Instability has been growing in the Sahel and West Africa as transnational violent extremist organisations have proliferated. As a result, violent events have become more frequent and civilian casualties have increased. Our tools help policy makers to better understand the spatial dynamics of violence which leads to better designed, place-based and contextualised policies.
The Spatial Conflict Dynamics indicator (SCDi) maps the temporal and spatial evolution of political violence in North and West Africa since 1997. The SCDi divides the region into 6 540 cells (each cell is 50 by 50 kilometres) and leverages over 57 000 violent events from the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) across 21 countries. It is possible to classify conflict types by their intensity, which measures the amount of violence, and concentration which assesses how violent events are distributed spatially across a region.
The SCDi identifies four types of conflict: clustered high-intensity, dispersed high-intensity, clustered low-intensity and dispersed low-intensity.
The SCDi was developed by the Sahel and West Africa Club (SWAC/OECD) in co-operation with the University of Florida’s Sahel Research Group. The code used to calculate the SCDi is available here.