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Datasets on Violence

Homicide Levels (1999-2008)

The CCV team conducts substantial research on size and trends of conflict and violence through web-based data research and analysis. Three global datasets have been produced at the country level on the following types of data on violence:

  1. Violent Conflict Dataset
  2. Homicide Rate Dataset
  3. Domestic Violence Dataset

These datasets describe three types of data on violence, and are not meant to represent the whole spectrum of manifestations of violence or to be exhaustive. If they represented three types of violence, there would be in fact a problem in the overlap in measurement. Homicide rates do not exclusively measure urban violence and crime, but are an indicator for all types of violence including domestic violence and, for some data sources (i.e. WHO), even political violence. Thus, it would not be accurate to describe these measurements as categories of violence, but they are rather three types of measurements and data on violence. Each dataset is divided according to the following six regions: Sub-Saharan Africa (AFR); Middle East and North Africa (MNA); East Asia and the Pacific (EAP); Europe and Central Asia (ECA); South Asia (SAR); and Latin America and the Caribbean (LCR).

The present work is part of the study "Mapping Areas at Risk of Violence and Climate Change." It was funded by the Trust Fund for Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development (TF-092353) under the Social Dimensions of Climate Change (SDCC) program in the Social Development Department (SDV).

  • Datasets on Violence: Assessing Size & Trends of Global Violence and Conflict (PDF 636KB)

1. Violent Conflict Dataset (1991-2008)
The Violent Conflict Dataset includes country-level episodes of armed conflict and of politically, economically, and socially-motivated collective violence between 1991 and 2008. There are multiple sources and database on armed conflict and collective violence, each responding to a different definition of what violent conflict is. In order to establish a rigorous dataset of violent conflicts and collective violence at the global and regional levels, the majority of entries in the Violent Conflict Dataset come from one single source, which in turn allows for comparative analysis. The primary source used is the Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP), and the selection of the armed conflict events for this dataset is based on various UCDP datasets. Two major types of armed conflict and collective violence are recorded here: (i) events of armed conflict (1991-2008) recorded in the UCDP/PRIO Armed Conflict Dataset; and (ii) events of non-state conflict recorded in the UCDP Non-State Conflict Dataset. Other sources include the Major Episodes of Political Violence (MEPV) and the IISS Armed Conflict Database.

2. Homicide Rate Dataset (1995-2008)
The Homicide Rate Dataset includes country-level data on the total recorded intentional homicide rate (per 100,000 population) per year, from 1995 to 2008. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), one of the most accredited sources for crime statistics at the global level, defines intentional homicide as "unlawful death purposefully inflicted on a person by another person." Data was collected from police and criminal justice sector sources, and public health institutions. Major sources for the Homicide Rate Dataset include national police and statistics offices, the World Health Organization (WHO) and its regional organizations, the UN Crime Trends Surveys, the UNODC Homicide Statistics, and Interpol. Given the fact that often different sources have conflicting homicide rates, the team produced two separate datasets. The first one includes up to three entries of homicide rate per year; the second one includes only one entry (please, refer to the dataset for methodology). In addition, countries have been ranked globally into four levels of homicide rate for the period 1999-2008 with the objective of identifying those countries where homicide has been prevalent in the last decade.

3. Domestic Violence Dataset (1982-2007)
The Domestic Violence Dataset includes country-level surveys (or single survey’s modules) on intimate male partner violence (sexual and physical violence) against women from 1982 to 2007. The Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) defines intimate male partner violence “in the form of physical violence, sexual abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, verbal abuse, and specific acts of violence during pregnancy. Women are also harmed by limiting their access to food and medical care, carrying out dowry deaths and honor killings, and coercing them to have sex through rape and/or sexual harassment.” The Domestic Violence Dataset includes surveys from different organizations, with different coverage and sample size, as well as different study population and age groups. The objective is to provide a comprehensive stocktaking of multiple sources, and to allow scholars and practitioners in this field to easily search for surveys on domestic violence from 1982 to 2007 and compare results and methodologies. Main sources include the DHS and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Disclaimer - This data has not undergone the review accorded to official World Bank work. The findings, interpretations, and conclusions expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/The World Bank and its affiliated organizations, or those of the Executive Directors of The World Bank or the governments they represent. The World Bank does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this work. The boundaries, colors, denominations, and other information shown on any map in this work do not imply any judgment on the part of the World Bank concerning the legal status of any territory or the endorsement or acceptance of such boundaries. This dataset was prepared by Benjamin Petrini, of the Social Development Department at The World Bank, and completed in January 2010.

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