Methodology

The multiple data sources—police reports, newspaper reports, and community members—make Conflict Alert the largest repository of subnational conflict data in the Philippines. From collection, the data undergo a strict process of evaluation, validation and analysis before they are shared with the public.

Data Sources.  Conflict Alert sources its raw data from incident reports from police regional and provincial offices. The police reports are supplemented by reports from 15 local and national newspapers.

Police and newspaper reports will not provide the cause or causes of the violent conflict incidents all the time. This has led to the creation of multi-stakeholder validation groups (MSVGs). The MSVGs are assembled to provide depth to the data. Members provide details of the conflict incidents and add conflict incidents not reported to the police or by the media. They also validate the list of incidents created from the police and newspaper reports. The MSVGs are composed of members with backgrounds in security provision, crime prevention, journalism, peacebuilding, conflict research, crime monitoring, local governance, policy formulation, and grassroots knowledge. Some MSVG participants serve as regular members while others are individuals who serve as specialized resource persons especially when local knowledge is required.

The multiple data sources—police, media and the community—make Conflict Alert the largest repository of data on subnational conflict in the Philippines. From collection, the data undergo a strict process of evaluation, validation and analysis before they are shared with the public.

Data Gathering. Incident reports are collected from the regional and provincial offices of the Philippine National Police. Reports from 15 national and local newspapers are gathered.

Data Sorting.  Incidents are classified into violent and non-violent and thereafter stored in different databases. Violence is used as the proxy indicator for conflict incidence.

Data Encoding.  The violent conflict incidents are subjected to analysis. A team of data reviewers and data encoders, using an electronic monitoring instrument, encode the pertinent details of the incidents. At the first stage, data reviewers make the determination of the cause or causes of the incidents. They are guided by a codebook containing six main causes and 63 specific causes of violent conflict. Next, data encoders take down the other details of the incidents such as actors, weapons and costs, among others. They also check for links between new incidents and previously recorded incidents and for conflict strings. They geotag the incidents. Duplicate entries are voided using a search facility. At the third stage, data reviewers check that all details about the incidents, as encoded into the monitoring instrument, are accurate. At the fourth stage, a second reviewer makes random checks to further ensure data quality.

Data Validation.  MSVGs are assembled to go through the encoded incidents. Their role is to check the list of incidents, provide more details of the conflict incidents, and add conflict incidents not reported to the police or by the media. They discuss conflict trends to enhance the analysis of the data.

Data Analysis.  Data are tabulated and analyzed according to incidence, density, strings, and trends of violent conflict. Additionally, the severity (frequency) and magnitude (or cost in terms of people injured, killed and displaced) of violence are also examined using Alert’s Violence Intensity Index to help pinpoint priorities and interventions in the conflict-affected areas.

Data Visualization.  The findings are presented using visual tools such as charts, graphs and tables. Incidents are also mapped, providing locational context to the incidents. Users of the Conflict Alert website may generate their own charts, graphs, tables and maps using its charting and mapping tools.

Data Dissemination.  Results are presented to key stakeholders such as government agencies, local government units, civil society groups, academic institutions, private institutions, and the security sector. The whole dataset is also stored in a comma-separated values or CSV files and written up in reports that are uploaded to the Conflict Alert website and made available to the public for free.