Using the Factbook

To give you an idea of possible uses, we compiled two lists for using this factbook for individual research as well as group settings.

Five ways to use this factbook for your individual research:

  1. Research conflicts and their context: You can find specific conflicts you are interested in, learn more about them from our factsheet and find links to related conflicts as well as further reading material.  Using the full-text search on the map or tabular view of all conflicts or applying a wide variety of filtering options, you can find conflicts by name, region, affected resources and many more criteria.
    Example: In the map view, use the fulltext search and enter "Darfur". A list of eight conflicts that are in or related to Darfur will be shown on the map.
  2. Find similar mechanisms across the world: You can search for all conflicts in the factbook where a specific mechanism was at work, for example find all conflicts where environmentally induced migration led to livelihood conflicts. This is a powerful way to compare otherwise dissimilar conflicts that may not appear related in a first analysis.
    Example: In the map view, the "Causal Link" filter under "What is the conflict about?" gives you the possibility to select "Environmental migration leads to destroyed threatened/livelihoods". If you select this option, only conflicts where this mechanism is present will be shown on the map. Of course, the tabular view includes this option as well.
  3. Filter by compound risk: The report "A New Climate for Peace" identifies seven compound climate fragility risks that we are featuring as searchable categories in this factbook. This allows you to identify conflicts around the world where one or more of these compound risks plays a part in the conflict. You can view example cases for compound risks, filter and search for them on the map and see them displayed on the factsheets.
    Example:  On the map, use the filter "G7 compound climate fragility risks" under "What is the conflict about?" to choose any of the seven compound risks. For example, if you choose "Livelihood Insecurity and Migration" the map will show all the 80+ conflicts where this compound risk plays a role.
  4. Combine filters to search for specific combinations: Of course, you can combine filters to find cases that meet all of the criteria you are interested in. As we have more than 150 cases fully searchable across many categories, this allows for a large number of interesting comparisons to be made and commonalities and differences to be found.
    Example: Let's say you are interested in all conflicts about water where a direct human interference into the water supply - such as dam-building - led to conflict. Simply marking the resource "water" in the filtering would include all conflicts about water (currently 90), including those where there was no change in the water supply by direct interference, e.g. drought-related conflicts. You could arrive at the desired selection by combining the filter "Water" (under "What is the conflict about?" > Resources) with the "Causal Link" filter in the same section, where you could select "Human-Induced Water Supply Change" to narrow the selection down to those conflicts about water that are the result of direct human interference (currently 62).  Now, let's say you are only interested in an even smaller subset, e.g., only those that include fish. Then you would select "fish" as an additional resource, resulting in the display of only those 16 conflicts related to water and fisheries and a human interference in the water supply as a leading cause.
  5. Compile dossiers and export your findings: Whether you filter in the map or in the tabular view, you can create dossiers of your search results. You can also export the dossier or individual conflicts as PDFs for printing and embedding in presentations. You can find a short tutorial here.


In groups:
The factbook can not only be used for individual research, it can also facilitate group discussions, debates, and educational games such as Model United Nations simulations. Here are five suggestions of how this tool might be used in a group, be this a classroom or an expert meeting:

  1. Present: Present cases from different parts of the world to each other.
  2. Debate: Debate the relationship of a specific conflict to climate change. For example, some researchers argue that Darfur was a climate conflict while others disagree vehemently. This factbook gives you the information, both textual and visual, to argue for both sides and thereby facilitates such debates.
  3. Analyse: In a group, brainstorm about how foreign policy tools can support the resolution of a conflict, taking into account the conflict causes, the configuration of actors, and what can be learned from similar conflicts.
  4. Negotiate: Take the role of different conflict parties and discuss which kind of settlement could be reached and what the terms of such a settlement would need to be for your party to agree.
  5. Contribute: Whether you are a group of students or a group of area experts, we would love to hear from you if you are interested in contributing cases, data, or corrections to this factbook. Write to us at!