|Field Guide on Rapid Nutritional Assessment in Emergencies (WHO - OMS, 1995, 70 p.)|
Information on nutritional status will be of practical use only within the framework of the general situation in the country or region in which the emergency occurs. Existing knowledge on demography, mortality and morbidity, previous nutritional status, the socioeconomic situation, administrative structure, communications, etc., should be collected before embarking on a rapid assessment of nutritional status. This will permit an action-oriented selection of the study population and the planning of appropriate relief, which may not be limited to nutrition. Cooperation with other departments and ministries at an early stage is therefore essential.
Recent data on mortality are especially important for the interpretation of nutritional status and, if they are not available, they may be collected at the time of the nutrition survey.
The population to be assessed may be moving or living in camps, towns or villages, or dispersed in a rural environment. This will have important bearings on the design of the survey and the use of the results. Based on geographic information and available time, decisions will have to be made on the number and composition of survey teams. The type and number of trained, partially trained, or untrained personnel available will determine the amount of training needed, and the necessary equipment and transport. Such decisions depend in part on the sample design, which may in turn be constrained by the available resources.
The following checklist is meant to assist in the planning of a survey. Since this field guide is designed to help in making the necessary decisions, the relevant chapters are indicated against corresponding items.
CHECKLIST FOR PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTING A SURVEY
1. Which population is to be assessed (country, region, ethnic group, etc.)?
2. What is the smallest unit to be assessed (camp, village, district)?
3. Is there a need to analyse subgroups (by sex, age, ethnicity)?
4. Which sampling methods will be used (systematic, cluster)? See Chapter 4
5. Which age groups (6-59 months, 60-100 cm, 60-110 cm)? See Chapter 3
6. What will be the sample size? See Chapter 4
7. Which indicators will be used (weight-for-height, oedema)? See Chapter 5
8. What personnel, equipment, transport, number of teams, and resources will be needed? See Annex 7
9. Workload: how many children (clusters) per day per team?
Are the available resources sufficient to carry out the survey as planned so far? If not, review steps 1-9
10. Has a training schedule for field workers been prepared? See Chapter 7
11. Who will conduct the training? Where?
12. Who will supervise the teams during the survey?
13. Will data be analysed by hand and/or by computer? See Chapter 8
14. Are computers and operators available?
15. Who is responsible for the logistics (e.g. transport, equipment, accommodation, information for target population, etc.)?
16. Who is responsible for report writing and interpretation of findings (who is the target audience, what is the target date, etc.)? See Chapter 9
17. Who is responsible for taking action on the reports findings?