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Need for standard nutrition surveys in emergency interventions

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Anonymous 269

Nutritionist

Normal user

8 Jun 2010, 21:54

Is a standard nutrition survey an absolute neccessity at entry and/or exit of emergency nutrition interventions? If so what about the impact on timeliness in short term interventions?

Anonymous 310

Normal user

9 Jun 2010, 10:20

Standard nutrition survey (SNS) is mainly planned to examine and characterize the situation prior to an intervention. This will help humanitarian actors and decision makers in prioritizing areas of interventions to allocate the SCARCE RESOURCES, targeting beneficiaries, deciding intervention types and its duration and indicates future areas of interventions. SNS not only determines what the situation is, but also to understand the causes and what opportunities and risks might affect efforts to change the situation. In some circumstances, emergency nutrition intervention programs can be established based on key indicators, such as acute water shortage, complete failure of rainfall and production, animal/human disease outbreak (observe physically dead animals), etc. Still, it should be noted that SNS need to be conducted while intervention going on as a baseline reference for future monitoring and evaluation, and to identify populations and sub-populations with increased needs.

In countries like Ethiopia where vast majority of districts are chronically food insecure with unmet needs and gaps in service delivery, it is essential to prioritize the limited resource available in areas that are in utmost needs. SNS provides a basis for decision on priority needs and trigger optimal program response.

It is also appropriate to mention that the extent of the humanitarian crisis should be assessed following the emergency nutrition intervention program in order to make a decision to exit or extend the program response even if the program duration is short (4-6 months most emergency programs). This is important since all programs doesn't necessary mitigate the crisis during the program duration for various reasons.

In conclusion, SNS is highly recommended in order to make appropriate decisions to enter and/or exit an emergency program. Decisions that are made based on assumptions and unjustified conclusion will end up in allocating scarce resources in unprioritized areas and selection of inappropriate programs only to discover the consequences after implementation.

Thanks,

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