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Training: Conflict Workshop 2015

Training: Measuring Conflict

LSMS: Training

Measuring Violent Conflict in Micro-Level Surveys

November 23-27, 2015, Berlin, Germany

The training course aims to promote the collection of data on conflict through the implementation of household surveys in conflict-affected areas, in order to improve the quality of survey data on the effects of violent conflict exposure, enhance the overall understanding of socioeconomic change, and inform policy making. The workshop will equip practitioners, mostly national experts working in conflict-affected countries collecting micro-level survey data, with an appreciation for the importance of collecting data on conflict at the micro-level and with practical knowledge and hands-on training in data collection methods.

Course Motivation

Standard household surveys given in conflict-affected countries only sporadically feature questions capturing the causes and consequences of violence, failing to account for the varied and long-lasting impact of conflict on respondents. The lack of micro-level data forces researchers to rely on standardized macro-level measures of violent conflict.

The Conflict Exposure Module (CEM) is a generic household survey module that captures the multifaceted effects of violent conflict on the individual and the household. The CEM serves as a general model for comprehensively investigating how conflict changes demographics in the household, affects economic welfare, challenges people’s ability to cope, causes physical harm, dislocates people, shortens education, and alters perceptions. Developed by Tilman Brück, Patricia Justino and Philip Verwimp from the Household in Conflict Network (HiCN) and Alexandra Avdeenko of DIW as a follow up to the World Development Report 2011, the CEM focuses on measuring aspects of the micro-level functioning of violence and conflict that are not ordinarily captured in other sections of standard socio-economic questionnaires.

The CEM has been developed to fill this data gap and address common methodological and operational challenges connected to collecting data in conflict-affected areas, including defining violent conflict at the micro-level, using the appropriate unit of analysis, timing the survey, dealing with common biases, and conducting surveys in an ethical manner. This short training course aims to encourage the inclusion of the CEM module into existing socioeconomic surveys in conflict-affected areas to fill the current gap in conflict-sensitive data collection.

The CEM is a stepping stone for building a systematic and comparable understanding of the channels through which different types of violence affect the behavior and welfare of individuals and households—and thereby their communities and countries. Conflict should be treated as an important variable in its own right. Many socioeconomic surveys in conflict-affected areas ask about conflict only selectively, missing important features in the process, while other surveys specialize in particular conflict features without comprehensively addressing the multifaceted ways that conflict can have an impact on respondents. Appropriately adapted to local conditions, the CEM can serve as a basic model for comprehensively investigating how conflict changes demographics in the household, affects economic welfare, challenges people’s ability to cope, causes physical harm, dislocates people, shortens education and alters perceptions.

Course Content

The course specifically aims to:

  • encourage broad adoption of the CEM into socioeconomic surveys;
  • train participants in CEM methodology and provide some initial customized technical assistance to participating stakeholders;
  • improve global cooperation on statistical challenges for data collection in conflict-affected areas; and
  • assist stakeholders in the analysis of CEM survey data.

The content of the training covers the following curriculum:

  • Definitions and concepts around conflict, violence, insecurity and fragility
  • How these concepts relate to development and the post-2015 agenda and SDGs
  • What related data exists and how can they be used for triangulating findings
  • How to collect data on populations affected by conflict, violence and fragility
  • The content of the Conflict Exposure Module (CEM)
  • How to adapt the CEM to local circumstances.
  • Discussion of examples of the use of CEM and how these examples have shaped our understanding of development (and possibly of policies)

This curriculum will be taught in lectures, small group discussions and through demand-led training sessions building on the need of course participants. The course will be led by Professor Tilman Brück. The primary target audience is national statistical office staff conducting micro-level surveys (such as LSMS, DHS, labor force surveys, censuses, or enterprise surveys) in countries recently or currently affected by violent conflict, systematic violence, or fragility and uncertainty. Other target audiences include other experts conducting such data collection in or for national or local governments, international organizations, or national or international NGOs. Researchers will be admitted to participate if working or advising on official surveys or policy or impact evaluations shaped by conflict, violence or fragility. Private sector consultants may be admitted as participants covering their own costs (and contributing to the cost of the event).


Last updated: 2015-07-21




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