Other Nutrition Survey Manuals

Survey Literature

Bilukha O., 2008. Old and new cluster designs in emergency field surveys: in search of a one-fits-all solution.

UNHCR & CDC, November 2007. Fact Sheet on Nutrition Surveys.

Degomme O. & Guha-Sapir D., 2007. Mortality and nutrition surveys by Non-Governmental organisations. Perspectives from the CE-DAT database.

Grais R.F. et al., 2007. Don’t spin the pen: two alternative methods for second-stage sampling in urban cluster surveys.

Prudhon C. & Spiegel P.B., 2007. A review of methodology and analysis of nutrition and mortality surveys conducted in humanitarian emergencies from October 1993 to April 2004.

Spiegel P.B., 2007. Who should be undertaking population-based surveys in humanitarian emergencies?

Young H. & Jaspars S., 2006. The meaning and measurement of acute malnutrition in emergencies: A primer for decision-makers.

Reinhard K. et al., 2006. Using design effects from previous cluster surveys to guide sample size calculation in emergency settings.


References on Anthropometry

WHO, 2006. WHO standards 2006.

WHO, 1995. Physical Status: the use and interpretation of anthropometry: report of a WHO expert committee.

Cogill, Bruce, 2003. Anthropometric Indicators Measurements Guide.


Humanitarian Assessment, Monitoring and Evaluation

Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit - Somalia
The Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit- Somalia (FSNAU) seeks to provide evidence-based analysis of Somali food, nutrition and livelihood security to enable both short-term emergency responses and long-term strategic planning to promote food and livelihood security for Somali people.

FANTA-2 Project: Monitoring and Evaluation Methods
This site includes a number of protocols, manuals and links supporting monitoring and evaluation methods for food aid and nutrition program evaluation and population needs assessments



Management of Humanitarian Information

Global Nutrition Cluster

A number of gaps and opportunities or focus areas have been identified by the Nutrition Cluster partners and the strategic opportunity lies in ensuring the right information gets to the right people in a timely and accessible manner. The four focus areas for the Nutrition Cluster are strategic and are not meant to be exhaustive and include a) coordination, b) capacity building, c) emergency preparedness, assessment, monitoring, surveillance, and c) supply.

Prevention Web
PreventionWeb serves the information needs of the disaster risk reduction community, including the development of information exchange tools to facilitate collaboration. Information regarding the design and development of projects together with background documentation can be accessed here along with some services that have been put in place.

ReliefWeb is a project of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).


The Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action (ALNAP) is an international interagency forum.

Emergency Nutrition Network

The ENN was set up in 1996 by an international group of humanitarian agencies to accelerate learning and strengthen institutional memory in the emergency food and nutrition sector. The ENNs flagship publication, Field Exchange, was developed as the main means of achieving this.

Humanitarian Practice Network

HPN is an independent forum for humanitarians to share and disseminate information, analysis and experience.




Evidence for Development

EvD works to alleviate poverty by tackling long-standing shortcomings in the design of international development policy. EvD has developed economic models and analytic tools that provide new insights into intricate and often fragile local economies. These can be used to detail, with precision, the risks behind each investment decision and development policy or programme and to measure the results of development efforts. The tools have been designed to achieve better returns on investments to reduce poverty; to predict and thereby to prevent economic disasters including famine; and to promote accountability by providing a more rigorous basis for evaluation.



Survey Depositories

Complex Emergency Database (CE-DAT)

CE-DAT is an international initiative that monitors and evaluates the health status of populations affected by complex emergencies. Managed by the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), it was created in 2003 as an outcome of SMART. CE-DAT is a database of mortality and malnutrition rates with over 2,000 surveys and 20,000 health indicators. Today, it serves as a unique source of field data for monitoring the health status of conflict-affected populations and for the production of trend analyses, impact briefings and policy recommendations.

Nutrition Information in Crisis Situations (NICS)

NICS is a survey results database with the outcomes of various nutrition and mortality surveys. All survey reports are checked for methodology and results.  Only those surveys which correspond to specific criteria are included in the database.

Anthropometry References

WHO, 2006. WHO standards 2006.
WHO, 1995. Physical Status: the use and interpretation of anthropometry: report of a WHO expert committee.
Cogill, Bruce, 2003. Anthropometric Indicators Measurements Guide.

Recommended Survey Equipment

Q: What type of equipment is recommended for anthropometric measurements during a survey?

To measure weight, you may use an electronic scale (e.g. UNISCALE), as it gives more accurate measurements. When electronic scales are not available, the Salter scales (a 25kg hanging scale marked out in increments of 0.1 kg) are a correct alternative. When using an electronic scale, you must ensure that the surface on which you place the scale is flat by placing, for example, a small wooden board on the ground. The wooden board need not be large; however it needs to be large enough to support the electronic scale and the child. 

Description : Calibrating scale

To measure length/height, it is preferable to use wooden measuring boards as opposed to aluminum boards which can get very hot in the sun and burn children. The measuring board should be at least 130 cm long and made of hardwood with a hard water-resistant finish. Choice of woods is important. The board should be light enough to be easily carried in the field from house to house. The board should have two tape measures attached to it, one on each side, and they should be marked out in 0.1cm increments. The board should be easily set upright to measure height with the head piece of the length board becoming the base when the board is set upright.

You may refer to the SMART manual for more details on the recommended measuring equipment. Through the forum on this site, we encourage that you share with other users the contact information of suppliers/manufacturers you recommend in your regions for purchasing good quality measuring equipment. You will find below the contact information of suppliers where good quality equipment can be purchased:

SMART Methodology - 2012