USE methodology

The USE methodology is carefully calibrated to the specific context of the eastern Ukraine, as is done in all other countries and regions where SCORE is implemented. Each USE wave starts with a series of consultations with local, regional and national stakeholders in Kyiv and the five eastern oblasts.
During the consultations the stakeholders (representatives of the authorities and civil society) identify the most important trends and developments of relevance for social cohesion. Following these consultations, a conceptual model for social cohesion in eastern Ukraine is developed. The conceptual model is updated with each USE wave in order to reflect the most relevant issues.

The USE conceptual model


The outcomes in the 2017 wave are:
i) adaptive psychosocial functioning
ii) mitigating negative population trends
iii) social connectedness and belonging
iv) tolerant and socially responsible citizenship

Each outcome is made up by a number of so called indicators. In total there are more than 70 USE indicators. Most indicators in the USE conceptual model are measured by at least three questionnaire items.

The 2018 results are based on a survey of 6,000 face-to-face interviews with residents of the five oblasts in the east of Ukraine (350 interviews per cluster of raions in Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts, and 600 interviews per oblast in Zaporizhzhia, Dnipropetrovsk and Kharkiv). Out of the 6,000 interviews, 700 were conducted with respondents along the contact line in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. In 2017, the total sample size was 5,300. USE uses a random sampling methodology for its household surveys. In other words, the sample is geographically stratified to ensure that more urban and populous areas do not dominate the needs and dynamics of rural or less populous areas. The USE sampling ensures that both regional and demographic variance and dynamics are represented in the findings.

Expert scoring interviews (in 2017 only): 72 face-to-face in-depth interviews with two local experts in each of the raions in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.

School survey (in 2017, data for 2018 is forthcoming): 3,300 children aged 13-17 sampled from 48 education facilities in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts (government controlled areas). The selection of schools was stratified (by cluster) and based on a systematic random selection of schools and vocational educational institutions with an over sampling of the latter.

USE is much more than a perception survey, which is why the results are not reported in the form of percentages. Instead, the results are presented in the form of descriptive and predictive analysis. The descriptive part is illustrated by the heat maps, which show scores from 0 to 10 for each of the USE indicators.

Scores for migration tendency



The predictive part of USE is illustrated by the path analysis that shows the so-called drivers, which are those indicators that have a strong correlation with each of the outcomes. Drivers may be either positively or negatively contributing to the outcome, meaning that they can either reinforce/strengthen or inhibit/undermine the outcome. The drivers can serve as a guide for what type of activity, policy, program or even issue has a high level of importance in strengthening social cohesion. In other words, the drivers help identify strategic entry points with the likelihood of creating positive impact on the outcome. This provides valuable information for designing programs and policies, strategic resource allocation or even for informing local stakeholders about what issues are of most interest to local citizens



To understand USE and how it works, one has to think of the heat maps as showing the ‘what’ and the ‘where’. The drivers explain the ‘why’ and ‘how’.  The Compare  by demographics groups function on this website will give the answer to ‘who’. Therefore, when one combines the information provided by heat maps, demographics breakdown and the path analysis, it produces a detailed understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the different aspects of social cohesion in different locations and within different groups throughout the east of Ukraine.

Shadowed drivers are unique for each of the groups. Red lines indicate a negative impact, and blue lines - a positive one. The thickness of the arrows indicates the strength of the impact.