Community Food Security Profile
Rajasthan / MP
WFP/India VAM Unit
SCHEDULE - 4
Vulnerable Group Focus Group
100) Date of Interview:
201) Team Number:
202) Facilitator: 203) Rapporteur:
300) Location of the Community
101) District : 102) Block :
103) Panchayat : 104) Village :
400) Vulnerable Group Name:
600) Mini-Household Questionnaire
The mini-questionnaire is designed to obtain important information that cannot be easily obtained
through group discussion or exercises. One mini-questionnaire and set of group discussion should be
conducted with members of each Vulnerable Group identified in the Village Module: Part C. For this
Vulnerable Group, respondent numbers should correspond to those assigned in section 300). For each
respondent, record answers down the columns.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
601) Household Demographics
a. Total Household Size
b. Gender of Household Head
c. Number of young/adult Men
d. Number of young/adult Women
e. Number of young children/infant
(up to 5yrs of age)
f. Number of elderly members
above 60 yrs of age
No. of able bodied worker
602) Household Education
a. Max. Yrs. Educ. of Men in
b. Max. Yrs. Educ. of Woman in
603) Farming Practices
a. Crops Production Levels
b. Percent of Each Crop Sold
For the following questions, home consumption refers to whole animals that are slaughtered and consumed at home, as well
as animals that are slaughtered and only a fraction of the animal was retained for home consumption. In the latter cases,
estimate the fraction of the animal retained for home consumption and the fraction sold and enter in the appropriate spaces.
604) Livestock Practices
a. Number Consumed at Home
b. Number Sold
605) Livestock Products
a. Amount Produced
b. Percent Sold
606) Other Products
a. Amount Produced
b. Percent Sold
If households have no home production (for example, in the case of urban households or landless households) ask each
respondent to identify the major source of family income. Focus carefully on how many household members are engaged in
that activity, during what season, for how many months, and how many days each month. Ask about wage rates or daily
income levels per person during a "normal" year and ask, during a "normal" year, how much income (in value terms) is
derived from that main source. Cross-check respondent estimates from an estimate constructed from a calculation based on
the number of family members, number of days worked, and average wage/income per day. List the type of income source
and the income level earned from that source below.
607) Non-Farm Income
a. Major Income Source
b. Income Level from Major
Source, if possible quantify.
Note: Need a comprehensive list of non-farm activities here to use as prompts and for coding
700) Home Production Levels
For each small group participating in this discussion there may be significant levels of
variation in the type and quantity of other goods produced within households. The following
questions should be asked in reference to a typical household within the vulnerable group to
which these households belong.
Ask respondents what goods (besides crops, livestock, and livestock products covered in the
mini-questionnaire) would a typical household within their group also produce in a "normal"
year. For each home-produced item, ask how much would a typical household in this group
produce in a "normal" year and what percent of production would be sold in a "normal" year.
Note: Need a comprehensive list of home-produced goods (and note cards with pictures
depicting each?) to complete this exercise.
800) Sources of In-Kind and Cash Income
a) Ranking Exercise: In-Kind and Cash Income Sources in a "Normal" Year & “Crisis Year”
Ask respondents to list all in-kind or cash income sources typically obtained in a "normal" and
“crisis” year separately. Go over this list in detail, prompting respondents according to the
previous day’s discussion of local livelihood patters (Village Module: Part B) and the
comprehensive list below.
For any in-kind income sources, discuss in detail the typical amount earned and its value in
relationship to other cash income sources. Similarly, discuss the value of debt incurred, the
value of gifts (in cash or in-kind), and the value of aid received (in cash or in-kind). These
items should be included as sources of income.
Discuss differences in men’s income and women’s income sources, to ensure women’s
income is included in the estimation.
Note each income source (differentiating by gender and migration location as much as
possible) on index cards and rank by order of importance. Note: need a comprehensive list
of in-kind and cash income sources (and pictures depicting each?) to complete this and
following exercises (again, this list should include debt or gift or aid in-flows into the
b) Proportional Piling Exercise: In-Kind and Cash Income Sources
Place the cards for the top ten in-kind and cash income sources in a column, with the
remaining cards piled together at the bottom to constitute the "other" category. Use
proportional piling methods to obtain the relative importance of each income sources.
