Peace & Security Index: where’s the data?

Task: get original data for the different elements that go into the Peace and Security Index, a tool for measuring country peace and security (descriptive, isn’t it?). You can learn more about the Peace and Security Index in a working paper from USAID’s E&E bureau.  As noted in the paper, the “P&S index is made up of six components, each of which is an index in itself: (1) counterterrorism; (2) combating weapons of mass destruction; (3) stabilization operations and security sector reform; (4) counternarcotics; (5) combating transnational crime; and (6) conflict mitigation.”

Issue: some of it is either (a) not readily available or (b) is buried in long narratives. And there are a lot of indicators.

If someone knows this area well and has suggestions for open source databases with easy to download and manipulate data sets, please pass along tips. But to the rest of you, who may one day want to use some of this data yourself or just be curious, let me share the new data sources I discovered in the hours I devoted to digging for this information.

Useful databases with Peace and Security information, formatted as “database link [P&S indicators]” follow; many have data for indicators available and may be useful for other purposes outside the P&S index context.

National Counterterrorism Center [data on incidents of terrorism, locations, and casualties]

World Bank Governance Indicators [political stability and absence of violence]

Fund for Peace Failed States Index [assessment for five core state institutions; criminalization or delegitamization of the state; bad neighborhood]

Political Instability Task Force [instability]

UNICEF TransMONEE Database [violent crime, E&E only]

World Bank WDI [military expenditure as a percent of GDP]

Globalization Indexthrough AK Kearney & Foreign Policy Magazine [peacekeeping]

CIRI Human Rights Data Project – free, but must create a login/password [human rights]

If you have others to add, let me know! Some of the other indicators were available through reports, but those don’t qualify as “useful and easily accessible data” to me when the numbers are buried in narrative.


And, as an endnote, let me say to all of the young professionals involved in foreign policy-related work in the DC area: definitely check out Young Professionals in Foreign Policy. We had another global health discussion group tonight, and it was fantastic. Post to come tomorrow.

One thought on “Peace & Security Index: where’s the data?

  1. Hey Amanda, it’s Mason, hope all is well. Thought I’d throw a few more indicators your way. Linked below is the Polity IV database and the Correlates of War database.

    Polity IV –

    COW –

    They’re both easy to access and free. The Polity IV database is mostly used for its data on regime type, although they do have a lot of interesting indicators measuring domestic stability. The COW database has detailed data on both civil and interstate wars and lesser disputes, threats, etc. And there’s also data on diplomatic exchanges, which is pretty peace-y sounding. Oh, diplomacy.

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