… The claim that sanctions killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children originated in a 1995 letter to The Lancet which, in turn, was based on a Baghdad survey done by Sarah Zaidi and colleagues. After other researchers identified anomalies in the survey data, Zaidi, to her great credit, re-investigated the work from the ground up. Having sub-contracted the original interviews to the Iraqi government, she traveled to Baghdad and re-interviewed many of the original households. When Zaidi failed to confirm quite a few of the reported deaths in these follow-up interviews, she retracted her results.
For the rest of your life, whenever you see a survey, ask yourself a simple question: Who guarantees the integrity of the field work for this survey? [cont.]
Michael Spagat (U. of London), Pacific Standard