CrisisWatch is our global conflict tracker, an early warning tool designed to help prevent deadly violence. It keeps decision-makers up-to-date with developments in over 70 conflicts and crises every month, identifying trends and alerting them to risks of escalation and opportunities to advance peace. In addition, CrisisWatch monitors over 50 situations (“standby monitoring”) to offer timely information if developments indicate a drift toward violence or instability. Entries dating back to 2003 provide easily searchable conflict histories.
Twenty years ago, on 1 September 2003, the first edition of Crisis Group’s early warning bulletin was born. Covering about 50 situations of conflict at the time, CrisisWatch has evolved into a much more sophisticated tool, becoming a leading reference for those seeking to prevent conflict or mitigate its effects. (Read CrisisWatch anniversary brochure here).
CrisisWatch is a vital tool for anyone trying to stay abreast of and understand the world’s shifting conflict landscape. Updated at the beginning of every month, it provides succinct summaries of political and security developments in the past calendar month in over 70 conflicts, crises and vulnerable countries.
Assessing the past month, we allocate each entry one of three arrows:
Looking forward to the month ahead, we may also allocate an entry one or both of the following alerts:
Each summary we provide seeks to offer clarity on what we track and how we make our qualitative assessments. First, in the opening bolded line that summarises each entry, we make clear our rationale for a down, up, or side arrow and/or risks of conflict or opportunity for peace in the coming month. Second, our analysis is broken down into multiple thematic issues, with a short sentence in italics to summarise key developments, trends and conflict shifts. This revised structure, which was introduced in late 2022, hopes to offer our readers greater visibility on the local, regional and global dynamics that shape conflicts, including those that may be “under the radar”.
In addition to the individual entries, the Global Overview succinctly explains the month’s arrows and alerts. The Conflict in Focus feature draws attention to a situation of particular importance to help support early policy interventions. The interactive map helps users navigate quickly to the conflict situations they follow, and the searchable database offers access to all entries dating back to September 2003 – a unique source of information on the world’s conflicts and crises. You can use all elements of the CrisisWatch tool on your desktop, tablet or smartphone.
CrisisWatch is widely used by staff in governments, multilateral organisations, NGOs and in the private sector, as well as journalists and academics, seeking up-to-date information on the world’s crises and conflicts; month-to-month assessments of which situations are deteriorating and improving; and opportunities for early warning and early action.
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Behind the scenes
CrisisWatch is produced by a team of researchers in Brussels based on information and analysis from our staff in the field, who also carefully review their respective entries. In addition to the 70+ conflicts, crises and vulnerable countries we report on regularly, we monitor over 50 additional situations and publish entries on them if the month’s developments indicate a drift towards violence or instability.
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