3 WHAT IS THE HVI?The Household Vulnerability Index (HVI) is a tool to measure the vulnerability of households and communities against the impact of diseases and shocks such as HIV/AIDS, erratic weather patterns and poverty. The HVI achieves this by assessing a household’s access to five livelihood capitals: • Natural assets such as land, soil and water; • Physical assets such as livestock, equipment and infrastructure; • Financial assets such as savings, salaries, remittances or pensions; • Human capital assets such as farm labour, gender composition and dependants; • Social assets such as information, community support, extended families and formal or informal social welfare support.
4 THE HVI AND THE LIVELIHOOD CAPITAL ASSETS WHAT IS THE HVI?THE HVI AND THE LIVELIHOOD CAPITAL ASSETS
5 HOW DID IT COME ABOUT?FANRPAN’s earlier work in 2004 focused on studying the impact of HIV and AIDS on agriculture and food security in seven SADC countries: Lesotho, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The study provided a good reference point for quantifying the impact of the disease. The study culminated in a publication, Silent Hunger, which was able to show impacts of HIV and AIDS on rural livelihoods and began to quantify household vulnerability to impacts of HIV and AIDS.
6 THE THREE LEVELS OF VULNERABILITY Using programmed equations, collected data allows us to compute the HVI scores with are values between 0 and 100.Based of the HVI score one can then rank and classify households on the basis of their vulnerability when targeting.Households can be grouped in three classes namely:Low VulnerabilityModerate VulnerabilityHigh Vulnerability
7 THE THREE LEVELS OF VULNERABILITY Low Vulnerability: the household is in a vulnerable situation, but is still able to cope without external assistance
8 THE THREE LEVELS OF VULNERABILITY Moderate Vulnerability: also referred to as transitory vulnerability (i.e. when hit hard by a shock, the household needs urgent but temporary external assistance for it to recover)
9 THE THREE LEVELS OF VULNERABILITY High Vulnerability: also referred to as chronic vulnerability (i.e. The household is in a situation of almost permanent destitution – almost a point of no return – but could be resuscitated only with the best possible expertise)
11 COMPUTING THE HVIThere already is an HVI tool for collecting data and a programmed database for data entry and HVI generation. These also come with a manual that explains the process that users have to go through in computing the index.
12 THE BENEFITS OF USING THE HVI The HVI improves targeting of mitigation responses in various ways. Some of the most important are as follows:It is possible to objectively rank households according to vulnerability. This is particularly important in settings where resources are limited.It makes it possible to identify the source of the vulnerability within a household and be able to design multiple responses within the same community.It is possible to project how households in a given area would cope when faced with various shocks.When HVI data is collected over time using prescribed methods, it is also possible to compare changes between communities and check trends over time.
14 SO WHY IS THE HVI IMPORTANT? The HVI is important for various reasons.In development work, at last we have a measure that can compare how different households are fairing given a particular issue. This is critical. Not only are we able to tell who is most affected, but we do this objectively, and we even know the source of their vulnerability. We are thus able to calculate how much is required to move that household from its situation to a desired level. The reverse is also true. If we have limited resources, it is possible to know how much our efforts will yield. The HVI is homegrown, and endeavors to unpack the complexities that characterize the African way of life, thereby exposing what was not possible to quantify before. Having said that, it is important to note that like all other tools, the value can be derived if the tool is applied appropriately.
15 APPLICATION OF THE HVIAlthough the FANRPAN 2004 study established a common ground on how HIV and AIDS affected agriculture and food security, there was a need to conduct a study to establish a widely-accepted approach to measuring vulnerability of a household exposed to HIV and AIDS. This saw the Development of the HVI tool, and its field testing and piloting in Lesotho, Swaziland and Zimbabwe between 2008 and 2010 in partnership with the Southern Africa Trust and World Vision International. The piloting was conducted in World Vision operational areas, as part of the Area Development Programme (ADP) in each of the three countries.
