This is a follow-up report on the work done by ActionAid to develop Community Based Food Security Monitoring Systems (CBMS) to assist in the timely predictions of impending food shortages. It is envisaged that CBMS's will not only prevent famine but also help build up livelihoods and strengthen long term development processes. This report looks at attempts in Malawi and Kenya to understand more about ways to use the community in the management of their own relief. Field staff were asked to speak to the community and come up with a list of alternative indicators that were particularly meaningful to them. An attempt was made to see if the the unique and detailed ways communities have of understanding and expressing situations of food insecurity could also have predictive value.