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Update Alert No. 9
8 December, 2011

New data release

UCDP Georeferenced Event Dataset (UCDP GED) version 1.0-2011

Today, 8 December, the Uppsala Conflict Data Program released its latest dataset; the UCDP GED version 1.0-2011. The UCDP GED is an event-based and georeferenced dataset on organized violence, detailing all of the UCDP’s categories of violence (state-based conflict, non-state conflict and one-sided violence) in Africa between 1989 and 2010 at the level of the individual event of violence.

In contrast to the UCDP’s country-year datasets, that are separated between different datasets depending on the type of violence they track, the UCDP GED contains data on all types of organized violence, disaggregated spatially and temporally down to the level of the individual incidents of fatal violence. Each event comes complete with date of the event, place of the event (with coordinates), actors participating in the event, estimates of fatalities, as well as variables that denote the certainty with which these data are known.

This version of the dataset comes in a point format, georeferenced using the WGS84 datum and is compatible with most GIS software. Further updates during December 2011 and January 2012 will contain polygons of conflict zones, as well as onset data in point and polygon formats (shapefile format for use in ArcGIS). This first release of data contains all of those events that appear in years when a dyad or actor crosses the 25 fatalities threshold; future updates will contain events beyond these so-called ‘active years’, as well as data on actors and dyads that have never crossed this threshold. This version of the dataset contains approximately 24 000 individual events of violence.

This new dataset allows for the analysis of the causes, dynamics and resolution of organized violence at a level of analysis below the state system. The data can be conjoined with other sub-state data, such as disaggregated information on population, economy and the environment to allow for types of analyses and answer questions that country-level cannot address.

The UCDP has been working on coding and organizing these data for approximately 2,5 years, with a research group of approximately 15 project managers and research assistants. The data have been thoroughly checked and double-checked, both manually and through automated scripts, so as to ensure the integrity and usability of the product. We hope you like it.

Questions, comments and any errors should be directed to the project manager, Ralph Sundberg (ralph.sundberg@pcr.uu.se).

For downloading the UCDP GED version 1.0-2011 and for detailed and interactive maps please see the UCDP GED project page at http://ucdp.uu.se/ged/.

A comparison of coverage and quality of UCDP GED to ACLED can be found in the following article: Eck, Kristine (2012) "In Data We Trust? A Comparison of UCDP GED and ACLED Conflict Events Datasets", Cooperation and Conflict 47(1): forthcoming. Please see the UCDP GED description page for downloading the article.

UCDP External Support Data 1975-2009

On 8 December the UCDP released new data on external support in internal armed conflicts for the time period 1975-2009. The data is divided into two separate datasets, the UCDP External Support – Primary Warring Party Dataset, and the UCDP External Support – Disaggregated/Supporter Dataset. The two datasets are analogous, i.e. contain identical data structured in a different manner to simplify various types of research such as different types of statistical analyses. Please see the datasets' webpage and the codebooks for guidelines on how to choose the right dataset.


States in Armed Conflict 2010

The 23rd edition of the annual report of States in Armed Conflict was released on 2 December. The report contains three parts, focusing on UCDP’s three categories of organised violence. Besides listing conflicts in the three categories, the report includes UCDP’s 2011 article in Journal of Peace Research and a global analysis of external involvement in internal conflicts in the 1975-2010 time period.

Third Edition

The third edition of Peter Wallensteen’s Understanding Conflict Resolution (Sage 2011) has now been published. It explains and uses some of the basic elements in UCDP with respect to armed conflicts and peace agreements. The third edition uses the same structure as previous editions and is updated to include events until spring 2011. It also reports on recent scholarly results based on UCDP information.

Two new books use UCDP data

In Winning the War on War. The Decline of Armed Conflict Worldwide (New York: Dutton, 2011) Joshua S. Goldstein presents strong arguments for the significance of the international community, civil society and peacekeeping in the observed, actual and long-term reduction in wars around the world. He makes frequent use of UCDP data, describing also his visit to Uppsala, and notes – very timely – that the efforts ”to understand peace and count armed conflicts are underfunded, understaffed and underappreciated” (p 247).

In War & Conflict in Africa (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2011) Paul D. Williams focuses on some of the key questions for understanding the proliferation of armed conflicts in Africa. What caused them, what were their main characteristics and what was the response from the major international actors? He makes an comparative assessment of more than 300 armed conflicts in Africa between 1990 and 2009, and in doing so, makes extensive use of the UCDP conflict database.