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ABOUT the forecasts

VIEWS in numbers

VIEWS is an ambitious early-warning system (EWS) at the frontier of research on conflict forecasting. The open-source tool is continuously developed, tested and iteratively improved. For each month in the the rolling 3-year forecasting window, it generates forecasts for the number of fatalities in impending state-based conflict, as well as dichotomous predictions for the probability of at least 25 battle-related deaths (BRDs) per country-month and at least 1 BRD per PRIO-GRID-month. 
The country-level ensemble model covers and/or draws upon:
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countries (global)
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sub-models
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conflict predictors
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data points for training and calibration
The PRIO-GRID-level ensemble model covers and/or draws upon:
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prio-grid cells
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sub-models
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conflict predictors
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data points for training and calibration
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

Current projects

ViEWS collaborates with a number of external actors and renowned research institutes across the world. Below, we present a selection of our ongoing projects.

THE SAHEL PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS PROJECT

in collaboration with UNHCR
About
The 2021-2022 Sahel PA project doubles down on the special challenges facing the Sahel across the triple nexus of humanitarian aid, peace-building and development. The project has brought together 23 United Nations entities with partners – including ViEWS – at a number of prominent international research institutes.

THE VIEWS-ESCWA PROJECT

in collaboration with UN ESCWA
About
In a 2020-2022 collaboration with the United Nations Economic and Social Council for West Asia (ESCWA), we have developed a new forecasting model under the ViEWS2 infrastructure that incorporates data of particular importance to the Arab states. Built as an expansion of the standard ViEWS set-up, the model currently covers all of Africa and the Middle East. 

PREDICTING CHANGES IN FATALITIES

in collaboration with the UK FCDO
About
A 2021-2022 research project funded by the United Kingdom Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (UK FCDO). The project expanded the ViEWS system from dichotomous conflict/no conflict predictions to also forecasting the number of fatalities from state-based armed conflict, providing policy-makers and researchers with the ability to quantify the potential impact and intensity of conflicts.

THE COUNTRY EXPERT SURVEY PROJECT

in collaboration with traditional country experts
About
The Country Expert Survey project sets out to complement and contrast the standard ViEWS predictions for Africa with qualitative assessments from over 70 traditional country experts. Based on nearly 400 assessments collected over 2019-2021, the project will release a comprehensive conflict issue dataset in 2022, coupled with a number of articles presenting the dataset, as well as the implicit and explicit predictions that have been extracted from the survey data. 

SOCIETIES AT RISK and ANTICIPATE – predicting the impact of armed conflict on human development

in collaboration with Karolinska Institutet, CRED, ISDC, Barcelona School of Economics, University of Pittsburgh, University of Gothenburg, University of Cambridge 
About
These multi-disciplinary programmes funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond and the European Research Council bring together scholars from economics, epidemiology, political science, and conflict research to study the impacts of armed conflict on human development in much greater detail and comprehensiveness than earlier studies. Based at Uppsala University and Peace Research Institute Oslo, respectively, they take a risk-analysis perspective, assessing the expected impact as a function of hazard, exposure, and vulnerability, and consider effects at both the macro and micro level on economies, health, water security, political institutions and human rights, and forced migration. The result of the two projects will be incorporated into the ViEWS forecasting system to also alert observers to the impacts of armed conflict on human development. 

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Advantages of the ViEWS forecasts

PUBLIC AVAILABILITY

All source code and output from the ViEWS system is publicly available

ADAPTABILITY

The versatile ViEWS system can be extended and adapted to the needs of each user and organisation. Contact us to learn more.

state-of-the-art methodology

The ViEWS system is built using state-of-the-art methods and machine learning techniques such as random forests, ensembling, and Extreme Gradient Boosting, which sets it apart from its competitors. 

Performance Transparency

ViEWS offers full transparency about its predictive performance for informed decision-making. See e.g. the 2022 technical report on the continuous prediction model, or the peer-reviewed 2021 JPR article on the dichotomous model

expert knowledge

The ViEWS network is large and interdisciplinary. Beyond the core team, ViEWS benefits from the expert knowledge of research associates at renowned universities and institutions across the globe; from valuable input from users in government ministries, IGOs, and NGOs; and from qualitative assessments from 70+ traditional country experts.