The Event Data on Conflict and Security (EDACS) Project was set up in 2006 and is situated at the Collaborate Research Center (SFB) 700 in Berlin. EDACS collects and analyzes spatially and temporally disaggregated data on the use of violence by (non-)state actors in the context of civil wars in Sub-Sahara-Africa, starting with the end of cold war (1990) until 2009. We thus also capture events leading up to the height of violent conflict/civil war and its aftermath.
The spatially disaggregated approach of EDACS opens up the view on local and regional conflict trends - especially on observations across national borders - and thereby offers analysts a conflict centered, rather than a country centered, perspective.
We do so by collecting information on occurrence, time, perpetrators and victims of violent incidents resulting in at least one fatality. We retrieve this information from a constant set of international press sources (see Methodology).
The event data allows the user to analyze and detect temporal and spatial variations of violence in terms of frequency, intensity, and diffusion. EDACS provides detailed information on violent actors and types of violence, enabling the researcher to gain insights into underlying conflict-specific mechanisms and functions of violence, including territorial control, economic goals (war economy), patterns and processes of fragmentation (religion or ethnicity), individual motives (vengeance) or political reasons.
By contextualizing the event data e.g. with additional spatially disaggregated structural data (infrastructure, topography, population density, primary resources, etc.), a major benefit of EDACS is the enabling of spatial and temporal regressions to gain a better understanding of the causal pathways of violence. Furthermore, we provide brief descriptions and precisely indicate the sources used for each event, allowing for data comparison with qualitative research findings, as well as for source criticism.