Coping Strategy Index

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Scoring: Combining Frequency and Severity for Analysis: With the frequency (f) and severity (s) we score for each behavior:  Bi = S× Fi. 
  5. 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.




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