Coping Strategy Index (CSI) measures food insecurity by considering the activities undertaken by households to manage food shortages.
CSI can be used to: 1) Measure the impact of food programs; 2) An early warming indicator of impending food crisis; 3) Assessing both food aim needs and whether food aid has been targeted to the most food insecure households.
Constructing Coping Strategy Index
- Get a list of coping behaviors: i.e. identify the locally relevant coping strategies in the study area through exploratory research. In most circumstances, the coping strategy identified will fall into 4 categories: i.e. Dietary Change; Short-term measures to increase household food availability; Short-term measures to decrease numbers of people to feed and Rationing, or managing the shortfall. After the list has been developed, data collection can go ahead.
- Count the Frequency of Strategies (f) : The main question becomes how often, in the past seven days, a household had to rely on each individual coping behavior. e.g. 3 times to purchase food on credit.
- Severity (s): i.e. Categorizing and Weighting the Strategies: The different strategies are weighted depending on how severe they are considered to be by the people who rely on them. This can be done by scaling e.g. 1-4.
- Scoring: Combining Frequency and Severity for Analysis: With the frequency (f) and severity (s) we score for each behavior: Bi = Si × Fi.
- Sum the scores
Suppose that if after summing, the CSI score for a household (HH1) comes to 25 and a household (HH2) is 62. Then, we can confidently say that HH1 is less food insecure as compared to HH2.