Measuring food insecurity: Can an indicator based on localized coping behaviors be used to compare across contexts?
The Coping Strategies Index (CSI) was developed as a context-specific indicator of food insecurity that counts up and weights coping behaviors at the household level. It has proven useful to operational humanitarian agencies and researchers in measuring localized food insecurity, but to date has not been useful to compare the relative severity of different crises and has therefore has not been particularly useful for geographic targeting or resource allocation. This paper analyzes data from 14 surveys in crisis-affected or chronically vulnerable countries in Sub-Saharan Africa that incorporated the context-specific CSI. The paper identifies a sub-set of individual coping behaviors common to all surveys, whose severity is regarded as broadly similar by households across these studies. Data from these studies were re-analyzed using a reduced index constructed from only these behaviors. Correlations of this new index with other known food security indicators are similar to those of the complete, context-specific CSI. This suggests the possibility that an indicator based on these common behaviors could be used to compare the types of food security crises analyzed here across different contexts - particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa - to improve geographic targeting and resource allocation, according to the severity of crises. This new, more comparative indicator can be generated with no loss to the context-specific nature of the original CSI, which has proven useful for assessment and monitoring purposes.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Ruel, Marie T., 2002.
"Is dietary diversity an indicator of food security or dietary quality?,"
FCND discussion papers
140, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Ruel, Marie T., 2002. "Is dietary diversity an indicator of food security or dietary quality?," FCND briefs 140, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Maxwell, Daniel G., 1996. "Measuring food insecurity: the frequency and severity of "coping strategies"," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 291-303, July.
- Corbett, Jane, 1988. "Famine and household coping strategies," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 16(9), pages 1099-1112, September.
- Christiaensen, Luc J.M. & Boisvert, Richard N., 2000. "On Measuring Household Food Vulnerability: Case Evidence from Northern Mali," Working Papers 127676, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
- Hoddinott, John & Yohannes, Yisehac, 2002. "Dietary diversity as a food security indicator," FCND discussion papers 136, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).