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Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project

The Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) is a non-governmental organization that collates and analyzes data on political violence and protest around the world.[1] As of 2018, ACLED has recorded over 420,000 individual events across Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East, and it is expanding coverage to include Europe and Latin America. It specializes in disaggregated conflict collection and crisis mapping. The ACLED team conducts analysis to describe, explore, and test conflict scenarios, and makes both data and analysis open for use by the public.

Team and historyEdit

ACLED is led by founder and Executive Director Prof. Clionadh Raleigh and operated by Research Director Dr. Roudabeh Kishi. The project is managed by Program Director Olivia Russell. Data are collected and analyzed by teams of researchers based around the world.

The dataset was introduced by Raleigh and co-authors in a 2010 paper in the Journal of Peace Research.[2] ACLED was previously affiliated with the University of Sussex and hosted by the Peace Research Institute Oslo (where it was distinct from the UCDP/PRIO Armed Conflict dataset) but later moved to an independent home.[3] Since 2014, ACLED has been registered as an independent, non-governmental organization in the United States.[4]


ACLED data contain information on the specific dates and locations of conflict events, the types of events, the groups involved, reported fatalities, and changes in territorial control. The dataset has different coverage periods[5] for different regions and countries, as back-coding remains ongoing: all African countries are covered starting from 1997 to the present; all Middle Eastern countries are covered from 2016 to the present; and South and Southeast Asian countries are covered from 2010 to the present, except for India (2016–present), Afghanistan (2017–present), Indonesia (2015–present), and the Philippines (2016–present). All of these countries are covered in real-time.[6] ACLED is in the process of expanding coverage to Europe and Latin America.

Data collection involves a variety of sources including reports from government institutions, local media, humanitarian agencies, and research publications. In many cases, ACLED has developed partnerships with local conflict observatories to enhance data collection, such as the Yemen Data Project and the Syrian Network for Human Rights. A full account of definitions, practices, source materials, and coding procedures are available in the Methodology section on ACLED website.[7]

Data are updated in real-time and can be downloaded from the website. ACLED provides a codebook intended for users of the dataset[8] as well as additional FAQs and guides. Real-time analysis of political violence can be also found in the "Analysis" section of the ACLED website, including weekly regional overviews, briefings, reports, and infographics.[9] The Project also issues press releases and summaries for use by the media, which can be found in the "Press" section of the website.[10]

Uses and users of ACLEDEdit

Academics, practitioners, and policymakersEdit

Scholars, students, and academic researchers commonly use ACLED data in their work on protest and political violence,[11] including from institutions like Bowdoin College, Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Kings College London, the London School of Economics, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Oxford University, Stanford University, and the University of Pennsylvania, among others.

ACLED data are also routinely utilized and referenced by development practitioners, humanitarian agencies, and policymakers, including the World Bank, International Committee of the Red Cross, United Nations (UN) Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, UNICEF, UN OHCHR, UN country offices, European Union agencies, and a variety of government ministries around the world, as well as charities and human rights organizations.

Think tanks and blogsEdit

Political scientist, data analyst, and forecaster Jay Ulfelder blogged about his experience trying to use the ACLED to see if it added predictive power in estimating the probability of coups, and explained both how he approached the problem and why he eventually concluded that the ACLED data did not add predictive power for coup forecasting.[12] However, 23 successful and unsuccessful changes in power through coups have occurred across Africa since 1997. Recent research suggests that coup risk is related to the size and stability of a leader's cabinet, and not episodes of political violence preceding coups.[13] A post by Thomas Zeitzoff at the Political Violence at a Glance blog listed the ACLED as one of several "high-profile datasets."[14] Patrick Meier blogged about it at[15]

Think tanks such as the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Carter Center, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Brookings Institution, and the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, utilize ACLED data for research and to inform policy recommendations.

