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particular setting are important, needed resources. In addition, training on how to implement various methods for field workers is vital.

The human rights research field and the humanitarian relief field also have much to learn from one another. Human rights research techniques may be adaptable to crisis settings, and rapid estimation techniques may be useful for documenting human rights abuses in the early stages of an emergency. A recent conference in Mérida, Mexico, examined these issues, and the human rights community continues to work actively in this area of research.29

This workshop was the beginning of a dialogue between many different groups—humanitarian aid workers, epidemiologists, human rights researchers, demographers, sample survey statisticians, policy makers, and anthropologists. Further discussion can only help to increase their knowledge of these methods which may help to improve their response to emergencies and ultimately to their understanding of the root causes and consequences of crises.



This definition of complex humanitarian emergency is adapted from Keely et al. 2001.


Refugees are persons displaced from one country into another, while internally displaced persons (IDPs) are displaced within their own country.


This report is technical in nature and due to space constraints, many technical concepts are not fully explained. Some key terms and ideas are briefly defined—mainly in endnotes—and references are provided in some cases, but for more detailed information about sampling methodology, the reader should refer to key texts, such as Kish 1965 and Henry 1990.


Self-settled refugees are persons who are displaced but not residing in separate organized camps, but rather living with the general population in the area.


See Médecins Sans Frontières 1997, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees 1994, and Sphere Project 2000.


For more detailed descriptions of indirect estimation techniques, see United Nations 1983.


See Robinson et al. 1999.


Multistage sampling is a technique whereby clusters are selected as in cluster sampling and then sample members are selected from the cluster members using simple random sampling. More than one stage of clustering may be used.


Design effect is a measure of the contribution of the sampling design of the survey to the variance of the estimates. Thus, in this case it refers to the increased uncertainty of estimates obtained from samples selected using cluster sampling in comparison with simple random sampling. See Henry 1990:107-109 for a more detailed explanation.

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