By Anton Quist

  • More than half of Grand Yirol respondents generally said improved security levels in 2020-21 compared to previous years, but Yirol East County has seen worsening perceptions of safety. In addition, the appointment of a new governor in July 2020 has led to a further improvement in the perception of security among the participants of the data validation workshop from across Greater Yirol, representing a wide range of local stakeholders.

  • The most frequently reported security incidents in Greater Yirol were cattle theft and forced marriage, who are bound by the dowry system and the high demand for livestock. Forced marriages and runaways can lead to violence between families, but also to various forms of SGBV.

  • The police is the most important local security actor in Greater Yirol, both in terms of accessibility and perceived performance. That said, armed youth and self-protection mechanisms still pose a challenge to police capacity, and police need to be more present, better trained, and invest in better engagement with the communities they serve.

Introduction & Methodology

The Human Security Survey (HSS) is a unique survey methodology developed by PAX, which includes a series of complementary activities, including population-based research, active community engagement and advocacy. The objectives of RSS are to: 1) increase knowledge and understanding of local human security dynamics and trends; 2) build the “complaint capacity” of civilians to hold security providers and decision makers to account; and 3) to inform evidence-based advocacy that enables international stakeholders to design and implement protection activities that reflect local realities. PAX is currently implementing RSS in South Sudan in close collaboration with local field partners on the ground, such as the Africa Assistance Mission (AMA).

This survey round was the third round of data collection to take place in the Greater Yirol region of Lakes State. This data collection took place over three weeks in November 2020 by 10 interviewers (7 men, 3 women) who were trained for four days in data collection techniques and procedures. A total of 407 surveys were collected from 14 payams in Yirol West, Yirol East and Awerial counties. Within these payams, households and individual respondents were selected using an approximately random procedure to allow for some generalization.

In September 2021, PAX and AMA facilitated a 3-day validation and safety community dialogue in Mingkaman. During this three-day dialogue, the main results of the survey and their practical implications were presented, discussed and validated; participants suggested top priorities and practical ways to address key security issues, resulting in a community action plan. The Local Community Safety Committee (COMSECCOM), comprised of concerned community members from different backgrounds, will take responsibility for implementing the newly agreed action plan based on 2020 data and community discussions over the past 1 – Next 1.5 years until the next a data validation workshop will take place. In this way, initiatives to address locally identified security issues come from the community and will also be followed and acted upon locally, truly representing grassroots community capacities.

Access the PAX website here.