Survey to Improve Protection in Somalia PDF Print

Conflict affected populations have higher incidents of violence directed against an individual because of their gender. Family separation, due to armed conflict and famine has lead to the breakdown of social protection systems in Somalia consequently exposing men and boys, girls and women to violence. According to the United Nations about 800 cases of rape, domestic violence, female genital mutilation, early and forced marriages were reported between January and June 2013, in Mogadishu.


Awareness campaigns have been an important initiative in sensitizing the society to the various forms of violence. Over the years however, measuring the impact of such campaigns has been a challenge. To change this, CISP is working with other partners to develop tools geared towards measuring of the social norms that influence violence.


As part of this initiative, a survey was conducted in September 2013 to identify the beliefs and practices that hamper protection for all in Somalia, and to test the research tools. Carried out in Boondheere district of Mogadishu, the survey offered a chance for partners to learn how to conduct such a study in a humanitarian setting.


To ensure success and quality, researchers were recruited locally from the University of Mogadishu. The young men and women were trained on how to gather information while maintaining confidentiality for the protection of the respondents. “Given the sensitivity of the subject, researchers were coached on how to communicate with different community members,” says the project’s Research Coordinator. “During the training, the researchers simulated the survey exercise by practicing the interviews on each other, anticipating the different scenarios that could develop during the process,” she added.


Innovative research tools were used; the researchers used iPads which allowed for systematic and easier collection of data as well as real-time relaying of data to John Hopkins University for analysis. The process ensured information security and was cost effective.


The study is part of a three year ‘Social Norms’ project, that aims to strengthen community based care for survivors of violence and works to encourage communities to protect women and girls. The project is also being conducted in South Sudan, where a similar survey was carried out. The information gathered will enable the partners to measure the impact of the programme; the results of the survey will also be used to improve the tools used in the programme.




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