Conducting Surveys in Areas of Armed Conflict
*Zeina Mneimneh, University of Michigan
Keywords: armed, conflict, survey, challenges,design,implementation
This presentation aims at guiding researchers interested in conducting surveys during armed conflict by pointing them to survey design and implementation challenges encountered in such contexts and discussing possible approaches to address those challenges. We first describe a number of dimensions that characterize most armed conflict settings and discuss how these dimensions pose methodological challenges for survey research. We then focus on recommending approaches to address those challenges. We argue that conducting surveys in setting of armed conflict is difficult, however, it can be done well through the application of a small number of principles. First, flexibility needs to be maintained at all phases of the study. Second, a mixed method approach should be used to maximize that flexibility and minimize possible bias. Third, unconventional approaches in interviewer’s recruitment and training are needed. Fourth, tailoring methods to minimize refusals and noncontacts, secure interview privacy, and monitor interviewers during conflict situations needs special attention. Finally, we address ethical considerations and conclude with future directions.