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.
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.:
- 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.
- 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).
- Hoddinott, John & Yohannes, Yisehac, 2002.
"Dietary diversity as a food security indicator,"
136, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Corbett, Jane, 1988. "Famine and household coping strategies," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 16(9), pages 1099-1112, September.
- Maxwell, Daniel G., 1996. "Measuring food insecurity: the frequency and severity of "coping strategies"," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 291-303, July.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:33:y:2008:i:6:p:533-540. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.