Joint Multi Sector Needs Assessment: Cox’s Bazar, Rohingya Refugee Response – August 2020, Refugees
Other Household Survey [hh/oth]
Since August 2017, an estimated 745,000 Rohingya refugees have arrived in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, increasing the total number of Rohingya refugees to more than 860,000.1 The presence of the refugee communities has raised concerns over local environmental degradation, falling wages and rising prices, exerting additional pressures on localities where public services and infrastructure were already lagging behind the national average.2 As the crisis moved beyond the initial emergency phase, comprehensive information on the needs and vulnerabilities of affected host communities is needed in order to inform the design and implementation of effective inter-sectoral programming.
Against this background, a Joint Multi-Sector Needs Assessment (J-MSNA) was conducted across Rohingya refugee communities to support detailed humanitarian planning and enhance the ability of operational partners to meet the strategic aims of donors and coordinating bodies. To date, a number of MSNAs have been implemented to support the response. The 2020 J-MSNA aims to provide an accurate snapshot of the situation with the specific objectives of (1) providing a comprehensive evidence base of household-level multi sectoral needs to inform the 2021 Joint Response Plan (JRP); (2) providing an analysis of how needs have changed in 2020 with an emphasis on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on multisectoral needs; and (3) providing the basis for a joint multi stakeholder analysis process.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
Individuals and households
v2.1: Edited, anonymous dataset for public distribution.
Household: household information, shelter/NFI/site management, education, health, nutrition, food security and livelihood, WASH, protection, accountability
Individuals: individuals information
Health and Nutrition
Water Sanitation Hygiene
Emergency Shelter and NFI
Livelihood & Social cohesion
Rohingya Refugee Response
Cox's Bazar District
34 refugee camps in Ukhiya and Teknaf upazilas.
Producers and sponsors
Inter-sector Coordination Group
Target sample sizes for each camp were based on the most recent population figures available from UNHCR. Points were randomly sampled from the UNHCR refugee registration database. Additional buffer points were sampled to account for instances of non-eligibility or non-response. As interviews were conducted over the phone, with phone ownership known to be more prevalent among men, in order to ensure adequate representation of female respondents, female-headed households were sampled proportionately to their representation in the database.
Roughly 400 surveys were completed per Upazila to maintain a 95% confidence level and 5% margin of error in each Upazila. However, when aggregating findings up to the overall response level for all host community members included in the sampling frame, surveys must be weighted to account for the unequal distribution of households between the two Upazailas.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Computer Assisted Telephone Interview [cati]
Data Collection Notes
Data was collected remotely over the phone from 27 July to 12 August 2020. Enumerators underwent a three-day online training and a two-day pilot in order to familiarise themselves with the tool, data collection protocols, as well as the code of conduct and basic protection principles. Sector representatives directly trained enumerators.
Informed consent was sought, received and documented at the start of each interview
Due to restrictions on movement, access to camps and face-to-face interviews as part of the COVID-19 preventative measures,
all interviews were conducted via the phone. This created some challenges and limitations:
• Given expected poor connectivity and the lack of personal interaction during a phone interview, questionnaire size was limited to avoid losing
• As privacy cannot be ensured during phone interviews, in order to avoid creating risks to respondents, sensitive topics were not included in
• As phone ownership is more prevalent among men, a lower proportion of female respondents were reached than might have been reached
during an in-person survey.
Household: household information, shelter and NFI, education, health, nutrition, food security and livelihood, WASH, protection, accountability
Individuals: individuals information
Each day, data checking and cleaning was conducted according to pre-established standard operating procedures, including outlier checks, correct categorisation of "other" responses, and removal and/or replacement of inaccurate records. All changes to the dataset were documented in a cleaning log.
Basic descriptive and exploratory statistical analysis was conducted, including (1) weighted proportions; (2) statistical significance testing for groups of different demographic characteristics; and (3) comparisons to 2019 results for indicators also included in the 2019 J-MSNA (no statistical significance testing was conducted for 2019-2020 comparisons). Data was further analysed by gender of respondent for indicators, for which differences between male and female respondents were expected, and disaggregated results are presented in cases in which such differences were large.
UNHCR (2020) Joint Multi Sector Needs Assessment: Cox's Bazar, Rohingya Refugee Response July Augusut 2020. UNHCR microdata library: https://microdata.unhcr.org