UNHCR SENS is based on the internationally-recognised Standardised Monitoring and Assessment of Relief and Transitions (SMART) Methodology for survey design and anthropometric assessments, and adapted to the specific requirements of refugee settings. A SMART survey usually includes limited additional indicators and mainly focuses on anthropometry and mortality, while a SENS survey includes additional indicators.
Refugee settings, especially in camps, differ from “normal” settings in a number of ways, including the provision of monthly food assistance (in-kind or cash based), free primary health care services, proximity to health centres, proximity to water collection points, and free distribution of mosquito nets, but often limited livelihood opportunities as well as limited access to other diversified food sources than the general food ration.
The SENS is specifically designed to consider the factors that are most relevant to refugees. Experts using internationally recognised methods have designed each component, which present key data related to refugees’ living conditions.
Therefore, a SENS measures not only nutritional status data but also measures relevant other data related to household composition, anaemia, measles vaccination, vitamin A supplementation, diarrhoea and other health-related indicators, infant and young child feeding practices, food availability, drinking water, hygiene, latrine usage and mosquito nets at the household-level.