Measuring Violent Conflict in Micro-Level Surveys: Training Course

Standard household surveys used in conflict-affected countries only sporadically feature questions capturing the causes, forms and consequences of political violence, thus failing to account for the varied and long-lasting impact of violent conflict on respondents. The lack of micro-level data forces researchers to rely on standardized macro-level measures of violent conflict, leaving unaccounted the highly heterogeneous impact of conflict on different groups of people. This is relevant for countries directly or indirectly experiencing conflict, experiencing high or low intensities of conflict, or having experienced conflict recently or a long-time ago.

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. Developed by team of researchers led by Tilman Brück 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 helps to better understand, among other benefits, 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.

This training course aims to encourage the inclusion of the CEM module into existing socio-economic surveys in conflict-affected areas to fill the current gap in conflict-sensitive data collection, enhance the overall understanding of socioeconomic change and inform policy making.

The project specifically aims to:

  • Encourage a broad adoption of the CEM into socio-economic surveys;
  • Train participants in CEM methodology and provide some initial customized technical assistance to participating stakeholders;
  • Improve technical cooperation on statistical challenges for data collection in conflict-affected areas;
  • Provide first assistance to stakeholders in the analysis of data generated through CEM surveys; and
  • Update and expand the guidelines based on uses of the CEM since it was first proposed.

The project includes three separate 5-day training workshops for staff members of national statistical offices (NSOs) from Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa. The project is funded by the World Bank.