Perceived Safety

Indicator Phrasing

% of target group members reporting feeling safe in the area where they live

Indicator Phrasing

INDICATOR PHRASING: % of target group members reporting feeling 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 be used only 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 a 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 area. Can you please show me on this paper the face that represents best how safe or unsafe you feel living in this area? [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


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 percentages. 

Disaggregate by

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

Important Comments

1) It is recommended that when the respondent says that s/he feels unsafe, the data collector asks for the main reasons:

Q2: What are the main reasons why you feel unsafe in this area? Probe: Are there any other reasons?

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


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


- ensure that the enumerators are familiar with and carry with them 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 relevant service provider about her/his situation so that s/he can be contacted by the service provider (i.e. 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 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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