We are Elrha, a force for change in the humanitarian community. The research and innovation we support equips the humanitarian community with the knowledge of what works, so people affected by crises get the right help when they need it most.
Our purpose is clear: to empower the humanitarian community to improve humanitarian response. We make this happen by supporting and championing the outcomes of robust research and proven innovations.
We empower the humanitarian community. Find out how we can support you...
iACT Executive Manager of Impact and iACT refugee Project Coordinator, working together to register children and their caregivers for the Little Ripples assessment. Photo Cred: Sara-Christine Dallain, iACT, October 2018.

When planning our Little Ripples survey assessment with children and their caregivers in refugee camps Mile and Kounoungou, eastern Chad, this past October, I expected to encounter some challenges in completing our assessment. Challenges around recruiting families, organising the assessment location and space in each camp, and ensuring we had enough days and hours to complete as many interviews as we needed. However, as it turned out, the challenges of recruiting families and completing interviews were not solely logistical. They were closely tied to the reality of many refugee families’ daily lives.

Jesuit Refugee Service education staff, Rosine and Ana, helping coordinate the Little Ripples assessment process in camp Kounoungou. Photo Cred: Sara-Christine Dallain, iACT, October 2018.

In February-March 2018, iACT and JRS completed the baseline survey assessment of children ages three to five in Darfuri refugee camps Kounoungou and Mile, which are in eastern Chad near the Chad-Sudan border. In total, we captured the data of 90 children about to attend the Little Ripples early childhood education program and 90 children who would not be attending Little Ripples. In October, our task was to complete the first follow-up assessment with the same groups of children.

Over the week, families arrived early in the morning at the school where we had a room converted into our interview space. As days went on, we noticed a much lower turn-out than during our previous assessment earlier in the year. We only partially reached our quota of 90 families per camp, and wondered, “Why? What was different about this assessment?” In speaking with families and our refugee assessment team, we came to understand that the families in these two camps have been trying to adjust to the reduction in World Food Program food rations; therefore, they have been spending more time outside the security of their camp in order to cultivate crops on small plots of rented land and find other means of obtaining sustenance.

It takes a team to coordinate effort between the refugee community, iACT and JRS to implement the Little Ripples assessment. Photo Cred: Sara-Christine Dallain, iACT, October 2018.

Throughout our assessment week, it became apparent that families are now, more so than in previous years, simply focused on surviving. The majority of the families we interviewed reported that their food rations last fewer than two weeks, leaving them stressed to find other sources of food to ensure their children are eating two meals a day for the remainder of the month. For the Little Ripples assessment, we measure the weight and height of children and document physical observations that indicate malnutrition. In the coming months, we’ll be analysing the results from the surveys. Meanwhile, I’ve realised that while we may not have interviewed as many families as intended, the logistical challenges I had expected in completing our assessments now feel insignificant to the very real challenges Darfuri refugees face living in refugee camps in this isolated part of the world.

Subscribe to our newsletters....

Subscribe
 
Elrha © 2018 - 2019 Elrha is a registered charity in England and Wales (1177110).
Elrha Please upgrade your browser

You are seeing this because you are using a browser that is not supported. The Elrha website is built using modern technology and standards. We recommend upgrading your browser with one of the following to properly view our website:

Windows Mac

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of browsers. We also do not intend to recommend a particular manufacturer's browser over another's; only to suggest upgrading to a browser version that is compliant with current standards to give you the best and most secure browsing experience.