|Commodity Distribution, A Practical Guide for Field Staff (United Nations High Commission for Refugee, 1997, 77 p.)|
This can be carried out in three ways:
Individual household-level questioning and observation
Key informant interviews
Focus group discussions
Results from each of these methods can be cross checked with the others.
Individual household level
This is an essential part of any monitoring system. It involves visiting a selection of refugee homes/shelters and asking questions of the family members as well as observing the actual conditions. Physical conditions of shelters, sanitation, etc. should be noted. The presence and quantity of distributed commodities should be noted, e.g. plastic sheeting, kitchen sets, food quantity/type etc. Weighing of food found in the household is not recommended as this can be highly misleading.
A wide number of households should be visited near/far in relation to distribution points and other services.
Women in each household must be questioned on their access to the distribution, appropriateness of the ration, any difficulties created by the type of non-food items etc.
Key Informant Interviews
Interviews are held with individuals selected for their knowledge of the situation in general or of a particular aspect of it. Key informants usually include teachers, religious leaders, womens group representatives, traders, camp committee members, government officials and local staff of agencies.
Focus Group Discussions
Focus groups can be composed of people selected widely from the whole camp, from a particular area of the camp, from a particular group within the population (e.g. women). The composition of your focus group will depend on what exactly you are trying to find out. However within any given category you must include women in the group (unless it is a category which usually does not include women, e.g. ex-combatants).