Global Nutrition Cluster


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This page provides tools related to nutrition assessments in emergency situations. The information that assessments generate provide a critical foundation for planning, delivering and monitoring the Nutrition Cluster response. They are the tools for generating a clear picture of the pre-crisis situation, including vulnerabilities and nutrition outcomes, as well as in-crisis information that outlines the scale of the impact of the emergency and those that are affected. Assessments are also critical to guide the Nutrition Cluster response as the emergency progresses.


SPHERE Standards for Food Security & Nutrition Assessments. Assessment checklists are provided for food security and livelihoods assessment, seed security assessment and nutrition assessment checklist. The two food security and nutrition assessment standards follow on from Core Standard 3 and both apply wherever food security and nutrition interventions are planned or are advocated.

Coordinated assessments

At the end of 2012 Coordinated Assessment Information Portal was launched by OCHA to reflect the work of the IASC on coordinated assessments. The portal aims to assist agencies to better share data and planning. The IASC Operational Guidance on Coordinated Assessments in Humanitarian Crises lays out a proposed structure for coordination, while the IASC Multi-Cluster/Sector Initial Rapid Assessment Approach (MIRA) sets out a methodology for joint assessment. The MIRA must be adapted to each specific context, which gives the countries greater ownership to the approach. Both the MIRA and the Operational Guidance have been integrated into the Transformative Agenda so during a large scale L3 Emergency MIRA should be activated, and there should be capacity within clusters and OCHA to conduct a rapid assessment. 

Together with upcoming events, humanitarian dashboard, MIRA reports, training materials and lessons learned, the portal contains the last versions of the following key documents:

  • Operational Guidance on Coordinated Assessments in Humanitarian Crises;
  • MIRA Manual, MIRA Report Template, MIRA Framework;
  • Preliminary Scenario Definition Template;
  • Humanitarian Dashboard Template;
  • Common Operational Datasets Website and Guidance;
  • Operational Guidance on Information Management;
  • Contingency Planning Guidelines.

Multi Cluster/Sector Initial Rapid Assessment (MIRA), IASC, Provisional Version March 2012 [pdf]
The Multi-Cluster/Sector Initial Rapid Assessment (MIRA) is designed to identify strategic humanitarian priorities during the first weeks following an emergency. The main benefit of the MIRA is the elaboration, from the onset of the crisis, of a concerted operational picture based on the best information available from primary and secondary sources. The manual is 20-pages long and comes with an additional five annexes providing supporting information.

Note: The guidance is currently under revision by IASC.

Operational Guidance for Coordinated Assessments in Humanitarian Crisis, IASC, Provisional Version, March 2012 [pdf]
The Operational Guidance focuses on how to enhance preparedness and to coordinate assessments. It is designed to help users facilitate intra- and inter-cluster consensus on a common assessment approach, including roles and responsibilities of stakeholders;  understand the importance of adequate preparedness for quality and timely coordinated assessments; achieve a common understanding of the underlying standards and principles that apply to coordinated assessments; anticipate common obstacles associated with coordinating assessments by highlighting required key actions.

Note: The guidance is currently under revision by IASC.

Examples of MIRA questionnaires with nutrition questions from countries:

  • Kenya (KIRA): version 1, guidance note and questionnaire [pdf]; version 2 is under revision [link];
  • Nepal: questionnaire [pdf], guidance note [pdf];
  • Pakistan: full tool [pdf];
  • South Sudan (IRNA): questionnaire [doc], reporting format [doc];
  • Yemen: proposed nutrition questionnaire [doc].

If you want to submit MIRA adaptation at your country to be uploaded to the website, please send an email to

Initial Rapid Assessment (IRA) tool

The multi-sectoral Initial Rapid Assessment (IRA) tool was developed by the IASC Global Health, Nutrition and WASH Clusters from 2006-2009. It aims to enable faster and better multi-sector rapid assessment in the first few days of a sudden-onset crisis in order to guide the initial planning of urgent humanitarian interventions, identify needs for follow up assessments and inform initial funding
Field Assessment Form [pdf], Data Entry Tool [xls], Feedback Questionnaire [pdf]

Nutrition Initial Rapid Assessment tools: examples from countries

  • Ethiopia: Guiding principles for rapid nutrition assessments [pdf]
  • Somalia: Nutrition rapid assessment questionnaire [pdf]; DRAFT full version of assessment: key informant questionnaire[pdf] and household questionnaire[pdf]
  • South Sudan: Nutrition Cluster Guidance Note: Emergency nutrition interventions and initial rapid nutrition assessment [doc]

SMART (Standardized Monitoring and Assessment of Relief and Transitions)

SMART (Standardized Monitoring and Assessment of Relief and Transitions) is an inter-agency initiative launched in 2002 by a network of organizations and humanitarian practitioners. These indicators are useful for prioritizing resources as well as for monitoring the extent to which the relief system is meeting the needs of the population, and therefore the overall impact of relief response. SMART Methodology is an improved survey method for the assessment of severity of a humanitarian crisis based on the two most vital public health indicators: nutritional status of children under-five and mortality rate of the population.

SMART ensures that consistent and reliable survey data is collected and analyzed using a single standardized methodology. It provides technical capacity for decision-making and reporting, and comprehensive support for strategic and sustained capacity building.

Nutrition surveys using SMART methodology can be conducted to assess the severity of a situation. These surveys measure acute malnutrition of the whole population via estimates of:

  • Prevalence of Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) in children aged 6-59 months.
  • Crude mortality rate (CMR) in a given population over a specific period of time.
  • Food security assessments, which are used to understand and interpret nutritional and mortality survey data.


Emergency Nutrition Assessment (ENA) Software
ENA for SMART focuses on analysis for Emergency Nutrition Assessments. It is user-friendly and easy to use and includes automatic reporting facilities.

Epi Info Software
Epi Info contains a module for making questionnaires and has much more sophisticated statistical functions than ENA for SMART. Therefore software which combines the advantages of both systems was developed called ENA/EpiInfo. Epi Info; ENA/EpiInfo

WHO Anthro
This software allows for both individual and population based estimates of child nutritional status. Among its special features are graphical displays, standard analysis of results as well as correction for cluster sampling. WHO also provides macros which enable the use of WHO standards with SAS, S-Plus, SPSS and STATA. There are also language options for Chinese, Russian, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

This spreadsheet application is used for planning, calculating and monitoring the nutritional value of food aid. There are three main components of the tool: the food and nutrient database and calculator both aid in selection of products and the calculation of nutrient content of the food aid ration; the on-site distribution monitoring sheet assists with collecting and analysing distribution monitoring data.


Household Economy Approach & Cost of the Diet website: This web resource hosts over 200 Household Economy Approach (HEA) and 18 Cost of the Diet (CoD) reports produced by numerous organisations since 2005. These reports provide much needed information on aspects of food security, livelihoods and nutrition in over 30 countries that are not publicly available. Vital information such as this should be easily accessible to inform improved decision-making for policy and programmes.  It is the most up-to-date and comprehensive global resource for these innovative tools. The aim of this website is to bring HEA and CoD practitioners together by sharing reports, guidance, experience, and training opportunities. For more information about these tools, please see below. This website has been developed by Save the Children with support from the Food Economy Group (FEG) and with funding from ECHO.   



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