Human Security Survey (HSS) South Sudan

The Human Security Survey (HSS) is a survey methodology developed by PAX which includes a series of complementary activities, including population-based research, community engagement, and advocacy. The intended purpose is threefold:

  1. to increase the understanding of local human security experiences, perceptions, and trends
  2. to enhance the ‘claim-making capacity’ of civilians to identify local protection priorities and hold security providers and authorities to account
  3. to inform the design and implementation of effective protection policies through evidence-based advocacy at local and international levels.

PAX currently implements the HSS in Iraq and South Sudan

The theory underlying the HSS is that by expanding the voice and agency of civilians on the protection issues that affect them every day, security policies and how they are implemented will be more reflective of and responsive to local needs, priorities, and capacities. In order to achieve this, the HSS generates both data and dialogue. PAX and its partners conduct large-scale quantitative research about the nature of security threats facing civilians, and the impact this has on their daily lives and their expectations for the future. We then bring the research findings back to local communities to create or leverage opportunities for regular people to engage in constructive dialogue with key authorities from local government, security forces, religious and social institutions, local armed groups, and civil society about civilian security priorities.

At the international level, the HSS also provides a means of influencing the policymaking efforts of diplomats and troop contributors active in these environments by providing valuable first-hand information about the realities facing conflict-affected populations. By continuing this cycle over multiple years, PAX and its partners can track trends and work to effect more sustainable change. The survey itself is therefore best seen as a means to an end, with the ultimate aim to facilitate more effective protection of civilians in the contexts in which we work.

In South Sudan,

  • PAX works in close collaboration with two local partners, i.e. the South Sudan Action Network on Small Arms (SSANSA) and the Assistance Mission for Africa (AMA)
  • We conducted surveys so far in four states across South Sudan: Jonglei, Eastern Lakes, Southern Liech (Unity) and Jubek.
  • So far, over 2300 respondents shared their experiences, fears and expectations with us and we have trained 45 people as enumerators and supervisors
  • Community security dialogues were organized in all four locations to present the initial survey findings  and subsequently have a dialogue with local community stakeholders about security issues that warrant follow-up.
  • In 2018 we will return to these locations for a new survey, while hoping to expand to other areas when funding and security permit.

For questions or comments, please be in touch with Anton Quist.


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