The use of wealth ranking in nutrition surveys in Sudan

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This paper describes the use of wealth ranking as part of rapid nutritional assessments undertaken between 1988 and 1989 in Darfur, Sudan by an Oxfam nutrition team. The assessments combined two techniques; wealth ranking, a technique to show people's own perceptions of differences in wealth, and conventional weight-for-height measurements of child malnutrition. The objective was to establish whether it was the poorer families who were more likely to have malnourished children. Contrary to expectations, poor nutritional status did not correspond with low wealth status as percieved by the people themselves. It was found that malnourished children were present in both rich and poor families in the three communities surveyed. This suggests that targetting food to households on the basis of socio-economic data may in some cases be inaccurate and wasteful. Wealth ranking was considered by the survey team to be far quicker than household interviews in previous surveys.

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Useful for those interested in techniques of PRA in an applied context, predominantly relevant for those working in Sudan
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RRA notes
8 (January)
IIED, 3 Endsleigh Street, London WC1H ODD, UK

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