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Tracking Conflict-Related Deaths for Sustainable Development

29 November 2017 | Small Arms Survey

By adopting the 2030 Agenda, UN member states acknowledged that ‘Sustainable development cannot be realized without peace and security; and peace and security will be at risk without sustainable development’ (UNGA, 2015, para. 35). In order to achieve just, peaceful and inclusive societies, states have committed to a significant reduction in all forms of violence and related death rates (Target 16.1).

The Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) has been designated as the custodian agency for the indicator to monitor conflict-related deaths (indicator 16.1.2) and is leading the development of its methodology, with the support of a group of experts within the Praia Group on Governance Statistics, established by the UN Statistical Commission.

The work on the development of the indicator and its methodology is based on a large consultative process, involving a wide range of stakeholders, including UN agencies, representatives from national statistical systems and members of the Praia Group. In 2017, the Small Arms Survey published a preliminary mapping of monitoring systems. In September 2017, OHCHR held a Multi-Stakeholder Consultation on Human Rights Indicators to present on progress made in developing a ‘concentric’ approach towards a methodology for indicator 16.1.2.

The Small Arms Survey in collaboration with the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights held a webinar aimed at furthering this discussion with participants from civil society and academia, also taking advantage of two case studies.  

Issues discussed at the webinar included the following:

  • The role of academia and civil society in support to Agenda 2030, in relation to conflict-related deaths monitoring
  • The OHCHR concentric approach towards a methodology for tracking conflict-related deaths for the SDGs
  • Tracking conflict-related deaths through document-based recording: the UCDP experience
  • How casualty recorders operate on the field, based on a case study in Libya


  • Anna Alvazzi del Frate, Small Arms Survey (Moderator)
    Setting the context, what civil society and academia can do to support and strengthen Indicator 16.1.2
  • Grace Sanico Steffan, OHCHR
    Counting conflict-related deaths: standardizing concepts and methods, presentation of the methodology
  • Kristine Eck, UCDP
    Case study I – Document-based recording: the experience of the Uppsala Conflict Data Program UCDP)
  • Hana Salama, Every Casualty / Mercy Corps
    Case study II – Casualty Recording in Libya

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