South Sudan

Humanitarian Situation Monitoring, Upper Nile State, South Sudan (Quarter Two and Three, April - September 2020)

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Humanitarian needs generally seem to have increased across Upper Nile State (UNS) over the reporting period. Ongoing inter-communal violence in Ulang and Nasir in south-eastern UNS led to displacement, food insecurity and protection concerns. Elsewhere within UNS flooding, economic instability and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic have caused a broad increase in humanitarian needs across the state.

To inform humanitarian actors working outside formal settlement sites, REACH has conducted assessments of hard-to-reach areas in South Sudan since December 2015. Data is collected on a monthly basis through interviews with key informants (KIs) with knowledge of a settlement and triangulated with focus group discussions (FGDs). This situation overview uses data to analyse changes in observed humanitarian needs across UNS between April and September 2020.


To provide an indicative overview of the situation in hard-to-reach areas of Upper Nile State, REACH conducts interviews with key informants (KIs) who have recently arrived from, recently visited, or receive regular information from a settlement or “Area of Knowledge” (AoK). These interviews were conducted in the Malakal Protection of Civilians (PoC) site and Renk town in UNS throughout the reporting period of April to September 2020. Findings should be considered indicative only of the situation in assessed settlements.

In-depth interviews on humanitarian needs were conducted on a monthly basis using a structured survey tool. After data collection was completed, all data was aggregated at settlement level, and settlements were assigned the modal or most credible response. When no consensus was found for a settlement, that settlement was not included in reporting.

Only counties with interview coverage of at least 5% of all settlements in a given month were included in the analysis. Due to access and operational constraints, the specific settlements assessed within each county each month may vary. In order to reduce the likelihood that variations in data are attributable to coverage differences, over time analyses were only conducted for counties with at least 70% consistent payam coverage over the period. Quantitative findings were triangulated with focus group discussions (FGDs) and secondary sources. FGDs with people displaced from hard-to-reach areas in Upper Nile State were suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resumed in September 2020. More details of the methodology can be found in the AoK ToR.