Methodology

Conflict Alert studies violent conflict or an incident where force or physical violence, or the threat to use force or physical violence, was made.

Data Sources.  Key sources of data are the incident reports from the Philippine National Police (PNP) and news reports from 14 local and national newspapers. Multi-Stakeholder Validation Groups (MSVGs), composed of local people with knowledge of local conflicts, also add incidents to the database. MSVG members’ backgrounds range from security provision, crime prevention, conflict research, and crime monitoring, to peacebuilding, local governance, policy formulation, journalism, and grassroots knowledge.

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, provincial, and city offices of the PNP. Reports from 14 national and local newspapers are gathered.

Data Sorting.  Incidents are classified into violent and non-violent. Only the violent conflict incidents are encoded and subjected to analysis.

Data Encoding.  At the first stage, encoders record all details of the incidents using an online encoding form. They then check for links between newly encoded incidents and previously recorded incidents, or for conflict strings. They geotag the incidents. Duplicate entries are voided using a search facility. At the next stage, data reviewers check the details of the incidents. At the third stage, a second reviewer makes random checks to further ensure data quality.

Among the incident details that are encoded is the cause of the conflict. Conflict Alert classifies causes into shadow economy issues, common crimes, political issues, identity issues, resource issues, and governance issues. Causes are further classified into specific causes. For example, a violent conflict incident between two clans is classified as an identity issue and as rido or clan feud.

Data Validation.  MSVGs validate the list of violent conflict incidents. They also add details, such as the cause or causes of the conflict, when these are not provided by police and newspaper reports. Members also add incidents they know of that they did not find on the list. They use the meetings to discuss conflict trends to enhance the analysis of the data.

Data Analysis.  Data are tabulated and analyzed according to incidence, density, causes, 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 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.