The objective of the Village Assessment Survey (VAS) is to provide baseline data to map the basic needs and critical gaps in areas of high return and to share the findings with government authorities and partners for better planning and targeting of transitional and recovery activities. Locations for conducting VAS assessments are prioritized based on areas of high return and upon the request of the Inter Cluster Working Group (ICWG). Baliet County was prioritized by the ICWG in Malakal due to increasing number of returnees observed to be moving from the IDP settlements in Melut and Khor-Adar back to their home areas in Baliet County. Baliet County is one of the main counties of origin for the IDPs in staying around Melut and Khor-Adar.
A mixed methods approach of key informant interviews, focus group discussions and direct observation was utilized to collect and triangulate data throughout the data collection process. The data collection teams conducted the assessments in the locations of interest by physically visiting each of the bomas, villages and health and education facilities.
In efforts to build the capacity of national and locally based actors, IOM conducted the VAS in close collaboration with the national non-governmental organization, Rural Community Action for Peace and Development (RuCPD).
IOM conducted a comprehensive three-day training for data enumerators from RuCPD. The first two days focused on effective data collection techniques and methods, an in-depth review of the questionnaires and technical training on GPS devices. On the third day, data enumerators applied the theory using the questionnaires and technical training on GPS devices by simulating a field exercise.
The sources of data used in the VAS are derived from four complementary and integrated questionnaires: Boma Questionnaire, Payam Authorities Questionnaire, Health Technical Questionnaire and Education Technical Questionnaire.