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Snap your Meaai

    Taking photos of the meals we eat has been common for years now. Usually, it’s to post on social media, but recently in Samoa, SPC and the Samoa Bureau of Statistics have been encouraging people to take photos of their meals for a different purpose – to help inform Samoa’s household income and expenditure survey (HIES).


    The HIES is a snapshot of what people in a certain country are consuming, and the Snap your Meaai campaign is the public face of a world-first experiment to try to measure the calories in the meals people are eating outside their homes.

    “Without the statistics that are drawn from the HIES countries and the international community can’t plan and provide relevant assistance to those in vulnerable situations”, says Lilianetelani Hennemann ACEO – Economic Statistics at the Samoa Bureau of Statistics and member of the team who put the Snap Your Meaai project together.  “We need statistics to monitor, evaluate and inform public policy and decision making”, she says.

    Michael Sharp, SPC’s Economic Statistics and Microdata specialist who worked on the campaign says Snap Your Meaai is part of a broader project that’s aiming to improve the measurement of food consumption away from the home, something traditional household survey methods don’t do well.

    “This campaign is a piece of the puzzle in improving our estimates of consumption of food away from home (FAFH) in Samoa”, he said. “What we’re trying to do is crowdsource information to best capture the types of meals and the locations that people are eating food away from home”.



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