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Stage 2

 Reference Sheet DD 

Data reduction
(to produce concluding statements)

After completing a disaggregated analysis, state the main conclusions that emerge from the community’s answers. List:

  • The main threats or adverse events that face the community.

  • The resources the community possesses to confront those threats (assets, capacities, relationships, and also vulnerabilities that weaken its resources, etc.).

Go back to the community results and make sure the details are carefully transcribed into the triangulation star or matrix (the term ‘triangulation matrix’ refers to any compilation of all relevant assessment findings in a central place (in an MS Excel file, on a wall, etc.), allowing a careful comparison across all methods and sources. The Resilience Star is a good tool that assists triangulation across all the FCR’s characteristics of resilience), and that they also reflect the disaggregated summary of results. Similarly review the exercises you organized that inventoried local resources and relationships (in and beyond the community). Every important quantitative and qualitative finding, from each of the methods and instruments used, needs to be visible in the right place on some type of a triangulation star or matrix. 

Analyse or examine your triangulation matrix to decide which trends (of those you coded green) are the most important, for inclusion in the conclusions. 



 Data reduction 

As much as you may want to, you cannot import all the richness of your findings into the conclusions. Identify the most valid trends and the most important knowledge. This is called ‘data reduction’. A simple way to do it is to use the walls of a good-sized room, where you display large amounts of data and then sort them into categories with the help of the volunteers who collected it. Through this so-called ‘wall method’ you can group a number of similar data bits together on the wall. Once data reduction has been done, reduce your data to a few main actionable statements. Having invested so much effort in collecting and recording details, it is sometimes excruciating to replace rich detail by ten simple statements. Consider this a moment when you really make a difference in the community, because this step will prioritize the kind of support (if any) that your National Society offers the community: an in‑depth assessment, conventional programming, or the equally important role of engaging and connecting. 

As the assessment team examines the Resilience Star or matrix, start by looking for areas in which findings converge. Make a list of all these findings, organized in terms of resilience characteristics. For each characteristic, make sure that you develop at least one conclusion that represents a threat or adverse event and one that represents a capacity (or vulnerability). See Tip below.

Tip: Concluding statements – characteristic 2

Characteristic: Is healthy 


  • Waterborne disease is on the rise.

  • A large proportion of local crops has been destroyed in the last few seasons by excess rainfall, causing a higher incidence of malnutrition.

  • Etc

Capacity/resources (vulnerability)

  • Livelihoods have not yet benefited from crop diversification and still depend on rain‑fed subsistence agriculture.

  • Social cohesion is low; no visible system of sharing with neighbours exists.

  • A health centre is being constructed in the community.

  • Etc.


It is important to pull out the original ideas but also to interpret them. At this point, findings can be reformulated as definitive statements (without reference to their source, the method used, their exact expression, or minor details). What you are doing is reducing dense and colourful evidence to clear summary statements that you can readily trace back to your evidence. 

When you consider threats and capacity, remember to prioritize those the community cites. Whenever possible, systematically rephrase statements in positive terms. Instead of saying, “No community member has a relationship with the meteorology authority in the nearest town”, say, “A meteorology station, currently with no direct contact to the community, is situated at a distance of X kilometres”. Doing this will help you to link problems to resources later in the process.

Even if some statements could have been deduced before secondary data or other sources were assessed, only add statements to the list if the evidence base confirms convergence, on the basis of the views of community members (a minimum of three sources). The list must highlight the priorities and perceptions of the community, not those of the assessment team or National Society.

When the assessment team is convinced that nothing in the Resilience Star or matrix has been missed, data reduction has been completed. Once strong concluding statements have been drafted and agreed, their prioritization is a simple and participatory task (see Reference Sheet W).

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