Confidence in Needs Assessment Data: The Use of Confidence Ratings in the Syria Multi-Sectoral Needs Assessment (MSNA)

Benini, A. et al.
Publication language
Date published
01 Apr 2015
Tools, guidelines and methodologies
Accountability and Participation, Evaluation-related, Needs assessment

This note explains the use of confidence ratings during the Multi Sectoral Needs Assessment conducted in Syria in 2014 as a way to monitor the reliability of the collected information. Practical recommendations are provided for their improvement in future assessments.

Needs assessments strive to collect reliable information. Documenting the reliability adds to transparency and thus is part of the accountability to which humanitarian agencies aspire. Rating and recording the confidence that assessment personnel place in pieces of information is one way of monitoring the reliability of the collected data. The recent Syria Multi-Sectoral Needs Assessment (MSNA) followed this practice in a clearly designed way.

This note is about the larger confidence picture, as evident in the distributions of the confidence scores. It is also about the coherence of the ratings across domains, and about the association of confidence with factors of the conflict environment. It is based entirely on the MSNA’s final dataset.