Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED): Guide to Dataset Use for Humanitarian and Development Practitioners

Manual and Guideline
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The Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) is a publicly available conflict event dataset designed for disaggregated conflict analysis and crisis mapping. This dataset contains information on the dates and locations of all reported political violence events and demonstrations in over 70 countries. The data are drawn from news reports, publications by civil society and human rights organisations, and security updates from local and international organisations.

An estimated 1.5 billion people worldwide live in conflict-affected countries where repeated cycles of political and organised violence hinder development, reduce human security, and result in massive humanitarian suffering (World Bank, 2011). A core challenge for the design, targeting, delivery and assessment of efficient, effective, high-quality humanitarian operations in conflict-affected contexts is the absence of, and access to, reliable, timely and accessible data on political violence which is comparable across time periods and geographic contexts.

The ACLED dataset can be used to inform evidence-based decision making by humanitarian and development practitioners, whether in the field, or developing medium- to long-term policy and planning.

All humanitarian contexts and complex emergencies are situations of acute need. In deciding where, how and when to allocate resources, ACLED can help practitioners and policy makers:

• Design appropriate, effective and high-quality programmes.

• Identify drivers of conflict for effective peace-building and conflict mitigation.

• Inform assessments of project efficacy and impact, and identify additional variables (including conflict levels and limitations on access) which might affect programme performance.

• Make informed decisions about risk levels to beneficiaries, staff, and logistical procedures in volatile conflict contexts.

This short guide provides an introduction to the structure of the dataset, key terminology used, potential uses by humanitarian and development practitioners, and answers to frequently asked questions.

Supporting documentation, including the project Codebook (detailing the data collection and recording process), a general user guide, and working papers which explore sources and methodology in greater detail are all available online here.