16 World Vision Area Development Programme Sites for HVI Testing APPLICATION OF THE HVIWorld Vision Area Development Programme Sites for HVI TestingArea Development Programme (ADP)DescriptionMaphutsengLocated in the foothills of Mohales’ Hoek District, south of Lesotho. Distance Between Maphutseng And Lesotho capital Maseru is 62 kilometres.MpolonjeniIn Lubombo region, it is located south-east of Swaziland. There isabout 105 kilometers from Mbabane, the national capital.RushingaIn Mashonaland Central Province, it is located 215 kilometres to the north-east of Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe. It is along the Zimbabwe-Mozambique border.* Area Development Programs (ADPs): Longer-term development interventions within one or more communities or "areas". ADP is the main and increasingly-important vehicle through which World Vision International facilitates community development and may vary significantly in terms of structure and size around the world.
17 Household vulnerability levels (%) APPLICATION OF THE HVIThe table below shows HVI distribution for the World Vision ADPs that participated in the pilot in the three countries. It indicates the proportion of households with low, moderate and high household vulnerability.CountryNo. of householdsHousehold vulnerability levels (%)LowModerateHighLesotho2,5811.394.54.1Swaziland3,2121.293.94.9Zimbabwe6,0898.290.6Average3.693.03.4The results indicate that the majority of households (93%) are in the moderate vulnerability category of HVI classification. In addition, the greatest investment is required for the 3.4% of the households which fall in the high vulnerability category.
18 APPLICATION OF THE HVIBased on the review of literature from Southern Africa, the importance of the different assets to household livelihoods has been assigned different weights. However, the analysis revealed how different livelihood assets are valued depending on different survey focal areas; mainly because households and communities are characterized by different assets. The table below shows the HVI Standard Weight in comparison to the community weighting of asset capitals in the three countries.
19 WORKED EXAMPLEThe table below shows an example calculation of the HVI Score of a household taken from the HVI Demo Database. For reference, the Household ID for this example is LCapital Asset(Asset Weight)Variable/DimensionVariable ScoreVariable WeightWeighted ScoreNatural Capital (10)Proportion of field fertilized by natural means.14Environmental Management3Land UtilisationHuman Capital (25)Proportion of sick members6Productive sick members7Dependency RatioType of Household Head0.25Household Disintegration
20 WORKED EXAMPLE (cntd.) Capital Asset (Asset Weight) Variable/Dimension Variable ScoreVariable WeightWeighted ScorePhysical Capital (25)Fertiliser Use14Per capita staple cereal output2Ownership of a plough or ox drawn cart.Livestock ownership5Livestock loss and sales3Access to extension servicesDietary Diversity0.752.25Number of meals taken dailyFinancial (25)Access to savings0.82.4Sources of income0.965.4Access to credit loansPresence of unpaid debtsIncome expenditureAdditional income expenditureExpenditure on income from livestock/crop salesSocial Capital (15)Social support from NGOs, Government etc.7Adequacy of social supportHIV/AIDS KnowledgeHVI Score68.3
21 WORKED EXAMPLE (cntd.)The Example Household’s overall HVI Score is 68.3 or 68.3% vulnerability. The graph on the next slide shows that the household falls under the Moderate Vulnerability category but is on the brink of slipping into the High Vulnerability category. This clearly indicates that the household is in a dire situation and requires urgent attention.
23 WORKED EXAMPLE (cntd.)The table below shows a comparison of the Standard HVI Weights and the Example Household’s Capital Asset Weights
24 WORKED EXAMPLE (cntd.)Based on the scores in the table, the Example Household’s Physical, Natural and Social Capital Asset Weights contributed the most towards vulnerability. The Household scored fairly well which indicates the availability of labour for farm and off-farm work. Any interventions targeted at the household will have to be in the form of fertilisers and environmental awareness (Natural), savings and credit (Financial) as well as support services (Social)
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