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Ikwoto County Multi-Sector Survey Report


The objective of the multi sector survey is fourfold. Firstly, it is intended to provide a comprehensive description and measurement of livelihood, food security, nutrition, protection, educational, and medical needs of the populations of Former Ikwoto. Secondly, the review of households’ participation in social and farming associations, along with their interaction with government and community leaders, is meant to shed some lights on local power structures and governance as a means to design more solid community-based projects. Thirdly, going beyond administrative boundaries, to reflect key differences in livelihood strategies, a segmentation of the county is put forward to guide project customization and focalization. Finally, a special sample of households living in remote, mountainous villages was included to provide reference figures for a significant and distinct group of the population which tends to be underrepresented, and whose key role (for instance with regard to food security) is largely overlooked by standard assessments.


The sampling strategy followed the standard two-stage cluster sampling, the first one to guide the selection of villages and the second one to select the households to be sampled. The first stage was based on probability proportional to population size (PPS). Additionally, stratification was introduced to ensure that random selection included both villages in central and peripheral areas (within a given boma) as well as both villages close to established routes of communication and villages located far from them and in the hills. A list of all villages, with their respective population size and the indication of their location (lowlands versus highlands), was obtained from local (payam) administrators as there is no updated official demographic data for villages. The survey was conducted over the course of 12 days by two teams, each one visiting two different villages per day; thus, the total number of villages surveyed (clusters) was 48. This fairly high number of clusters was adopted to compensate for potential inaccuracies in the population estimates.
The second stage, which aimed at selecting households to be surveyed, was conducted following the “improved random-walk” method. This technique consists of selecting those households living along a randomly selected direction within a given village; it is qualified as “improved” for representation of the different section of villages is ensured by sending enumerators in opposite/ different directions, and by skipping a predefined number of households, depending on the village size. The survey respondents were family caregivers. Household members were defined as the group of people sharing food from the same cooking pot. In total, 514 households were surveyed, and data at the individual level was collected for 2,341 household members. This number of HH interviews – sample size – was adopted to provide county-level statistically significant estimates for nutrition indicators, and local/payam-level statistically significant estimates for other variables.

Key findings: 

