One of the ever-present challenges in conflict early warning and post-conflict reconstruction is obtaining relevant and reliable data. Too often, data used by governments, NGOs, international organizations, and the private sector are dated, uneven or questionable. The most persistent shortcoming is the absence of input from populations living in conflict zones, whose perspectives are vital for accurate analysis. To address this challenge, The Fund for Peace has developed UNLocK, a project that links global information technologies with local social networks for the benefit of all stakeholders.
Since 2007, The Fund for Peace has been conducting workshops in the conflict-affected countries of Liberia, Uganda, and Nigeria, training local participants in our Conflict Assessment System Tool (CAST). They, in turn, train others at the community level, including traditional leaders, local political leaders, youths, women, school teachers, religious leaders, and others. Data collected from the field by participants are passed up the communications chain to The Fund for Peace for analysis and shared on a dedicated website for the network as a whole.