900) Discussion of Hazard Impacts and Household Coping
Economic impacts might include: (1) loss of crops (specify types), (2) loss of livestock (specify type),
(3) loss of income (specify sources), (4) damage of land, (5) damage/loss of other assets (specify type),
(6) damage/loss of social and/or productive infrastructure (specify type), (7) loss of access to
producer/consumer/labor/credit markets (specify), (8) loss of access to food sources (specify), (9) other.
Human and social impacts might include: (1) increased illness, (2) death, (3) temporary break-up of
families, (4) permanent break-up of families, (5) permanent out-migration of families, (6) breakdown of
community support mechanisms and social relationships, (7) difficulties from engaging in socially
undesirable activities, (8) other (specify).
Household coping strategies might include: Consumption Responses: (1) reduced number of
meals, (2) reduced portion size, (3) substitution of low value/less preferred foods, (40
gathering of wild foods not normally consumed, (5) consumption of seed stock, (6) going all
day without a meal, (7) maternal buffering, (8) borrowing food directly or money for food.
Cropping Responses: (9) multiple re-plantings of main crops, (10) Planting alternative
(drought-resistant) crops, (11) Expanding area planted over successive years of low yields,
(12) Abandoning crops in the field, (13) Exceptional water harvesting/conservation measures,
(14) Changes in crop rotation/fallow periods over successive years of low yields.
Labor Responses: (15) Looking for alternative employment locally, (16) Migration to look for
employment (to familiar areas), (17) Migration to look for employment (to unfamiliar areas),
(18) Petty trading, (19) Additional collection and sale of firewood/charcoal, (20) Other income
generating activities (specify), (21) Removing children from school for work, (22) Engaging
in socially undesirable activities.
Livestock Responses: (23) Unusual livestock migration patterns (describe), (24) Alternative
food/water sources (describe), (25) Additional sale of draft/milking/breeding (small) stock,
(26) Additional sale of draft/milking/breeding (large) stock, (27) Additional slaughter of
small/large stock for own consumption, (28) Abandonment of livestock, (29) Redistribution of
animals to family/friends for keeping.
Other Asset Responses: Sale/abandonment of (30) land, (31) tools, (32) jewelry, (33) Other
Community Responses: (34) Use of community savings or emergency funds, (35) Use of other
community support mechanisms (describe), (36) Exceptional reliance on government/NGO
safety net activities (describe).
Family Responses: (37) (Unusual) Sending family members to live with relatives, (38)
(Unusual) Splitting family members for other reasons, (39) Whole-family migration to look
1000) Resilience of Livelihood Strategies
a) Discussion of Effectiveness of Income Diversification
With respondents, review changes in income sources between “normal” and “crisis” years.
For income sources used in both "normal" and "crisis" years, ask how experiences varied: (a)
was work found or goods sold in different locations (if so, describe the change); (b) did it take
longer to find employment or sell goods (again, describe); (c) did wage rates or the prices of
good sold change significantly (again, describe); (d) were labor and goods sold to different
types of employers/buyers (again, describe).
For new income sources in "crisis" years, (e) describe the locations where labor or goods were
sold, (f) the time involved in attempting to find work or sell goods, (g) wage and price levels
obtained, and (h) to whom labor and/or goods were sold.
Finally, ask respondents (i) which activity was most effective in making up for income lost
from the crisis, (j) what hey would do differently next time, and (k) what kind of assistance
would make these activities more effective?
b) Discussion of the Role of Remittances
Ask respondents: (a) whether people in their vulnerable group receive remittances from family
members living outside the community in "normal" years; (b) where do these remittances
normally come from (within district, outside district, urban area, other country); (c) do
remittances arrive regularly or only intermittently; and (d) whether households receive larger
remittances, if necessary, during crisis years.
