Research on conflict warning system to receive million SEK grant

15 April 2016

An example of conflict warning overlaid on top of a world map. The map shows the forecasted risk of armed conflicts throughout the world in 2020. The map was developed with CShapes.

The European Research Council, ERC, has decided to fund research at Uppsala University on the development of an early-warning system for armed conflicts.

Håvard Hegre, professor of peace and conflict research, will receive around 2,5 million EUR for the research project ’The Violence Early-Warning System: Building a Scientific Foundation for Conflict Forecasting’. The research project will be carried out at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research and will be based on conflict data drawn from the Uppsala Conflict Data Program.

The ability to forecast armed conflicts would greatly improved the chances of preventing them and preparing different forms of peacekeeping measures. Today, the efficiency of relief efforts is hampered by the lack of effective advance warning systems.

The research project aims to develop, test, and successively improve a pilot system: ViEWS (Violence Early-Warning System). ViEWS will be made available to both the research community and the public. During the research project, ViEWS will be limited to monitoring conditions in Africa, but it will also be adaptable to other regions as well. ViEWS will be able to warn about four different types of political conflicts:

  • armed conflicts between states and rebel groups
  • armed conflicts between non-state actors
  • violence against civilians
  • forced relocation of populations.

This year, 270 applications were awarded ERC Advanced Grants, out of a total of 1927 applications. Of the approved projects, nine are based in Sweden.

Read more