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New data tool tracks emerging conflict trends in Africa

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Fri, 15 Feb 2013 15:08 GMT
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By Astrid Zweynert

LONDON (AlertNet) - A new online data tool for monitoring conflict trends in Africa can help governments and aid workers to analyse the impact of political, social and armed conflicts on communities, its creators said.

By combining mapping, analysis and raw data from thousands of emerging and historical conflicts, the CCAPS Conflict Dashboard enables users to assess trends and detailed event data simultaneously.

Users can also relate these trends to a range of socioeconomic factors incorporated in the tool, created by the Strauss Centre's Climate Change and African Political Stability programme (CCAPS) at the University of Texas at Austin.

“The dashboard puts volumes of historical and real-time data in the hands of the people who need it," CCAPS Programe Manager Ashley Moran said in a statement released to mark the launch this week.

"Policy makers, citizens, aid workers, journalists, and researchers alike can analyse how emerging conflict patterns could impact their communities of interest."

The dashboard includes two conflict datasets from the CCAPS Programe: the Social Conflict in Africa Database (SCAD) and the Armed Conflict Location and Event Dataset (ACLED).

SCAD provides the first systematic tracking of a broad range of social and political unrest in Africa, CCAPS said. It includes protests, riots, strikes, inter-communal conflict, government violence against civilians and other forms of social conflict.

The tool maps over 7,900 social conflict events from 1990 to 2011 and provides detailed information on their location, timing and magnitude, as well as the actors and issues involved.

ACLED provides near real-time tracking of armed conflict in Africa, with monthly updated data, displaying more than 60,000 armed conflict events from 1997 to 2013.

It tracks the actions of opposition groups, governments, and militias in Africa, specifying the exact location and date of battle events, transfers of military control, headquarter establishment, civilian violence, and rioting. 

The programme last year launched an integrated mapping platform in partnership with Development Gateway to analyse how climate, conflict and aid intersect.

CCAPS has also created an aid dashboard that combines trends analysis with what it says is the most comprehensive collection of geocoded data on aid projects in Africa.

CCAPS said will release additional dashboards on climate and governance in 2013.


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