The UNHCR Standardized Expanded Nutrition Surveys (SENS) provide regular nutrition data that plays a key role in delivering effective and timely interventions to ensure good nutritional outcomes among populations affected by forced displacement. UNHCR conducted an annual SENS nutrition surveys in Kakuma refugee camp and Kalobeyei Refugee Settlement.
At the time of the survey, the camp was hosting 186,515 refugees originating from 20 countries, comprised of 53.3% (99,320) males and 46.7% (87,195) females. These represented 148,295 from Kakuma and 38,220 from Kalobeyei and originating from 20 nationalities. The number of children under 5 years of age is currently estimated to be 20,468 from Kakuma and 7,576 from Kalobeyei or 15% of the total population. Women of reproductive age were 32,373 from Kakuma and 7,643 from Kalobeyei. According to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) HIS database (Nov 2018), the main countries of origin are currently South Sudan, 57.8 %, and Somalia, 33.6 %, with the remaining percent originating from various countries in the region including Democratic republic of Congo (6.5%), Ethiopia (5.6%), and Burundi (5.4%) among others
Data collection started on the 27th November of 2019 in Kakuma and 8th of December of 2019 in Kalobeyei settlement. The overall aim of this survey was to assess the general nutrition and health status of refugee population and formulate workable recommendations for appropriate nutritional and public health interventions.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
Children 0-23 months
Children 6-59 months
Women 15-49 years
- v2.1: Edited, anonymous dataset for licensed distribution.
Children 0-23 months: feeding practices
- Children 6-59 months: prevalence of acute malnutrition, underweight, stunting and anaemia, coverage of vit A supplementation, and prevalence of diarrhoea
- Women 15-49 years: prevalence of anaemia
- Households: food security
Health and Nutrition
Water Sanitation Hygiene
Kakuma Refugee Camp and Kalobeyei Refugee Settlement in Turkana County, Kenya
Children 0-59 months
Women 15-49 years
Producers and sponsors
A two-stage cluster survey with probability proportion to size sampling was employed in this survey.
Standardized Monitoring and Assessment of Relief and Transitions (SMART) methodology to collect and analyse data on child anthropometry and UNHCR's Standardised Expanded Nutrition Survey (SENS) Guidelines for Refugee Populations was used to guide data collection for other indicators.
The same households sampled by SMART were used in all indicators. Anaemia sample was drawn from the SMART sample size, as recommended by the UNHCR Standardised Expanded Nutrition Survey (SENS) Guidelines.
For each of the indicators used, households and individuals were sampled as follows:
- WASH: every household
- Food Security: every other household
- Mosquito net: every other household
- Children 0-59 months: all eligible children in all households were assessed (based on the above calculations)
- Women 15-49: all eligible women in every other household were assessed.
The sample size for children, 6-59 months, was calculated using ENA for SMART software (9th, July 2015) according to UNHCR SENS guidelines (version 2 (2013). The calculation was based on the expected prevalence of global acute malnutrition (GAM) in children, 6-59 months. A precision of 3.5; a design effect (DEFF) of 1.5 for Kakuma and 1 for Kalobeyei; an average household size of 6.6 in Kakuma and 5.2 in Kalobeyei; and, percentage of children under the age of five was estimated at 19.5% in Kakuma and 14.9% in Kalobeyei, using the UNHCR ProGres data, November 2019.
A two-stage cluster survey was conducted using the Standardized Monitoring and Assessment of Relief and Transitions (SMART) methodology to collect and analyse data on child anthropometry. Information on other indicators was collected and analysed using UNHCR's Standardised Expanded Nutrition Survey (SENS) Guidelines for Refugee Populations (Version 2 2013) (see www.sens.unhcr.org).
ENA for SMART selects the clusters (blocks), once done a team was sent to a block to label the households numerically with indelible pens. Population density varies across the blocks at Kakuma. If a block contained 100 households or less, all households in the block were marked. If a Block contained more than 100 households then the team walked around the block to identify a path that divided the block into approximately two halves. One portion of the block was selected randomly. In the selected segment of the block the team proceeded to number all households from the first to the last. If there was more than one household in a particular compound, this was indicated at the entrance of the compound (e.g. 2019 SENS HH1). The numbering and labelling was done two days prior to commencement of the survey.
If there was more than one household in a particular compound, this was indicated at the entrance of the compound (e.g. HH1-HH6). The numbering and labelling was done three days prior to commencement of the survey.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Face-to-face interview: Mobile
1) Children 6-59 months (SENS Modules 1-2): Anthropometric status, oedema, enrolment in selective feeding programmes and blanket feeding programmes (CSB++), immunisation (measles), vitamin A supplementation in last six months, de-worming, morbidity from diarrhoea in past two weeks, haemoglobin assessment.
2) Children 0-23 months (SENS Module 3): Questions on infant and young children feeding practices.
3) Women 15-49 years (SENS Module 2): Pregnancy status, coverage of iron-folic acid pills and post-natal vitamin A supplementation, MUAC measurements for pregnant and lactating women (PLW), and haemoglobin assessment for non-pregnant women.
4) Food Security (SENS Module 4): Access and use of the general food ration (GFR), coping mechanisms when the GFR ran out ahead of time and household food dietary diversity using the food consumption score.
UNHCR (2021). Kenya: SENS in Kakuma and Kalobeyei Refugee Camps 2019. Accessed from https://microdata.unhcr.org