The objectives of nutrition surveys could be summarized as follows:-
a) Planning - Use of data to plan resource requirements for the coming planning period. This objective is possible to achieve with data from one survey.
b) Management- use of data to review the impact of interventions on objectives and to adjust priorities and interventions to optimize impacts. This requires a trend analysis of selected indictors, programme and causal factors, to measure progress. This objective requires several surveys to establish trends.
Many questions have been asked in regard to the utility of nutrition surveys. These could be summarized in statements such as “we have been doing all food security and nutrition but are not getting better fast and the survey recommendations are always the same”. CHC hypothesis is that oft repeated observation is a result of a lack of clarity of the objectives of regular cross-sectional surveys resulting in generally good quality results being summarized in the survey discussion and recommendations in such a way as to appear generic, and repetitive, survey after survey.
To test this hypothesis and as part of an assignment for UNICEF-Uganda aimed at reviewing the Nutrition Information System in Karamoja, CHC looked at recommendations made in 11 nutritional surveys conducted by various actors in Karamoja between January 2010 and June 2014. The main findings and recommendations are summarized below.
CHC will seek to analyze more surveys to expand on this subject so watch this space……