c) Discussion of the Role of Debt
Discuss with respondents the role of indebtedness in their livelihoods. Specifically, (a) what
proportion of the vulnerable group is indebted, (b) what is the proportion of debt to total income
of households over the course of a year, (c) are households usually able to re-pay loans on
time without having to take on more debt, (d) are households ever debt-free, (e) what are the
common reasons for taking on debt, (f) is there a seasonal aspect of debt and debt re-
payment, (g) what are the most common sources of debt, (h) what are typical re-payment
terms, and (i) does access to credit vary according to income/asset levels, caste/ethnicity, or
gender (if so, describe).
d) Discussion of the Role of Government/NGO Assistance
Ask respondents whether the Government of any NGO provide additional assistance during
“crisis” years. If so, what kind of assistance did they provide? Did the receipt of assistance
depend on caste/ethnicity, poverty levels, or any other criteria? Which forms of assistance
were most useful and why? How has Government/NGO support changed over the past 10-15
e) Discussion of the Role of Community Assistance
Ask respondents whether the community as a whole, or any individual members, provides
assistance to those most severely affected during the "crisis" year. If so, what kind of
assistance did they provide? Did the receipt of assistance depend on caste/ethnicity, poverty
levels, or any other criteria? Which forms of assistance were most useful and why? How has
community support changed over the past 10-15 years?
f) Discussion of the role of Children
Discuss the engagement of children in economic activities in both the Normal and Crisis year. Enquire in
which of the labour activities the children are generally engaged. In case of “crisis” year do the children
accompany the parents during their migration and engage themselves in labour activities? In case of
“normal” year do they contribute to the family income by participating in economic activities?
g) Ranking Exercise: Other Coping Behaviors
Ask respondents to identify coping behavior used during a “crisis” year. Use the list provided in the
Village Module: Part B as a prompt if necessary. List the responses on note cards and rank in order of
importance according to their frequency of use across vulnerable households. For the top 5 responses
discuss their effectiveness in mitigating the impact of a crisis.
1100) Sources of Consumption
a) Discussion of Major Food Sources in a "Normal" Year
Discuss with respondents where they obtain major staple foods (need to define these locally)
in a "normal" year, specifically how much is typically obtained from own production and
stocks, market purchases, ration shops, food aid, or gifts/loans from family, friends, or other
community sources. In a "normal" year, do households typically eat food obtained from the
"wild": from the bush or local forest or from hunting? If so, describe the food type,
approximate quantities, and months that "wild" food source is available.
b) Proportional Piling Exercise: Sources of Consumption in a "Normal" Year
Place note cards depicting the main food sources identified (home production/stocks, cash
purchases, in-kind wages, gift/loan, food aid, ration shop) in a row on the ground. Use
proportional piling methods to estimate the relative importance of each of the food sources in
the total consumption of each commodity.
Again place note cards depicting the main food items as consumed by the group (including
cereal, pulses etc.) on the ground. Use proportional piling methods to estimate the relative
importance of each of the food sources in the total consumption of each commodity.
c) Discussion of Major Food Types and Sources in a "Crisis" Year
Ask respondents how consumption patterns change in a "crisis" year, whether different (less
preferred) types of foods are consumed, whether foods are obtained from different sources
(Describe the relative amounts that are consumed from own-production, from market
purchases, or from food aid and/or ration shops in a "crisis" year). If ration shops are not
utilized as a source of food in a "crisis" year, ask why. Follow the same proportional piling
exercise as followed in case of a ‘Normal’ year for the ‘Crisis’ year also for both sources and
relative importance of each food items.
1200) Cash Food Purchases
a) Proportional Piling Exercise: Total Cash Spending in a “Normal” Year
In the previous exercise (section B) we are already collected information on the different food
items and their importance. Ask respondents to identify other non-food spending made in a
“normal” year. Describe. If necessary, use the list below as prompts. This list should include
spending on ceremonies, loan repayments, etc. Use proportional piling methods to understand
the relative importance of food and non-food spending in a “normal” year. Conduct a
proportional piling exercise for the total food and non-food items. Break up of the items is not
required (we are interested here only to find out the difference in the spending between food
and non-food expenditure).
b) Proportional Piling Exercise: Total Cash Spending in a “Crisis” Year
Discuss changes in non-food spending in a “crisis” year. Describe in detail. Use information
from Consumption Response in Question 900 of this schedule to serve as background to this
discussion. Again, use proportional piling methods to understand the relative importance of
food and non-food spending in a “crisis” year.
