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Joint Assessment Missions (JAM)

Operational publications, August 2013

The JAM Practical Guide has been developed to ensure timely planning and to facilitate the overall process of conducting joint UNHCR/WFP assessment missions. Together with the annexes, it outlines the process and tools required to conduct a JAM. The JAM Practical Guide is a condensed update of the JAM guidelines published in 2008, based on feedback by users. It emphasizes the process and design of a JAM with renewed focus on food security and nutrition.

The package includes three documents:

  • Joint Assessment Missions a Practical Guide to Planning and Implementation outlines the standard JAM process and methodology. It provides practical guidance on how to implement each step of a JAM in a brief 45-page step-wise guidance. It also includes practical tools, such as proposed JAM team structures, detailed JAM timeline, templates for and examples of JAM Terms of References, Joint Plan of Action and report, as well as tools to facilitate data collection and analysis.
  • Joint Assessment Missions Technical Guidance Sheets provide additional guidance on selected technical issues. These include: Refugees in urban areas; Market analysis; Protection; Transfer modalities; Environment and energy; Planning for general food aid rations; and Logistics and storage in food aid distributions.
  • Joint Assessment Missions Rapid JAM outlines an abbreviated and rapid JAM methodology, to be used notably when a rapid assessment has to be carried out as a response to a new emergency and/or a new influx of refugees. It also includes a check list of questions and information normally collected in a Rapid JAM.


Unzip the files below on your local drive to get all the links mentioned in the JAM documents:

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Food and Nutrition

UNHCR strives to improve the nutritional status of all the people it serves.

Operational Guidance

Operational Guidance for the prevention of micronutrient deficiencies and malnutrition.

Related Links on Special Nutritional Products

UNHCR and Partners Tackle Malnutrition in Mauritania Camp

The UN refugee agency has just renewed its appeal for funds to help meet the needs of tens of thousands of Malian refugees and almost 300,000 internally displaced people. The funding UNHCR is seeking is needed, among other things, for the provision of supplementary and therapeutic food and delivery of health care, including for those suffering from malnutrition. This is one of UNHCR's main concerns in the Mbera refugee camp in Mauritania, which hosts more than 70,000 Malians. A survey on nutrition conducted last January in the camp found that more than 13 per cent of refugee children aged under five suffer from acute malnutrition and more than 41 per cent from chronic malnutrition. Several measures have been taken to treat and prevent malnutrition, including distribution of nutritional supplements to babies and infants, organization of awareness sessions for mothers, increased access to health facilities, launch of a measles vaccination campaign and installation of better water and sanitation infrastructure. Additional funding is needed to improve the prevention and response mechanisms. UNHCR appealed last year for US$144 million for its Mali crisis operations in 2013, but has received only 32 per cent to date. The most urgent needs are food, shelter, sanitation, health care and education.

The photographs in this set were taken by Bechir Malum.

UNHCR and Partners Tackle Malnutrition in Mauritania Camp

Photo Essay: Dollo Ado, a Year After the Somalia Famine

In mid-2011, Dollo Ado was at the heart of a refugee crisis as a wave of Somalis facing violence and starvation at home trekked through the desert to seek safety in the small, remote border town in eastern Ethiopia. Many arrived exhausted, sick and emaciated, often carrying weak or dying children.

To deal with the mass influx, UNHCR and the Ethiopian government built three new refugee camps. The agency and its partners also set up critical nutrition programmes in the camps. Large-scale water, sanitation and hygiene programmes, combined with mass vaccinations and other public health measures, saved numerous lives.

One year on, the malnutrition rates among children have begun to stabilize. The number of new arrivals, although steady due to continued violence and poor rains, has dwindled and many people have moved from tents into semi-permanent housing. UNHCR's main focus is to improve lives in the camp by launching livelihood programmes and environmental projects for refugees and the host communities.

Today, the Dollo Ado area hosts five camps, with a total population of nearly 170,000 refugees. Several hundred new refugees arrive from Somalia every week. While the population of the newest camp, Buramino, is reaching 30,000, UNHCR and the government have agreed on the location for a sixth camp.

Photo Essay: Dollo Ado, a Year After the Somalia Famine

UNHCR chief meets Malian refugees in Burkina Faso

On 1 August, UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres travelled to northern Burkina Faso with the United States' Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (BRPM), Anne Richard. In Damba camp, they met with Malian refugees who had fled northern Mali in the past six months to escape the ongoing conflict and political instability. To date, more than 250,000 Malian refugees have fled their homes and found refuge in neighbouring countries, including 107,000 in Burkina Faso alone. The UN refugee agency has only received one-third of the US$153 million it needs to provide life-saving assistance such as shelter, water, sanitation, health services, nutrition and protection to the refugees. UNHCR fears that the volatile political and humanitarian situation in Mali could lead to further outflows to neighbouring countries.

UNHCR chief meets Malian refugees in Burkina Faso