EU Science Hub

Science for peace and stability - Global Conflict Risk Index (GCRI)

The Global Conflict Risk Index (GCRI) expresses the statistical risk of violent conflict in a given country in the coming 1-4 years. It is exclusively based on quantitative indicators from open sources and grounded in the assumption that the occurrence of conflict is linked to structural conditions. 26 variables grouped in 6 dimensions (social, economic, security, political and geographical / environmental) are used to build a statistical regression model which computes the probability and intensity of conflict.

Objective

The Global Conflict Risk Index has been developed by the Joint Research Centre in cooperation with the Conflict Prevention, Peacebuilding and Mediation Instruments Division within the EU External Action Service (EEAS). The purpose of the index is to provide an accessible, objective and open-source evidence base supporting the decision-making on long-term conflict risks. As such, the output of the GCRI serves as the starting point in the EU Conflict Early Warning System (EWS) and helps to identify countries at high risk of conflict as well as those, whose risk is worsening significantly.

Method

To train the risk assessment model, the GCRI applies a linear and a logistic regression model assessing historical data. Through statistical computing, combining classic regression analysis with machine learning techniques the probability and intensity of conflict are estimated.

Limitations

The methodology, developed with international experts, provides a quantitative analysis entirely based on processing data. As such, the GCRI makes a compilation of open-source evidence on early warning for violent conflict available for expert analysis which should be complemented with an in-depth analysis of the country or region.

In particular, users of this data should be aware that

  • The models exclusively considers the data. Errors in the source data or missing data points will be reflected in the model output.
  • The structural drivers of conflict are illustrated by six risk areas (social, economic, security, political, environmental and demographic), which are associated with violent conflict, each composed from three to five sub-indicators. Potential triggering actor-based events such as coups d’état or military interventions are not currently included in the model.
  • The model considers intra-state conflicts at national and at subnational level, focusing exclusively on conflict resulting in battle deaths.

The results as well as the methodology of GCRI are published openly to encourage transparency in building an evidence-based standard in estimating conflict risk. Leading academic and scientific organizations are part of the methodology reference group.