Note: need a comprehensive list of major staple and non-staple food categories and of non-
food spending categories to complete this exercise.
1300) Seasonal Calendar
Obtain local definitions of seasons first. Look at other questions on a seasonal or monthly basis, whichever make the mos
sense. For most questions it may be useful to ask in which months or seasons the values for the indicators of interest ar
highest, then for which months or seasons the values are lowest, filling in moderate for the remainder.
None = 0 Low = 1 Moderate = 2 High = 3
S. Subjects In a "Normal" Year
N. Jan Feb Mar Apr Ma Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1301 Agricultural Labor Use (specify by activity)
1302 Male Work Load
1303 Female Work Load
1304 Children Work load
1305 Male Migration
1306 Female Migration
1307 Availability of Foods
1308 Total Food Availability Levels
1309 Use of Cereals by Source
a) Stock from Last Year(s)
b) Current Year Production
d) Food Aid ( (Institutional)
f) Ration Shops
1400) Problems and Opportunities
This exercise is to be conducted with a group 5-6 respondents half of whom should be from
this group and other half will be from among other villagers not belonging to this categories i.e
Group III & IV. Review with community members the various issues covered in the Schedule –
C. Of these, ask discussants (a) what are the most important problems of this Vulnerable
Group as well as the community as a whole; (b) what kind of action is needed to solve those
problems; (c) what contribution can the members of this Vulnerable Group make to solve these
problems; (d) why haven’t they already done so; (e) why would these activities be expected to
be successful; (f) who would benefit most from these activities; and (g) who would benefit least
from these activities? However, please try to extract more detailed information pertaining to
their needs especially in case of problems related to ICDS, School feeding and enrolment,
Food for work (especially which needs can be solved through Food for Work) , Income
generating activities, irrigation ect. The main focus should have been on the feasible activities
those are coming under the preview of the WFP objectives and planned interventions. After the
completion of this exercise please continue with the next exercise i.e Venn Diagram.
1500) Access to Services
a) Venn Diagram Exercise: Community Organizations
Ask respondents to identify the main public and private service institutions and their activities
operating in or near the community. Ask specifically about public institutions identified
through the District Office Schedule and about private service providers such as local shops,
moneylenders, other traders, local craftsmen, and others. With the assistance of respondents,
construct a Venn Diagram that addresses the following issues: (a) What activities is the
organization/agency/individual involved in? (b) Who are the main decision-makers in those
organizations? (c) Is decision-making open to all? If not, why not? (d) Who are the main
beneficiaries of each of the organizations’ activities? Why this group of beneficiaries?
Note the difference between the services that are accessible to community members and those
identified as being available through the District Office Schedule.
Possible public institutions might include: Local Line Ministries: (1) Agriculture, (2) DRDA,
(3) Forestry, (4) Livestock and Veterinary, (5) MADA/Tribal Development, (6) Health, (7)
Education, (8) PWD, (9) APMC, (10) PDS, (11) DPAP (12) Other Local Ministries (specify).
Local Government (13) Panchayat. CBOs: (14) Youth Groups, (15) Women’s Groups, (16)
Agricultural Coops, (17) Dairy Coops, (18) Watershed Management, (19) Forestry
Management, (20) Health Management, (21) Education Management, (22) Other CBOs
(specify). NGOs and Other Organizations: (23) Specify.
b) Exercise: Influence/Importance Matrix
This activity is designed to obtain information on the important institutions in the village from
the previous Venn Diagram exercise. The matrix will reflect the importance as well as
influence of various institutions and organisations, both public and private, on the basis of the
size and distance of the ‘chapati’ from the village on the livelihood of the vulnerable groups.
This will enable in identifying the most important institutions for these groups operating in the
c) Discussion on Community Benefits
Ask the respondents to identify the 3-4 organizations that work best to serve the needs of the
community. Describe in detail why they chose those organizations. Next, ask respondents to
identify the 3-4 activities that work best to serve the needs of the community. Describe in
detail why they chose those activities
(NOTE: The exercises in Question 1400 and 1500 have to be conducted with one vulnerable