Measuring Lethal Counterinsurgency Violence in Amritsar District, India Using a Network Referral-Based Sampling Technique

Romesh Silva, University of California, Berkeley
Jeff Klingner, Human Rights Data Analysis Group, Benetech
Scott Weikart, Human Rights Data Analysis Group, Benetech

When evaluating the magnitude and pattern of conflict-related mortality during armed conflicts, demographers rely on either available population census data, convenience sample data, retrospective mortality data or a combination of these data sources. By its nature, each source is vulnerable to bias and error. Existing quantitative claims about enforced disappearances and extrajudicial executions in Punjab (India) between 1984 and 1996 are not based on defensible demographic or statistical methods. We present results from a retrospective mortality survey in rural Amritsar designed to measure lethal counterinsurgency violence. The survey uses a hybrid sampling design which combines probability-based random sampling with referral-based network sampling. This paper explores the dynamics of referral-based sampling through a presentation of the social-network-analysis metrics and the referral chains. This analysis is the basis for determining the coverage rate of the referral-based sampling in villages within which caste and socioeconomic status may influence social knowledge and social relations.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 28: New Sources and Methods for Data Collection