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 in collaboration with AHA, IRC and WFP carried out the nutrition survey in Pamir and Ajoung Thok refugee camps from 21 to 31 October 2019. Pamir and Ajoung Thok are the official refugee camps in Pariang County, Unity State. No nutrition survey was carried out in Yida as comprehensive services were not provided in 2019 considering its exit strategy. Refugees from Yida continue to be relocated to Pamir and
Ajoung Thok refugee camps. The overall aim of the survey was to assess the nutrition situation among the refugee population and to monitor ongoing programme interventions. In each of the camps a cross- sectional survey was conducted using the UNHCR Standardised Expanded Nutrition Survey (SENS) version 2, 2013 guidelines (http://sens.unhcr.org/) and the Standardised Monitoring and Assessments of Relief and Transitions (SMART) guidelines (https://smartmethodology.org/). Systematic random sampling was used to identify the survey respondents.
The surveys had a total of 4 modules consisting of 3 individual level and 1 household level questionnaires following UNHCR SENS guidelines version 2, 2013. The modules included:
1. Anthropometry and health targeting all children aged 6 to 59 months in all the sampled households;
2. Anaemia targeting all children aged 6 to 59 months in all the sampled households and all non-pregnant women aged 15 to 49 years in every other sampled household,
3. Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) targeting all children aged 0 to 23 months in all the sampled households;
4. Food security targeting every other sampled household.
The Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) and mosquito net coverage modules were not carried out. This is because there is a WASH monitoring system in place and WASH Knowledge Attitude and Practices (KAP) assessment was conducted within the same month as the nutrition survey. Information on mosquito net coverage was carried out within the year in Pamir and Ajoung Thok in a separate partner assessment. The Emergency Nutrition Assessment (ENA) software version July 9th, 2015 was used to calculate the sample sizes of children and households for participating in the survey.
A total of six survey teams composed of four members each (one team leader, one hemoglobin measurer, one anthropometric measurer/translator and one hemoglobin/anthropometric measurement assistant) were included in each survey. A standardized training lasting five days, which included a standardization test was provided. Data collection lasted eight days from 21-31 October with a two days break on the 26 and 27 October 2019. The survey teams were supported by a team of 5 supervisors and 3 coordinators who roved between the teams during the data collection.
Mobile phone questionnaires using Open Data Kit (ODK) android software was used for data collection for the four modules of SENS. Data validation was carried out daily by the survey coordinator and supervisors. This facilitated daily feedback to the survey teams. Data analysis used ENA for SMART July 9th, 2015 version for anthropometricindices and Epi info version 7 for the rest of the indicators.
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
Pamir and Ajoung Thok refugee locations in Pariang County of South Sudan’s Unity State
Children 0-59 months
Women 15-49 years
Producers and sponsors
Systematic random sampling was used to identify the survey respondents. Houses/tents were physically labelled with unique numbers per zone/block/compound in each camp. To reduce the non-response rate and ensure results were representative of people living in the camps at the time of the survey, empty shelters as verified through neighbours were labelled but not included in the sampling frame. The sampling interval per camp was calculated based on actual number of houses/tents that were physically verified before the survey and the sample size. Using the list generated from the physical counting and labelling of houses/tents in the camps, a sampling interval for each camp was determined by dividing the total number of verified tents/houses by the estimated sample. The first household was thereafter determined randomly using the lottery method by drawing a random number within the sampling interval. The interval was applied across the sampling frame to generate a list of households to be surveyed in the field. Each team was provided with a list of households to be surveyed daily. All the eligible household members were included in the survey; that is all children 6 to 59 months and women 15 to 49 years in a sampled household. The interview was conducted in most cases with the mother in the household or in her absence with an adult member of the household who was knowledgeable with the everyday running of the household. The survey defined a household as the number of people who regularly stay together and eat from the same pot.
In the event of an absent household or individual, the team members returned to the household during the day. If the household or individual was not found after returning, the household or individual was counted as an absentee and was not replaced. If an individual or household refused to participate, it was considered a refusal and the individual or household was not replaced with another. If a selected child was disabled with a physical deformity preventing certain anthropometric measurements, the child was still included in the assessment for the relevant indicators. If it was determined that a selected household did not have any eligible children, the relevant questionnaires were administered to the household.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Face-to-face interview: Mobile
Data Collection Notes
A household was defined as: a group of people who live together and routinely eat out of the
same pot. Where two families share the same pot, they were assessed as one household even if
they lived in the same compound.
Children 6-59 months- This included questions and measurements of children aged 6-59 months. Information was collected on anthropometric status, oedema, and enrolment in selective feeding programmes, immunisation (measles), vitamin A supplementation and morbidity from diarrhoea in past two weeks before the survey and haemoglobin status.
Infant 0-23 months- This included question on infant and young child feeding for children aged 0- 23 months.
Women 15-49 years- This included questions and measurements of women aged 15 - 49 years. Information was collected on women's pregnancy status, coverage of iron-folic acid pills and ANC attendance for pregnant women, and haemoglobin status for non-pregnant women.
Food Security- This included questions on access and use of the GFD ration, negative coping mechanisms used by household members and household dietary diversity.
UNHCR (2021). South Sudan: SENS in Jamjang Refugee Camps 2019. Accessed from https://microdata.unhcr.org