Using Small Sample Size Surveys in GBV Programs

Organisation: The Global Women’s Institute at The George Washington University

Partners: Institut de Formation du Sud (IFOS)

Location: Sud-Est Department, Haiti

Type of grant: GBV

Status: Ongoing

  • Woman in Haiti, by Dominic Chavez, WB


The Global Women’s Institute (GWI) is piloting the use of small sample size surveys to measure population-based GBV indicators in humanitarian settings.

What is the humanitarian need?

Rigorous surveys that measure the impact of GBV programmes in non-humanitarian settings often involve intensive time, energy and technical engagement of outside researchers. Surveys often must sample thousands of households to estimate rates of GBV and understand programme impact. In humanitarian settings, organizations often lack the time, resources or expertise to implement these large-scale surveys – effectively eliminating the possibility of measuring programme impact within a community.

What is the innovative solution?

Lot Quality Assurance Sampling (LQAS) is a rapid, population–based sampling methodology often used in the health sector. Compared to cluster surveys, LQAS uses smaller sample sizes – which can make it a useful approach for data collection in resource-constrained settings.

While LQAS sampling methodologies have been shown to be promising in other sectors, they have not been widely used in GBV programmes. During this project, the GWI plans to adapt the LQAS methodology for use by humanitarian agencies implementing GBV programmes.

If it proves successful, a small sample size approach may reduce some of the common barriers for collecting population-based data on GBV in humanitarian settings and improve the international community’s ability to measure the impact of their programmes.

What are the expected outcomes?

Using LQAS methodology, GWI and IFOS will conduct a small sample survey in 1 commune of the Sud-Est Department in Haiti. This data will be compared to data previously collected by the research team using a traditional cluster-based approach with a larger sample size.

The research team will compare the survey results generated by the two sampling methods as well as look at costs, human resources and time spent conducting each survey. This will result in a lessons learned paper comparing the two methodologies including recommendations on if and how LQAS methods could be applied for GBV programmes in humanitarian programmes globally.


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