Blogs | 18 October 2018 | by Marieke Meeske

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Kick-Off of Second Round of Human Security Survey in Eastern Lakes, South Sudan

From 28 September – 1 October the second round of the Human Security Survey (HSS)  in Eastern Lakes kicked-off by training twelve enumerators. Enumerators from all across the state traveled to Yirol town, to learn about i.a. the importance of informed consent, interviewing techniques, random sampling methods, how to respond to ethical and logistical field challenges, and how to use mobile phones for data collection. They also received a general introduction to the specific Human Security Survey questionnaire, consisting of eight modules ranging from security context to perceptions of vulnerability (please refer to this publication for a more detailed note on the specific methodology of the HSS).

This four-day training is the very first step in phase 1 of the HSS process: data collection and analysis. After working on the relevant skills to do population-based research (and of course receiving a certificate which made it all official), enumerators were ready for the actual field work.

Enumerators have around three weeks to conduct surveys with an approximately randomly selected group of respondents. Following the data collection, the experiences and perceptions of the selected respondents will be analyzed, and reported through reports, infographics, community dialogues, and lobby and advocacy activities. Together the enumerators aim to collect around 600 surveys, which should be enough to be able to detect any statistically significant effect that is present.

The first round of the HSS data in Eastern Lakes was collected in April 2017. After presenting the data to the community, two days of dialogue were facilitated to discuss the survey findings and to come up with five priorities for increased security in the region (i.e. phase 2 of the HSS process). The priorities identified during the dialogue were:

  • Cattle raiding
  • Robbery
  • Peace with neighboring communities
  • Sexual violence
  • Road conditions

A community security committee was established, which aims to continuously engage with the community to work on the above mentioned priorities.

During our time in Yirol we were able to meet with the chair and secretary of the community security committee, and to discuss about previous activities and plans for the remaining part of 2018. As cattle raiding was identified as one of the most pressing security issues, the committee aims to organize a rally in one of the cattle camps in Alel-Nhom (Yirol East) which should sensitize youth about the dangers connected to cattle raiding. Secondly, a radio talk show is planned, which will target the majority of the population in Eastern Lakes. The radio show will focus on the importance of peace within the community and with neighboring communities, and talk about the role of the security committee and its mandate. Previous activities of the community security committee involve i.a. three cattle camp rallies.

The last phase of the HSS process is lobby and advocacy. On the very last day of our time in South Sudan, we were able to meet with UNMISS Civil Affairs in Juba and discussed about possibilities for collaboration on activities that reflect local security priorities. By collaborating with stakeholders such as UNMISS, we aim to incorporate the experiences and perceptions of civilians – gathered through the HSS- into its protection of civilians activities. Thereby, giving voice to civilians ultimately should lead to improved protection of civilians.

We have confidence in the quality our newly trained batch of enumerators will deliver. This second round of data allows us, together with the community, to update identified local security priorities. Furthermore, we hope to be able to track changes in local security perceptions over time. Please keep an eye on our website to be informed about future publications, or sign up for our newsletter in the block on the right.

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