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.
The 2017 annual Standardised Expanded Nutrition Survey (SENS) at the Kakuma Refugee Camps was conducted from 22nd November to 3rd December 2017. It was coordinated by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) with support from World Food Programme (WFP), International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Kenya Red Cross (KRC). The survey used SMART methodology and UNHCR SENS guidelines version 2 (2013) for implementation. While previous surveys indicated a steady decline in GAM prevalence between April 2010 and November 2014.
There was a considerable increase in GAM prevalence in Kakuma from November 2015 and 2016. Though the difference was not statistically significant. However, in 2017 there has been a significant reduction in GAM prevalence in both Kakuma and Kalobeyei. There has also been a significant change in stunting for Kalobeyei, the same reduction was observed for Kakuma where stunting prevalence has reduced to below the 40% threshold of public health significance. Anaemia in children 6-59 months remains above the 40% threshold of public health significance for both survey areas but anaemia in women, 15-59 years was below 40%. A slight increase was observed in Kakuma while a reduction was observed in Kalobeyei. The November 2017 survey also shows an improvement in Vitamin A supplementation coverage, and water availability. Mosquito net ownership reduced for Kakuma and increased slightly in Kalobeyei. Mosquito net coverage for Kalobeyei remains far below the recommended 80% UNHCR target.
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, WASH
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 2017. Accessed from https://microdata.unhcr.org