Food justice in India requires stronger governance and greater political commitment. This article introduces the Hunger Reduction Commitment Index (HRCI): a novel approach to assess governments’ political commitment to reduce hunger and malnutrition. Cross-country comparisons and within-country analyses aim to demystify what such commitment may look like, in order to foster accountability and to provide practical policy directions for civil society, donors and governments.
Unlike other hunger indices that typically compare outcomes, the HRCI ranks government efforts. It uses secondary data on three dimensions: policies and programmes; public expenditures; and legal frameworks. In addition, expert perception surveys conducted in Bangladesh and Zambia provide indications on what aspects of political commitment these governments do well, or less well. The HRCI 2011 is topped by Malawi. India takes thirteenth spot out of 21 developing countries, with a medium level of political commitment.