Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) Codebook

Manual and Guideline
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Introduction and Brief Description

The ACLED project codes reported information on the type, agents, location, date, and other characteristics of political violence events, demonstrations and select politically relevant non-violent events. ACLED focuses on tracking a range of violent and nonviolent actions by political agents, including governments, rebels, militias, identity groups, political parties, external actors, rioters, protesters and civilians. The full list of the columns in ACLED is available in Table 1 below.

ACLED concentrates on:

  • Tracking rebel, militia and government activity over time and space;
  • Recording violent acts between and across non-state groups, including political and identity militias;
  • Recording political violence by unnamed agents, as violent groups may remain unnamed for strategic reasons;
  • Recording attacks on civilians by all violent political agents;
  • Distinguishing between territorial transfers of military control from governments (and their affiliates) to non-state agents and vice versa;
  • Collecting information on rioting and protesting; and
  • Tracking non-violent ‘strategic developments’ representing crucial junctures in periods of political violence (e.g. recruitment drives, peace talks, high-level arrests).

ACLED data are derived from a wide range of local, regional and national sources and the information is collected by trained data experts worldwide. An updated overview of ACLED’s current coverage is available on the ACLED website.

ACLED data are available to the public and are released in real-time. Data can be downloaded through the data export tool on the ACLED website or can be accessed through the API a manual is available online. Curated data files – such as regional data files, or aggregate country-year files – can also be accessed online on the ACLED website. Further information on ACLED’s coding choices are available on the methodology page of the ACLED website.