2020 Sudan Multi-sector needs assessment: Briefing, 19 February 2021


This year marked the launch of the first Sudan multi-sector needs assessment (MSNA). This MSNA was a coordinated effort by the humanitarian community, and data collection ran from August to November 2020. Preliminary results were presented to the humanitarian sectors and Intersectoral Coordination Group (ISCG) between 2 and 15 December, in order to collect feedback on the data and better contextualize the results.


The MSNA seeks to understand multi-sectoral priority humanitarian needs of populations and localities across the whole of Sudan. The findings intend to provide timely updates on key sectoral and intersectoral needs and priorities in order to inform humanitarian response and strategic programming for non-displaced, internally displaced person (IDP) and refugee households. The 2020 MSNA also aims to inform the 2021 Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) and the 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP).


The 2020 Sudan MSNA process was led by the ISCG and coordinated by the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), with the technical support of REACH and the National Assessment Task Team (NATT). The MSNA has had a joint and collaborative design and analysis, with data collection conducted by 30 humanitarian partners.

The MSNA was funded by USAID’s BHA and the Sudan Humanitarian Fund.

Scope, Coverage and Methodology

The 2020 Sudan MSNA covered 184 localities1 in all 18 states, plus Abyei PCA. Targeted populations were the nondisplaced, IDPs and refugees. Sectors included were Food Security and Livelihoods, Health, Nutrition, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Emergency Shelter and Non-Food Items (NFIs), Protection (including all sub-sectors) and Education, with an additional module on Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP).

Data was collected between 16 August and 26 November using a mixed-methods approach, with a combination of household surveys and Area of Knowledge Key Informant Interviews (AoK KIIs). In order to reduce COVID-19-related risks, data collection was conducted over the phone wherever possible, and with all reasonable precautions when done face-toface. In total, the final dataset includes 13,769 household surveys and 196 AoK KIIs. For each stratum (population group in a specific locality) the data collection target was determined proportionally, based on population size.3 Furthermore, snowball sampling was used to identify survey respondents. In addition, primary data was supplemented by a Secondary Data Review (SDR).

Data collection for the 2020 MSNA faced a number of limitations. Firstly, respondents were selected via non-probability sampling methods. Therefore results are indicative only and the results of household surveys cannot be directly compared with the results from AoK KIIs. Secondly, in terms of coverage, not all strata were completely covered—only 32% of the original refugee strata were covered, meaning refugees are under-represented in the final sample. Thirdly, access, due to security, flooding, and COVID-19, resulted in certain areas not being included and the reliance on phone-based data collection.