Ananth Ganesa

Country: Sudan
Organization: World Food Programme

ANANTH: "My internship was with the Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (VAM) unit in Khartoum, Sudan. VAM collects and analyses data from thousands of households every year – particularly in rural, poor and food insecure populations – to provide WFP program managers and the broader humanitarian community with information, analysis and advice. VAM’s information has direct consequences on programming, and could translate into activities such as food distribution - which could in very literal terms decide the fate of a household’s survival."

"My role involved travelling to field offices across the Darfur states. I learnt a lot about on-the- ground realities during such missions. My last such trip was in June, I was in El Fashir in North Darfur interviewing program staff and brainstorming on how the VAM unit can help them make better program decisions. During such discussions, I learnt extensively about the process of WFP’s programming in Sudan – from how project proposals are submitted by NGO partners to how they are reviewed, and how projects are implemented over a specific timeline and within a certain budget based on several contingent factors. Part of VAM’s role is to help identify the “who, when, where” in targeting programs, so I spent time learning how such targeting decisions are made – which gave me a good macro-understanding of WFP’s operations. Field offices in general are a great place to learn the harsh practical realities of the humanitarian experience and

I believe Sudan provided ample training ground to do so. Since my role involved extensive cross- departmental collaboration where I had to work together with several of our staff for days and weeks at a stretch, I would say my inter-personal and communication skills helped in the process. To have clarity of thought and express ideas effectively was important in my role, and this is a strength that I used to my advantage. Further, the ability to digest large amounts of information, diagnose what the issues are and creatively design solutions, is something that I have used throughout this internship . Finally, technical skills in analyzing data, writing food security reports and software such as MS Excel and SPSS helped magnify my impact in the project as well."