The protracted humanitarian crisis in Western and Northern Bahr el Ghazal (W and NBeG) States continued into the second and third quarters of 2020 (April - September). Persistent climatic shocks combined with insecurity, displacement and high market prices related to COVID-19 have led to a particularly difficult lean season due to the destruction of crops and the inability to cultivate. As a result, communities were found to commonly rely on severe coping mechanisms, further compounding already difficult health and WASH-related challenges during the second and third quarters of 2020.
To inform humanitarian actors working outside of formal settlements, REACH has conducted assessments of hard-to-reach areas of South Sudan since 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 this data to analyse changes in observed humanitarian needs across W and NBeG in the second and third quarters of 2020.
To provide an indicative overview of the situation in hard-to-reach areas of Western Bahr el Ghazal State and Northern Bahr el Ghazal 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 protection of civilians (PoC) site, collective centres, and through phone calling throughout the reporting period. 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 payam2 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 Northern Bahr el Ghazal State and Western Bahr el Ghazal State took place throughout April - September 2020.
More details of the methodology can be found in the AoK ToRs