Launch Global Early Warning Tool

The Water, Peace, and Security Partnership’s (WPS) Global Early Warning Tool employs machine learning to forecast conflict over the next 12 months in Africa, the Middle East, and South and Southeast Asia. Through cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, human responses modeling and remote sensing, the Global Early Warning Tool raises awareness of the risks of water-related security threats. WPS is working on regular updates to the platform to improve its model and extend its geographic coverage.

The Global Early Warning Tool links hydrological, socioeconomic and political factors to pinpoint changes in short-term water availability and their potential impacts on society. The tool predicts conflict using 15-20 global indicators as model inputs. So far, it has captured 86% of future conflicts, successfully forecasting more than 9 in 10 ongoing conflicts and 6 in 10 emerging conflicts (the tool’s predictions of ongoing conflict are more accurate than emerging conflict).

While primarily used to predict water- and climate-related conflict, the Global Early Warning Tool is designed to forecast any type of violent conflict (and can therefore be used by a variety of users interested in conflict). The Global Early Warning Tool can help actors from the global defense, development, diplomacy and disaster relief sectors and national governments identify conflict hotspots before violence erupts, begin to understand the local context and prioritize opportunities for water interventions. This information indicates both where and when risks are increasing and how they might be addressed.

Once every four months, the Water, Peace, and Security Partnership releases updated 12-month forecasts as maps and technical analyses. These quarterly analyses flag some of the hotspot areas tracked by the tool. The platform also provides data, models, capacity development and other tools at the regional level to support analysis, dialogue and decision-making on water-related security risks.

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