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Reduced Coping Strategy Index

Indicator Phrasing

average value of the Reduced Coping Strategies Index
See indicator in other languages

Indicator Phrasing

English: average value of the Reduced Coping Strategies Index

French: valeur moyenne de l’Indice de Stratégie de Survie

Spanish: valor medio del Índice Reducido de Estrategias de Afrontamiento

Portuguese: valor médio do Índice de Estratégia de Sobrevivência Reduzido

Czech: průměrná hodnota redukovaného Coping Strategy Indexu

What is its purpose?

The Reduced Coping Strategies Index (RCSI) is a proxy indicator of household food insecurity. It considers both the frequency and severity of five pre-selected coping strategies that the household used in the seven days prior to the survey. It is a simplified version of the full Coping Strategies Index indicator.

How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data

Determine the indicator's value by using the following methodology:


1) Conduct individual interviews with a representative sample of the target group members, asking them how many times (in the previous 7 days) they had to use the coping strategies listed below. Use the questions provided in the left column below. Record the frequency by entering the relevant number (e.g. 0 – did not have to use the coping strategy; 2 – had to use it twice; 7 – had to use it every day in the past 7 days).


2) During the data analysis, for each coping strategy, multiply the ‘frequency’ by the assigned ‘severity weight’, thereby getting a ‘weighted score’ per each strategy.


3) Add up the scores of all assessed strategies to receive the household’s RCSI score. A high score means an extensive use of negative coping strategies and hence increased food insecurity (the maximum score for the RCSI is 56; this would happen if a household used all five strategies every day for the last 7 days).


4) To calculate the indicator’s value, add the RCSI scores of all the surveyed households and divide this by the total number of surveyed households.


Disaggregate by

Disaggregate the data by wealth, location and other vulnerability criteria.

Important Comments

1) RCSI is prone to significant seasonal differences. Do your best to collect baseline and endline data at the same time of a year; otherwise, it is very likely that they will not be comparable.


2) BHA phrases the indicator slightly differently, as "Mean and median Reduced Coping Strategies Index (rCSI)". 

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This guidance was prepared by People in Need ©

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