Assessing the extent to which women are suffering from sexual or physical abuse is always complex, but researchers seeking to gather this information in communities impacted by conflict face even greater obstacles. Available tools for gathering population-based data on the extent of such abuse have been inadequate. With this goal in mind, CPC Learning Network researchers set out to create an unbiased way of collecting information from a suitable proportion of the population that could provide a reliable estimate of the rate at which such violence was occurring. The result was the neighborhood method. Based upon the finding that key informants have been shown to provide information that is at least as valid and reliable as that obtained through self-report, in certain studies of sensitive public health behaviors, the neighborhood method was designed to complete a camp- or district-wide assessment in about three weeks.
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