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14.4.2021 : 22:22 : +0200

The Survey's team of experts discuss the latest research and the application of the findings.

Episode 5: Armed Violence: A unified approach to a global problem

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Measuring Armed Violence

The Small Arms Survey has been the leading research partner of the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development and its 'measurability pillar' since the beginning of the initiative. In this framework the Small Arms Survey has published the Global Burden of Armed Violence reports (2008, 2011, and 2015) which takes an integrated approach to the complex and volatile dynamics of lethal violence around the world.

The Global Burden of Armed Violence reports use 'violent deaths' as the main indicator for measuring and monitoring the scope and impact of armed violence globally, and refine a methodology for its collection and analysis. The violent death of a human being is the most extreme consequence of armed violence, and is treated seriously in all societies. For this reason it is likely to be recorded more accurately than other violent events. As a consequence, the number of persons who die violently is frequently used as a proxy measure for insecurity in both conflict and non-conflict settings.

Measuring violence for the 2030 Development Agenda

In September 2015 world leaders met at the UN to adopt the Sustainable Devel­opment Goals (SDGs), forming the international development framework that has replaced the Millennium Development Goals. The seventeen proposed goals and associated targets are planned to run until 2030. Amongst them, Goal 16 focuses on peaceful and inclusive societies, access to jus­tice, and accountable institutions.

The inclusion of Goal 16 reflects the growing acceptance that issues related to peace, security, and good governance should play a role in the post-2015 development framework. This progress of a global agenda on peace and development has been possible thanks to the work of several processes; not least the the Geneva Declaration, which calls for measurable reductions in the burden of armed violence that humankind faces.

The work undertaken by the Small Arms Survey in measuring armed violence is central for the development of clear targets and indicators, core to the SDG negotiations. The measurability of these targets is a crucial and guiding factor, and supports determining how well states fulfill their commitments.



Small Arms Survey Publications

  • Reconsidering the Tools of War: Small Arms and Humanitarian Action, by Robert Muggah with Martin Griffiths, co-published with the Humanitarian Practice Network, Overseas Development Institute, July 2002.

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  • Small Arms and Human Insecurity: Reviewing Participatory Research in South Asia, by Dipankar Banerjee and Robert Muggah, co-published with the Regional Centre for Strategic Studies, July 2002

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  • Small Arms Availability, Trade, and Impacts in the Republic of Congo, commissioned by IOM and the UNDP, by Spyros Demetriou, Robert Muggah and Ian Biddle, April 2002. Special Report No. 2

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  • Development Held Hostage: Assessing the Effects of Small Arms on Human Development, by Robert Muggah and Peter Batchelor, co-published with UNDP, April 2002.

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  • Humanitarianism under Threat: The Humanitarian Impact of Small Arms and Light Weapons, by Robert Muggah and Eric Berman, commissioned by the Reference Group on Small Arms of the UN Inter-Agency Standing Committee, July 2001. Special Report No. 1 (summary in French also available)

    Download (688.22 KB)
  • Globalisation and Insecurity: The Direct and Indirect Effects of Small Arms Availability, by Robert Muggah, in IDS Bulletin, Vol. 32, Nr. 2, 2001

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