By collecting all this data, the SENS gives us a detailed snapshot of the nutritional health of a refugee population at given point in time.
In refugee contexts, there are often limited opportunities to conduct household surveys other than nutrition surveys. Hence the nutrition survey is an opportunity to collect other types of key data needed for programme planning and improvement. When developing the SENS, UNHCR collaborated with health, food security, WASH and nutrition experts in several fields, and included key elements of other types of internationally recognised household survey methods.
While its data cannot tell us everything about the conditions of a population, the SENS is an essential piece of the puzzle in determining what type of assistance is needed, and whether or not previous assistance was effective. Also, collecting the data annually means we are able to monitor the health and progress of a refugee population. Therefore, conducting a SENS nutrition survey yearly is crucial in shaping programmes in refugee contexts, and we recommend the SENS to be built into country budgets on an annual basis.