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Alternative software for ENA SMART software

This question was posted the Assessment and Surveillance forum area and has 3 replies.

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Joseph Duduka

Nutrition Field Monitor

Normal user

7 Dec 2019, 07:08

Dear Members

Is there an alternative software to ENA SMART software that does similair analyses?

Thank you

Merry

Normal user

9 Dec 2019, 13:17

WHO has free software based on their standards and recommended methodologies.  They also have macros for using in STATA and R.  There is a macro for SPSS, but it's not as up to date.

https://www.who.int/childgrowth/software/en/

Hope this helps,

Merry

Bradley A. Woodruff

Self-employed

Technical expert

10 Dec 2019, 01:25

Dear Joseph:

Other than the calculation of Z-scores, analysis of anthropometric indices uses standard epidemiologic techniques. Therefore, any statistics software can be used to analyze such results. In fact, I think the kind of black box analysis offered by ENA and WHO Anthro should be discouraged. Although such software may be very easy to use, it is, in and of itself, insufficient for complete analysis of nutrition survey results. For example, survey organizers may be interested in deriving estimates of nutritional indicators for subgroups not included in these software packages. In addition, the standard measures of data quality provided by such software packages are not by any means exhaustive. And most importantly, these packages produce a set of results without requiring intimate knowledge or critical evaluation of the survey data. For these reasons, I believe all but the most emergent rapid assessment surveys should be done under the supervision of someone with training and experience in survey epidemiology and statistics who can ensure, during all phases of survey implementation, that bias is minimized and that the findings will sufficiently answer the practical program-oriented questions of those who will use the results.

Mark Myatt

Consultamt Epidemiologist

Normal user

11 Dec 2019, 11:38

ENA for SMART offers a comprehensive set of analyses but is restricted to SMART type surveys. I think it works well for most people. Components such as calculating z-scores (e.g. HAZ, HAZ, WAZ) can be done using other software such as STATA or R. The WHO provide a set of "macros" for a wide range of software (R, STATA, SAS, SPSS) and their. Some of these "macros" will do a complete survey analysis report (as does ENA for SMART). They also have standalone tools such as as WHO Anthro and web-based tools such as the WHO Anthro Survey Analyser for calculating z-scores and making survey reports like ENA. Tools for sample design are available but are not usually as closely aligned to SMART designs as ENA fro SMART is. An R library, developed for NIPN, is available that provides equivalent functions to those used in ENA's data quality assessment tools. Analysis of survey data needs to account for the sample design. ENA does this for SMART designs. STATA, SAS, SPSS, and R have functions / libraries for analysing data from complex sample surveys but these can be complicated to use. I doubt that there is a single tool that covers all of what ENA for SMART provides as an "out of the box" solution. I use R and R-AnalyticFlow for most data analysis. I used to use the older MSDOS EpiInfo for working with nutritional anthropometry survey data. Newer versions of EpiInfo provide useful tools for working with nutritional anthropometry survey data.

I agree with Woody that the "black box" tools may not provide what you want. They do a good job for a SMART survey because it is a standardised approach with a standard analysis and report but the analysis is limited. Once you move away from standard SMART you will need to use a statistical packed and that may require considerable espertise to use well.

I hope this is of some use.

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