Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP) has released a new dataset which opens up new possibilities for the study of armed conflict. The dataset covers all armed conflicts in Africa from 1989 through 2010 and contains information on the precise date and place of individual instances (events) of armed violence. This allows for new research on the causes, dynamics, and resolution of armed conflict. Further, patterns and the geographic developments of conflicts can be analyzed using software for geographic information systems (GIS). „This will change conflict studies in a very exciting way“, says Peter Wallensteen, Dag Hammarskjöld professor of peace and conflict research and leader of UCDP. Initial studies have already contributed with interesting findings; such as the targeting of civilians in intrastate conflicts and the relationship between climate change and armed conflict.
The dataset (UCDP GED) is the outcome of approximately 2.5 years of work, engaging some 15 researchers and assistants. It contains information on some 24 000 unique events and includes all three types of armed conflict (state-based, non-state, and one-sided violence) on the African continent between 1989 and 2010. This dataset is compatible with a number of software utilities for statistical analysis and GIS software.