Why use it? To check rationale and process for data collection.
This tool is most useful at all stages of the programming cycle depending on the purpose of your data collection. It can be used together with:
4.1 Plotting levels of change
4.3 Prioritising indicators
- What is the purpose of collecting data? How are you going to use it What do you want to know about the PVE context, your beneficiaries or target groups, or the PVE changes related to your programme? Is this for a context analysis, baseline assessment, part of monitoring or an evaluation? The research objective and its purpose should be primary deciding factors in choosing data collection methods.
- Are your objectives simple or complex? If your objectives are complex, more complex methods of data collection would be required. Data collection for PVE programmes are likely to have complex objectives.
- What point are you in your project cycle? In many cases, methods need to be identified at the design stage in order to carry out the steps at baseline phase and so that resources are made available.
- What are the assumptions within the programme’s ToC which you are interrogating? For example, your youth empowerment project makes a link between improved political engagement of marginalised youth, improved trust between young people and state authorities and increased resilience to engaging in violence, including VE. The data you collect and the methods you choose need to evidence this assumption, testing its validity. You would need to interrogate the hypotheses within your programme theory.
- How big is the population? Where are they (scattered across different areas, urban/rural)? Can they be accessed directly? Have you disaggregated the target group by age, gender and other identity markers?
- Is the data factual or subjective? Quantitative or qualitative?
- How are you disaggregating data? For example, disaggregated data on young people’s attitudes towards state institutions and how this differs for young women and men with different socio-economic status, education levels, rural/urban, etc.
- What financial, time, personnel and technical resources do you have available?
- What are the security, safety, ethical, political and other risks associated with the data collection?
- How do you mitigate against information being used/abused for security/intelligence objectives?
- How do you protect those involved in the data collection?
- Which methods could provide you with the type of data you need?
- Which methods would provide you with sufficient data to make a robust analysis or statements of contribution?
- Will you need to triangulate data from different sources and using different data collection methods to help ensure credibility and validity of data?
Example: Identifying data collection methods, training and capacity building of religious leaders in areas identified as geographic ‘hotspots’ for VE.
- Why are you collecting data?
To identify changes in attitudes and practice of key religious leaders involved in the PVE programme to see whether they are:
- Applying knowledge and skills gathered through the training programme;
- Alaying an active role in providing positive and trusted leadership on religious instruction;
- Considered as credible sources of religious education or authority by communities;
- Actively engaged in initiatives supporting community engagement, resolution of disputes; and
- Actively outreaching to communities considered at risk.
The context analysis highlighted the role of religious leaders in influencing attitudes towards VE within this context. The analysis highlighted the positive potential of key leaders, but also the negative role played by a minority of religious leaders outside the mainstream. Studies revealed high rates of importance placed on observing religious traditions, but low rates of religious literacy amongst religious leaders and communities. Whilst religion can be a potential driver of VE, a range of other factors interact with this and causality is not linear. Religious actors are a part of civil society and their role goes beyond theocratic leadership and can encompass social, economic, conflict resolution and peacebuilding roles. Therefore, it is important to examine other drivers which interact with religion and the diverse functions religious leaders play in PVE. Assumptions include the following:
- Religion provides collective identity and solidarity and this can be used to positive effect by responsible religious leaders to motivate people or negative effect by groups using this solidarity as a basis to incite against other groups.
- Religious narratives give meaning to grievances and help an individual make sense of personal life experiences; these narratives are a source of resilience when communicated effectively by credible religious leaders.
- Religious leaders in hotspot areas who took part in the programme; religious leaders in those same areas who did not go through the programme.
- Members of the community who attend services by religious leaders in the programme, and community members who do not attend.
- Qualitative feedback from communities, religious leaders and local authorities.
- Training pre- and post-tests/training evaluations; follow-up 3-6 months after to evaluate uptake of knowledge and skills and change in practice (observed and reported).
- Data on how the programme impacted and engaged different men and women.
- Data on nature and number of disputes resolved by religious leaders.
- Data on leaders’ networks, whom they conduct outreach with, and how they were identified as at risk.
- Sufficient resources for conducting surveys, focus groups and in-depth interviews.
- Potential for religious leaders to be seen as part of existing and asymmetric power structures, links with state, not seen as representative or legitimate.
- Difficulty in accessing non-mainstream preachers (such as mobile preachers in Nigeria).
- Difficulty in accessing venues where religious leaders teach or preach.
- Mixed methods (triangulating qualitative and quantitative data from a range of sources).
- Training pre- and post-test questionnaires on knowledge; training evaluation
- Knowledge, Attitudes and Practice (KAP) survey (attitudes and perceptions of religious leaders and communities) disaggregating data from men and women.
- Interviews with religious leaders (on skills, attitudes towards religious practice, role in communities, etc.), triangulated with interviews and FGDs with community and authorities.
For a useful resource on the role of religious leaders in PVE see P. Mandaville and M. Nozell, Engaging religion and religious actors in countering violent extremism, Special Report 413, Washington DC: United States Institute of Peace, 2017, https://www.usip.org/sites/default/files/SR413-Engaging-Religion-and-Religious-Actors-in-Countering-Violent-Extremism.pdf