A source of useful information on Nigeria
The Fund for Peace is an organization best known for its Fragile States Index, an index released annually which compiles data from multiple sources in order to assess risk and stability in countries. However, the organization also publishes a quarterly Niger Delta Conflict Tracker, a report that examines trends of conflict risk factors and violent incidences. While the report does not analyze conflict, it does present updated patterns of violent incidences in an effort to comprehend the deeper drivers of conflict.
The goal of the quarterly tracker reports is to inform local and international stakeholders about current trends in violent incidences in the Niger Delta, with the ultimate aim of better understanding the implications of outbreaks of violence and the best options available to mitigate future incidences. The reports are designed to target local stakeholders such as traditional authorities, women, politicians, private sector actors and youths.
The reports themselves include maps of violence, graphs illustrating trends and a written section breaking down patterns and trends in conflict risk by region as well as overall trends. Specific graphs showing incidences and fatalities overtime are given for each region. One of the most notable aspects of the reports is the heatmaps, which show the concentration of violent incidences throughout the entire Niger Delta and for each individual region. The heatmaps highlight areas where violence has been the most intense on a spectrum of red to yellow to green, with red denoting areas with a high concentration of violence and green denoting areas with a lower concentration of violence.
Though the reports do not analyze the conflicts themselves, they do note changes in trends and patterns that have occurred since the past quarter and over the past few years. For example, the most recent report notes, “conflict risk in the Niger Delta decreased slightly in Q3 after hitting its highest levels in Q2 since 2009.” The quarterly tracker reports also distinguish between various types of violent acts, such as militancy, gang violence, cult-related violence, inter-communal conflict and political tensions. In addition to differentiating between various types of conflict, the reports give specific examples of violent incidences and conflicts that have occurred.
Because the reports do not offer any analysis of conflict, they equally do not offer any suggestions for future conflict mitigation. The reports are meant to be a resource for stakeholders in the Niger Delta and internationally. The Fund for Peace gathers its data from multiple sources, including Nigeria Watch and the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, in order to ensure the reports contain as accurate information as is possible to obtain.
Abby Pioch is the primary blogger for Remembering Biafra. She is a senior in the Elliott School studying International Affairs concentrating in international development with a second major in French Language, Literature and Culture and a minor in Political Science. She is a member of Delta Phi Epsilon Professional Foreign Service Sorority and currently tutors ESL students at the Washington English Center.