Creative to coordinate network of electoral violence forecasters
By Natalie Lovenburg
Jeff Fischer, Senior Electoral Advisor at Creative Associates International, will serve as the coordinator of a network of academics, practitioners and policymakers selected by the U.S. State Department to forecast risks of electoral violence around the world.
Using prediction market technology, the network members will provide insights on the probability and profile of electoral violence occurring in any given country. The project is through the State Department’s Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations.
“This network is an innovative approach to harnessing the ‘wisdom of crowds’ to inform risk mitigation efforts and promote peaceful elections,” says Fischer.
This qualitative forecasting tool is part of a broader collaboration with implementing partners Cultivate Labs and King’s College of London that will integrate the qualitative forecasts with quantitative incident data to produce a global horizon scan on electoral violence risks.
In addition, the data produced by this project will be shared with academic and international organizations working on conflict prevention to inform targeted research on the causes of electoral violence and offer additional opportunities for collaboration.
Peaceful elections are critical to ensure that citizens have a voice in how they are governed. Unfortunately, as recent surveys have shown, on average, one in five elections around the world experience some form of measurable violence.
Building on electoral violence prevention expertise
Creative’s Electoral Education and Integrity team has a global expertise in electoral violence prevention and mitigation, having conducted electoral security assessments in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burundi, Colombia, Haiti, Ghana, Guatemala, the Philippines, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Fischer, a senior member of the team, serves as an investigator on the Explaining and Mitigating Electoral Violence project, which has collected data from national elections in more than 160 countries from 1995 to 2012.
Using the data, Fischer and a team of researchers at King’s College London are analyzing systemic patterns in election-related violence and its causes in order to generate insights for practitioners on the ground to prevent and mitigate these outbreaks.
“I am pleased to build on the strong foundation of my work with Creative to make elections safer for citizens around the world,” says Fischer. “I look forward to collaborating with the State Department and this network of dedicated elections professionals to help safeguard elections and cultivate peace around the globe.”