.

It is based on the principle that an understanding of how people make ends meet is essential for assessing how livelihoods will be affected by wider economic or ecological change and for planning interventions that will support, rather than undermine, their existing survival strategies.

At the heart of the HEA is an analysis of: 1. how people in different social and economic circumstances get the food and cash they need; 2. their assets, the opportunities open to them and the constraints they face; and 3. the options open to them at times of crisis. It involves the analysis of the connections among different groups and different areas, providing a picture of how assets are distributed within a community and who gets what from whom.

This information can be used for a wide range of purposes, including development planning, emergency response, early warning, monitoring and evaluation, poverty analysis and reduction, and policy analysis.

HEA guidelines have been developed for two audiences: HEA practitioners and programme planners and policy makers.