 Ikwoto is a quite unique county due to its level of heterogeneity, largely caused by the fact that communities are locked-in either in the highlands or lowlands / rainy or dry areas, specialized as they are in different livelihood practices; in contrast, in other counties of South Sudan, geographically fairly homogenous, people show similar livelihood patterns and tend to move across lands. County average indicators, therefore, are not well suited to describe Ikwoto.
 Communities show striking different levels of agricultural productivity, only partially related to climate conditions (the combination of established farmer associations and “diffuse” community governance provides a strong competitive advantage too). Bira payam, Geria mountains (Hatire payam) and Mountains (other communities scattered around the highlands belonging to different communities) are the main food surplus producers. There, both private and common lands are cultivated in larger plots. In the rest of Former Ikwoto farmers are engaged in either subsistence (Ikwoto, Isohe, Imotong payams) or sub- subsistence agriculture (Chahari, Chorokol).
 Communities in Chahari and Chorokol payam show both limited access to consumer markets and reduced exchanges among community members, almost exclusively in the form of barter. This suggest a mix of lack of economic means and limited production of valuable products, i.e. signs of a severely constrained sub-subsistence economy.
 The largest contributor to food security in the county (farmers selling to locals) consists of the farmers located in Mountains, which receive the least support for agricultural development; on the other hand, farmers in Bira and Geria Mountains sell up to 40% of their products outside the county. Although pests and diseases are the most lamented problem by cultivators, especially by surplus producers, no support is provided to address it.
 Livestock production is severely constrained by limited access to sale markets. As a result, the largest community of livestock breeders in the county, in Chahari, is among the poorest, and suffers the highest rate of migration.
 Limited access to sale markets, more in general, is the main constraints to agriculture and livestock farming: the inability to reach urban markets and make a profit translates into a weak incentive for farmers to increase their level of production.
 In Former Ikwoto more than 2,000 HHs suffer severe hunger, the majority of them being located in Chorokol and Chahari payam, and to a slighter extent in the lowlands bordering Uganda (Losite, and the southern section of Ikwoto payam). Chahari would have registered a much higher number of food insecure households had not occurred a general WFP food distribution in the
weeks before the survey. Nutrition figures in the different areas of the county mirrors food security patterns. 40% of women do not exclusively breastfeed their 0 to 12 months old babies.
 The overall level of vulnerability is high, as coping strategies have been largely exhausted: people have long tapped into such mechanisms, and are left with very limited assets. Around 80 % of HHs borrowed money to attend immediate basic needs.
 Out of 40,000 HHs, 9,000 host IDPs (4 people on average); 1,500 whole HHs were displaced/ relocated into new communities in the last two years. The inflows of people affect especially Urban Ikwoto and Geria Mountains, where 40% of HHs are either newly arrived (last 2 years) or hosting IDPs. People inflow has continued throughout 2017, increasingly targeting villages on the way to Ugandan. Outflows data suggest that many IDP, after sometime, leave their hosting communities and continue their journey. Urban Ikwoto, where both inflow and outflow is significant (together with insecurity), is the place where conflicts over limited resources may create attrition between hosting and migrating communities.
 High incidence of fever/malaria (one-fifth of children 6 to 59 months old); 90% of HHs do not have mosquito nets. 96% of HHs does not provide more liquids to children suffering diarrhea.
 Maternal care reaches around two-third of women during pregnancy, and one-third after delivery; school enrollment is at around 45% for people from 7 to 15 years of age, and 28% for 3 to 5 years old babies. 40% of pupils have been send back home at some point due to lack of teachers. In Mountains and Chorokol hills, where 1/3 of the total population live, maternal health and education coverage is two to three times lower compared to the county average.
 Crime and insecurity affect mostly Urban Ikwoto and surrounding areas; remote communities fear exiting their villages, which in turn limits even further their access to markets.
 Forced marriage and beating are among the most significant threats to women; 11% of HHs reported sexual abuses on children in the last 12 months, abuses almost invariably not reported to police/CSO/social workers. 18% of children are often sad, and do not play with their peers.
 Humanitarian support does not reach much of the remote, most-in-need communities, especially Chorokol hills, Mountains and Southern Ikwoto near the Uganda border. Only 3% of HHs has knowledge of intervention targeting criteria.
 Sanitation is precarious, with 92% HHs defecating on open-air and 85% without any kind of soap at home. In Kidepo lowlands, Chorokol hills and Geria lowlands additional rooms may be needed to accommodate cooking and animals (although insecurity may explain why people host animals at home at night). In Mountain, a large share of the population lives in rented house, suggesting the presence of an underclass of peasants and a higher level of inequality (a trend confirmed by the more unequal level of food security and access to education recorded in these communities).
 Across Former Ikwoto is the Boma chief (Nyampara) who leads community works, 50% of the times, or the Boma sub-chief (Mukungu), 30%. Similar figures are recorded when HHs are asked with which political, religious or community leader they speak regularly. Payam administrators and their employees, who are arguably less numerous, are not much involved in community works (2.2% of the time) neither interact frequently with the population (15% of the time).

Sample size: 
514 HHs, 2,341 people
Assessment Report: 
Assessment Questionnaire: 
Publicly Available
Assessment Data: 
Publicly Available
Bruno Nazim Baroni
+211 923 809 070 (Mobile)
Assessment Date(s): 
17 May 2017 to 17 Jun 2017
Report completed
Unit(s) of Measurement: 
Collection Method(s): 
Structured Interview
Field Interview
Population Type(s): 
All affected population
Leading/Coordinating Organization(s): 
AVSI Foundation
Food/Nutrition Crisis
Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC)
Needs Assessment
South Sudan: Food Insecurity - 2015-2020