ACLED (Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project) is the most comprehensive public collection of political violence data for developing states. These data contain information on the specific dates and locations of political violence, the types of event, the groups involved, fatalities and changes in territorial control. Information is recorded on the battles, killings, riots, and recruitment activities of rebels, governments, militias, armed groups, protesters and civilians. Event data are derived from a variety of sources, mainly concentrating on reports from war zones, humanitarian agencies, and research publications.
As of early 2014, ACLED has recorded over 80,000 individual events. In the Africa data, 79,000 events from 1997-2013 have the following breakdown: 38% are battles between governments, rebels, and militias; 32% are events in which civilians are directly targeted and harmed; 21% are riots and protests; and 8% is non-violent activity including rebel recruitment, arrests or base establishment.
Despite the waning of civil wars across the developing world, ACLED shows that political violence rates have remained relatively stable in the past seventeen years. Recorded increases in conflict event levels correspond in part to increased digitisation of media sources, access and coverage of conflict and human rights violations by civil society and international organisations from which event data is drawn, and improvements in data collection and coding within the ACLED project. Overall, an increase in political violence across Africa from 2007 has offset a sharp decrease from 2002 to 2006. From 1997-2013, riots and protests have witnessed the sharpest absolute and proportional increase; while the proportion of political violence involving battles has decreased.
ACLED collects real-time data on political violence in African states. Real-time data is available at the Climate Change and African Political Stability Project (CCAPS) website and updated on our website.
ACLED also produces a monthly Conflict Trends which reviews and analyses new events and patterns from real-time data. All ACLED data can be downloaded on this site by country in excel and GIS formats. While the information is designed for disaggregated conflict analysis and crisis mapping, these data can be used in any GIS, any mapping program, or statistical package.