The Volatility & Risk Index is designed to support early warning and risk management. The index tracks rates of positive deviations from baseline violence levels to assess the frequency and intensity of conflict surges. Rather than predict conflict rates far into the future with limited applicability, the index evaluates the stability and frequency of the patterns of high and low violence rates in specific areas, offering more practical and useful information for monitoring conflict environments.
Conflict patterns may be relatively consistent in areas with high levels of violence, and programming and planning can adapt to address stable conflict trends. Other areas may have comparably high violence levels but unstable patterns, with intermittent conflict spikes in already violent spaces, while still other areas may register low baseline rates even as they experience frequent intense bouts of conflict. In these cases, programming must account for the instability of conflict patterns, and the propensity for the political environment to quickly shift. This index quantifies the predictability and stability of the overall conflict rate for each country in the ACLED dataset.
The interactive dashboard tracks the volatility of political violence by first-order administrative divisions, or ADM1s (e.g. state, province, governorate, etc.), relative to a baseline level of conflict, in order to assess a basic risk level, outlined in the table below. These levels indicate the likelihood of a future spike in violence in the given ADM1.