It's the job of WFP field monitors to visit communities, like this one in Pakistan, to assess levels of hunger and malnutrition. They interview families, take surveys and perform statistical tests that give them an accurate picture of the food security situation. On that basis of their analysis, WFP programme officers decide on the best way to help.
The field monitors are assisted by staff from a local NGO, who are familiar with the customs here and fluent in the local language. That can make a crucial difference when talking to community leaders. It's also important to have women on the team who can speak frankly with mothers in the village to find out how they're coping.
Verbal Interviews with the heads of families are an important way of finding out what kind of difficulties this village is facing. The information they provide will be tabulated and used to decide which food security initiative best suits their needs.
The field monitors collect extensive information about the family members such how they earn their livelihoods, what assistance they've received in the past and what kinds of difficulties they're having in staying fed and providing for themselves.
17 October 2012 WFP's Response To Pakistan Floods