Measuring food insecurity is a costly and complicated exercise. In highly food insecure countries operational agencies need regular measurements for monitoring changes and for assessing the impact of food aid interventions. Often these interventions take place in emergency conditions. Time is limited, and field conditions do not permit lengthy and intensive data collection or analysis processes. Tools are needed that are quick and easy to administer, straight-forward to analyze, and rapid enough to provide real-time information to program managers. The Coping Strategies Index (CSI) is one such tool. It was developed in Uganda, Ghana, and Kenya but has now been used for early warning and food security monitoring and assessment in at least nine other African countries and several in the Middle East and Asia.