The Ogaden Needs Assessment Study was undertaken as a joint exercise between SCF(UK) and the Pastoral Surveillance Team of the RRC Early Warning and Planning Services. The trigger for the study was the influx into the Ogaden of thousands of returnees from Somalia and concern about capacity of the region to support the growing population. A rural sample survey was carried out using two helicopters. The objective was to establish the nutritional status of children and also to get data on grain production, consumption, sale and exchange, and the prospects of the food economy. The health data was obtained using standard anthropometric procedures, while socio-economic data was gathered by the use of questionnaires on key informants. The survey showed that the combined effects of the collapse of the livestock/grain trade and the continuing burden of the returnee population could result in a food crisis during the following dry season.