News mediaEdit

ACLED data and analysis are regularly cited in media reports on conflict trends. These include pieces in The New York Times,[16][17] The Guardian,[18] The Washington Post,[19] CNN,[20] The Telegraph,[21] The Independent,[22] Buzzfeed News,[23] Al Jazeera,[24] Middle East Eye,[25] the Associated Press,[26] Le Monde,[27] the BBC[28] National Geographic,[29] The Economist,[30] and The Atlantic,[31] among others.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "About ACLED". 2018. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  2. ^ Raleigh, Clionadh; Linke, Andrew; Hegre, Håvard; Karlsen, Joakim. "Introducing ACLED: An Armed Conflict Location and Event Dataset" (PDF). Journal of Peace Research. 47 (5): 1–10. doi:10.1177/0022343310378914.
  3. ^ "ACLED - Armed Conflict Location and Event Data". Peace Research Institute Oslo. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
  4. ^ "About ACLED". ACLED. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  5. ^ "ACLED Coverage to Date" (PDF). November 2018. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  6. ^ "Data". Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  7. ^ "Methodology". Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  8. ^ "ACLED Codebook 2014" (PDF). Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  9. ^ "Analysis". ACLED. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  10. ^ "Press". ACLED. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  11. ^ ACLED. "A Review of Research Using ACLED in 2014". Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
  12. ^ Ulfelder, Jay (June 2, 2014). "Conflict Events, Coup Forecasts, and Data Prospecting". Dart-Throwing Chimp. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
  13. ^ Arriola, Leonardo R. (October 2009). "Patronage and Political Stability in Africa" (PDF). Comparative Political Studies. 42 (10): 1339–1362. doi:10.1177/0010414009332126. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
  14. ^ Zeitzoff, Thomas (April 2, 2013). "Why IR and Conflict Research Need Micro-Foundations". Political Violence at a Glance. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
  15. ^ Meier, Patrick (June 8, 2009). "Armed Conflict and Location Event Dataset (ACLED) | iRevolutions". iRevolution. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
  16. ^ Nossiter, Adam (May 18, 2014). "A Jihadist's Face Taunts Nigeria From the Shadows". New York Times. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
  17. ^ Ashkenas, Jeremy; Watkins, Derek; Tse, Archie. "Boko Haram: The Other Islamic State". The New York Times. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
  18. ^ Beaumont, Peter (2018-09-26). "Huge spike in Yemen violence as civilian deaths rise by 164% in four months". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  19. ^ Fahim, Kareem. "Warring sides in Yemen agree to halt fighting in key port city, UN says". Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  20. ^ Kosinski, Michelle (November 27, 2018). "US 'slams the brakes' on UN Yemen ceasefire resolution". CNN. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  21. ^ Ensor, Josie (2018-12-12). "Yemen death toll 'six times higher' than estimated". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  22. ^ "'How anger in Washington over Khashoggi's murder has led to progress in the Yemen conflict'". The Independent. 2018-12-14. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  23. ^ "Sen. Chris Murphy Said He Is "Not Planning" To Run For President, But Wouldn't Explicitly Rule It Out". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  24. ^ "November Yemen's 'deadliest month' in two years: ACLED report". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  25. ^ "Yemen: 60,000 dead in armed violence since 2016, research group says". Middle East Eye. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  26. ^ Gambrell, Jon; Harb, Malak (2018-12-13). "Yemen's port city of Aden shows challenge of peace". Associated Press. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  27. ^ Rédaction, La (2018-12-12). "Aucun cessez-le-feu en vue à l'issue des pourparlers interyéménites". Le Monde arabe (in French). Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  28. ^ "Boko Haram crisis: Cameroon repels army base raid". BBC. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
  29. ^ Verini, James (March 27, 2014). "Should the United Nations Wage War to Keep Peace? Last year the UN adopted Resolution 2098, allowing its troops to attack armed groups in Congo and leading to the defeat of the vicious M23 militia. The Security Council has voted to renew the resolution, but the battle for Africa's heartland is far from over". National Geographic. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
  30. ^ "Daily Chart: Voting Violence". The Economist. July 30, 2013. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
  31. ^ Berg, Nate (September 13, 2012). "A Depressingly Crowded Map of Conflicts in Africa. A lot has happened in just a few years". Retrieved June 12, 2014.

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