Integrated Framework for Household Survey

IFHS: A toolkit to facilitate design, collection & analysis.

Last update : 1 October 2019

Why an “Integrated Framework”?

The kit is a comprehensive set of tools to guide survey teams through every step of a multi-sectoral needs assessment done through a household survey – from overall planning, design and data collection in the field to data processing, analysis, interpretation, documentation and dissemination. Because it addresses the specific challenges related to household surveys, it fits more for protracted situations and it complements other approaches such as the UNHCR Tool for Participatory Assessment in Operations, the Needs Assessment for Refugee Emergencies (NARE) Checklist for Refugees operations and the Rapid Protection Assessment Tools (RPAT) for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) operations. The kit is also organised to ensure that all findings and recommendations will allow to inform prioritization between all potential interventions and subsequent resources allocation in terms of programme, through the following elements :

  • Produce impact indicators that are used to assess the conditions of persons of concern (PoCs) over time and to support programme design;
  • Support the analysis of protection risk and multi-dimensional vulnerabilities and the discovery of clusters of individuals with similar profile;
  • Allow for the development of targeting models for both response (e.g. cash) and prevention activities (e.g. protection);
  • Provide basis for public advocacy on issues faced by the population group.

This toolkit supports the technical implementation of already existing guidelines and guidance documents, namely the Guidelines for Integrating Gender-Based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Action, the Child Protection Rapid Assessment Toolkit, the Joint IDP Profiling Service Essential Toolkit- JET, the Heightened Risk Identification Tool, The Operational Guidance and Toolkit for Multipurpose Cash Grants, etc. The proposed technical implementation approach was inspired by the UNHCR Standardised Expanded Nutrition Survey and the UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys.


On the top of the summary narrative guidelines below, the toolkit is organised around four key technical components that facilitate the easy replication and customisation of an assessment from one operation to another. Re-using tested platforms, questions and report formats, technical staff in charge will save significant amount of time.

These elements are:

  • A pre-organised Master list of baseline Indicators Library in order to leverage good practices and enforce core questions during design of the assessment form.

  • A KoboToolBox secure server to be used for data collection. This server uses the xlsform developed during the design phase.

  • Multiple R statistical analysis scripts to clean & analyse data, and then to generate automatically standard report and to facilitate the creation of presentation slides and infographics.

  • A Github Repositories to facilitate collaborative analysis between operations and generate a knowledge base. Github is also used for the maintenance of the toolkit itself. Suggestions for this toolkit can be posted here.

For whom?

The targeted audience of the toolkit is technical staff tasked to work on multi-sectoral needs assessments: assessment focal points, information management officers and data scientists. The toolkit is intended for protracted situations, after emergency assessments and secondary data review have been conducted. With a bit of configuration at the beginning of the process, the toolkit will ensure that minimum data quality standards are enforced and l allow for quick generation of results. . In addition, because of the standard data format presented through the toolkit, it will be possible to obtain comparable results from different operations.


The toolkit is a collaborative effort: if you have suggestions, please share them through this link.

The Toolkit is a work in progress: if you identify issues, please share them through this link.