Conflict early warning remains an important but elusive goal in Liberia. If outbreaks of violence could be predicted before they occur, early responders could focus their energies and scarce resources on the highest-risk communities. Is such a goal realistic? Early warning requires a simple system for generating reliable predictions—a system that is not only accurate, but is also consistent over time and across counties and communities. This is a difficult, maybe impossible, task. In this report we describe results from a two-year study that suggest prediction may be more promising than we initially expected. We use fine-grained quantitative data from a survey of 247 rural Liberian towns and villages to assess whether statistical analysis can be used to predict conflict over time. To our surprise, we find that models built on fewer than 10 risk factors measured in 2008 accurately predict up to 75% of all conflicts two years later. We began this exercise skeptical, and these accuracy rates are far higher than we anticipated.
Policymakers in Liberia face a dearth of evidence to guide their ambitious agenda of security sector reform, strengthening of property rights and the rule of law, and reconciliation. This lack of data is especially acute outside the capital and in areas where UN and police presence is limited.
How can new democracies and societies emerging from conflict encourage tolerance and dialogue, strengthen conflict resolution systems, and increase understanding of human rights?
Following the 2011 elections, one of the most pressing challenges for the President, government ministries and international organizations is boosting youth incomes and employment, especially those of high-risk youth. What kinds of programs can boost employment and incomes and reduce the risk of social instability? This report details findings from an impact evaluation of a reintegration and agricultural livelihoods program for high-risk Liberian youth, and draws out lessons for employment policies in 2012 and beyond.
This report presents an analysis of land and property conflicts in rural Liberia, using two recently developed sources of data: 1) qualitative data on land tenure and land conflict in Lofa County collected by the Norwegian Refugee Council’s (NRC) Monitoring and Evaluation team; and 2) quantitative baseline survey data on land tenure and land conflict in three rural counties collected by the Yale University / Innovation for Poverty Action evaluation of the Peace Education and Community Empowerment (PEACE) programme in Liberia. The purpose of this analysis is to examine why and how land conflicts develop and the effectiveness of different dispute resolution methodologies in resolving land conflicts. Insights developed through this analysis will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the NRC’s Information, Counseling and Legal Assistance project in Liberia and disseminated to inform the design and development of similar land and property dispute resolution programmes elsewhere in the world.