Our RHoMIS work has led to a unique harmonised database of quantitative information on smallholder livelihoods in low and middle income countries (now containing interviews of more than 28,000 households in 31 countries). We are now in full force analysing these data to identify pathways towards food security, and underpin strategic studies trying to identify the drivers of diverse diets and possible trade offs between agricultural production intensification and key welfare indicators like gender equity.
What is less known is that our RHoMIS research actually originated from work focusing on bringing together existing household survey data from a wide range of projects and using those data to identify common indicators of food security, and farm livelihood characteristics determining food security.
Simon is a PhD candidate hosted by the International Livestock Research Institute and Wageningen University & Research. His research areas include ‘environmental impact assessment’ and ‘food and nutrition security’ in rural communities.
Each entry in the RHoMIS database provides a small insight into the life of a rural household. Research teams go to great lengths to make these snapshots in time as true to life as possible. We design the study – ‘localising’ the survey tool, setting an appropriate sample size and randomising the selection of households. We train a team of interviewers – providing a common understanding of each survey question. Then in implementing the survey, we travel long distances off the beaten track – by foot if necessary – having very personal discussions with rural households two to three times a day for weeks if not months at a time.
Despite these efforts, some aspects of these ‘snapshots in time’ get distorted – resulting in imperfect representations of the rural households’ inputs, outputs, characteristics or wellbeing.
A shared article from the RHoMIS team, based in Bristol, UK and Quito, Ecuador. We write reflections and updates on the development and impact of the RHoMIS tool.
As 2018 turned into 2019, the RHoMIS servers continued to spin and process data from rural households around the world. We are excited to announce that on Wednesday 9 January, the total number of households in the RHoMIS database passed the 20,000 milestone.
The actual number is 21,024 rural households, gathered from 27 countries. More than just a number, these statistics represent a quality and breadth of data that allow for scientific analysis and improved and informed development interventions.
The RHoMIS blog is written by a community of practice. The COP is made up of RHoMIS users and creators from across the world. Here we share their stories of how RHoMIS is helping to record and analyse household data.