Perceived Safety

Indicator Phrasing

% of target group members who feel safe in the area where they live

Indicator Phrasing

INDICATOR PHRASING: % of target group members who feel safe in the area where they live

What is its purpose?

This indicator measures the percentage of the target group members who feel safe in the area where they live. It should only be used in contexts where your project can significantly influence how safe people feel – for example, in a displacement camp. It should not be used in contexts where you have very limited control over people’s safety.

How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data


Collect the following data by conducting individual interviews with a representative sample of the target group members: 




Q1: In this survey, we are interested in how safe people feel in this [specify the place – e.g. “camp”]. Can you please show me on this paper the face that best represents how safe or unsafe you feel living in this [specify the place – e.g. “camp”]? [show the picture provided at the bottom of this page and explain the meaning of each face].

A1: very safe / fairly safe / rather unsafe / very unsafe


(The following question is not mandatory but is highly recommended; ask it only if the previous answer is “rather unsafe” or “very unsafe”)


Q2: What are the main reasons why you feel unsafe in this [specify the place – e.g. “camp”]? Probe: Are there any other reasons?

A2: multiple answers possible; predefine the answer options based on the local context + also include “other – specify: ………………………………”


To calculate the indicator’s value, divide the number of respondents who feel “very safe” or “fairly safe” by the total number of respondents. Multiply the result by 100 to convert it to a percentage. 

Disaggregate by

Disaggregate the data by gender, age group, location, and other vulnerability criteria.

Important Comments

1) In some contexts, your enumerators might encounter respondents who have experienced violence or other situations where they felt very unsafe. Therefore, asking them about their feelings of safety might be sensitive and people might find it difficult to talk about these experiences. At a very minimum, adopt the following measures:


- Ensure that the enumerators are familiar with and carry with them the Constant Companion listing 1) the main DOs and DON’Ts and 2) contacts for relevant service providers that can provide support      to people who experienced violence (see example at the bottom of this page).

- Discuss and agree with your team whether the data collectors should be allowed to ask an affected person whether they can inform the relevant service provider about her/his situation so that s/he can    be contacted by that service provider (i.e. thereby ensuring a referral).

- Ensure that all enumerators were trained in the principles of gender-sensitive interviewing and are not from the same communities as the interviewees.

- Instruct the enumerators to ensure that the interviews are conducted in a place where no one else can hear or observe the respondent (if the enumerators cannot ensure complete privacy, they should      skip this part and move to less sensitive parts of the questionnaire).

- Instruct the enumerators to re-assure the respondent about the confidentiality of her/his answers.

- Train the enumerators to quickly switch the topic if during the interview someone comes too near the respondent.

- Train the enumerators in how to close the topic and move to the next part of your survey in a sensitive manner.

- Ensure that there is emotional support available to the enumerators.

This guidance was prepared by Tearfund ©

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