Nutrition Baseline Survey - Advantages and Limitations

  • Provides objective, measurable and representative data for problem analysis, planning and evaluation purposes,
  • Facilitates the comparison of situations at the beginning and the end of a project cycle for impact assessment,
  • Helps to determine causes or determinants of the nutritional problem,
  • Enables the construction of statistical relationships between factors and the nutritional status for intervention planning,
  • Can compare its results with other standardized surveys because of the internationally accepted indices, cut-off points and measurement standards,
  • Provides information for indicators (Planning matrix),
  • Contribute to quality management issues,
  • Gives justification for interventions and activities in certain populations and the surveyed region,
  • Provides valid results, which can be used for resource allocation and policy making.
  • Is expensive in terms of time, money and human resources,
  • Needs specific skills and training to guarantee an adequate application, implementation and interpretation of the data,
  • Is not participatory or flexible because of the standardisation that is necessary for the purposes of comparison,
  • Cannot sufficiently assess cultural aspects, nutritional habits and customs as this type of information is difficult to obtain during a standardised survey,
  • Highlights the situation of the surveyed population at the moment, but cannot assess processes or social relations within the community,
  • Must rely on the answers of the surveyed people, which should be compared with observations to guarantee the reliability of the data. If questions are not well formulated, there is a risk of collecting superficial answers, which do not reflect the real situation,
  • Has a risk of producing large data banks without a justifiable analysis.


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