National Standardized Expanded Nutrition Survey (SENS) Consultancy, Dowa District, Malawi

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is offering a (SENS) Standardized Expanded Nutrition Survey Consultancy within the Malawi Operation in Dowa District.

The Consultant is expected to conduct UNHCR SENS and produce updated Anthropometry, Health, Anemia, IYCF, Food Security, and Mosquito net coverage indicators for refugees and asylum seekers in Dzaleka refugee camp and the surrounding host community in Dowa district and determine rightful coverage in accordance with UNHCR minimum standards.

UNHCR is a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights, and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities, and stateless people. Every year, millions of men, women, and children are forced to flee their homes to escape conflict and persecution. We are in over 125 countries, using our expertise to protect and care for millions.

  • Title: Standardized Expanded Nutrition Survey (SENS) Consultancy
  • Duty Station: Lilongwe, Malawi
  • Duration: Three Months
  • Contract Type: Local Individual Consultant
  • Closing date: 14 August 2021
  • Start date: 01 September 2021

Organizational context

Malawi hosts refugees and asylum-seekers mainly from the Great Lakes Region and the Horn of Africa in Dzaleka refugee camp. As of the end of June 2021; the total number of registered Persons of Concern (PoCs) with UNHCR in Malawi was 51,076 individuals, with 61.5% from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), 23.2% from Burundi, 14.7% from Rwanda and 0.6% from other countries namely Ethiopia and Somalia.

UNHCR Nutrition programmes rely on having good data from these challenging, unique environments, and regular nutrition surveys, undertaken at the household level, play a key role in how we are able to deliver effective and timely interventions to improve outcomes. The Standardized Expanded Nutrition Survey (SENS) is undertaken to assess the general health and nutrition status of refugees and asylum seekers in Dzaleka refugee camp and the surrounding host community in Dowa district. The last SENS survey was conducted in November 2016 where the GAM prevalence was 1% similar to the levels found in the previous two surveys conducted in 2012 and 2014. 34.8% of children aged 6 – 59 months are stunted, with 9.3% of children severely stunted.

World Food Programme (WFP) provides food assistance to refugees and asylum seekers in Dzaleka camp. Due to a constant funding challenge, 50% rations were provided from May 2019 until March 2020 when it was increased to 75%. This reduction in food ration compromises the food and nutrition security of the population. The dependence on food assistance amongst refugees and asylum seekers emanates from limited access to arable land or physical means of earning a living within the camp. This is further exacerbated by legal restrictions on refugees’ freedom of movement, right to employment including the COVID-19 pandemic.

The relatively old nutrition data coupled with the reduced food ration and impact of COVID-19 pandemic fuels the need for an updated data. There is a need to monitor the nutrition situation of refugees and asylum seekers in Dzaleka refugee camp.

The position

We are seeking a dynamic and proactive team player, a consultant will lead and oversee the UNHCR SENS process from planning, training, implementation of data collection, data quality checks, data analysis, report writing and presentation of findings.

S/he will produce updated Demographic, Anthropometry, Health, Anaemia, IYCF, Food Security, and mosquito net coverage indicators for Dzaleka Camp as per: –

Duties and responsibilities

Primary objectives

  1. To determine the demographic profile of the population.
  2. To determine the age dependency ratio.
  3. To measure the prevalence of acute malnutrition in children aged 6-59.
  4. To measure the prevalence of stunting in children aged 6-59 months.
  5. To determine the coverage of measles vaccination among children aged 9-59 months.
  6. To determine the coverage of vitamin A supplementation in the last 6 months among children aged 6-59 months.
  7. To determine the two-week period prevalence of diarrhea among children aged 6-59 months.
  8. To measure the prevalence of anaemia in children aged 6-59 months and in women of reproductive age between 15-49 years (non-pregnant).
  9. To investigate IYCF practices among children aged 0-23 months.
  10. To determine the population’s overall ability to meet their food needs with assistance.
  11. To determine the extent to which negative coping strategies are used by households.
  12. To assess household food consumption (quantity and quality).
  13. To determine the ownership of mosquito nets (all types and LLINs) in households.
  14. To determine the utilization of mosquito nets (all types and LLINs) by the total population, children 0-59 months and pregnant women.
  15. Include other additional objectives negotiated for the survey
  16. To establish recommendations on actions to be taken to address the situation in Dzaleka refugee camp.

Secondary objectives

  1. To determine the enrolment into the targeted supplementary (TSFP) and therapeutic (OTP/NRU) nutrition programmes for children aged 6-59 months.
  2. To determine the coverage of the blanket supplementary feeding programme for children aged 6-23/6-35/6-59 months.
  3. To determine the coverage of deworming (soil-transmitted helminth control) with mebendazole and/or albendazole in the last six months among young children.
  4. To determine the coverage of the blanket supplementary feeding programme (BSFP) for pregnant women and lactating women with an infant less than 6 months aged 15-49 years.
  5. To determine enrolment into Antenatal Care clinic and coverage of iron-folic acid supplementation in pregnant women.
  6. To determine the proportion of households in each of the targeting categories.
  7. To determine the population’s access to and use of cooking fuel.
  8. To determine the use of oral rehydration salt (ORS) and/or zinc during diarrhoea episodes in children aged 6-59 months.
  9. To determine the prevalence of MUAC malnutrition in women of reproductive age 15-49 years (include if all, pregnant and/or lactating women with an infant less than 6 months are measured).

Note: in addition to the above-mentioned objectives, the SENS consultant is advised to include the UNHCR nutrition and health team in Malawi actively in all of the process of SENS and train them / build their capacity.

Essential minimum qualifications and professional experience required

The candidate should:

• Have a university degree or the equivalent, with advanced education in nutrition, with a specific competency in humanitarian emergencies.

• Have significant experience in undertaking nutrition surveys (design and methodologies, staff recruitment and training, sample size calculation, sampling, field supervision and data analysis/write up).

• Be familiar with the SMART survey methodology and ENA for SMART, Epi Info software.

• Be familiar with analyzing nutrition surveys with multiple indicators, beyond the basic anthropometric (SMART) indicators.

• Be fluent in English with excellent writing and presentation skills.

• Have prior experience with conducting SENS surveys in refugee contexts is an asset.

• Have prior experience with conducting surveys using Open Data Kit Collect application and mobile technology is an asset.

• Completion of SENS version 3 and mobile data collection tools webinars is an asset.


• Be a resident in Malawi (preferably)


The successful candidate will be based with the team in Dowa, Malawi.


The Consultancy is for three months and the start date is 01 September 2021. It is a full-time role with working hours starting from 8.00 am to 4.30 pm Monday to Thursday and Friday 8.00 am to 2.00 pm (40 hours per week).

How to apply

To learn more and apply, please visit

The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Please note that UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, travelling, processing, training or any other fees).

Closing date of applications: 14 August 2021

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