In-Depth Analysis

The Failed States Index itself is just one of the many capabilities of The Fund for Peace’s content analysis framework and software. The framework and software have many other applications including specific risk assessment, and in-depth national-, regional- and provincial-level analysis.

Along with the Failed States Index, The Fund for Peace’s Conflict Assessment Software Tool (CAST) has been the foundation of the Fund for Peace’s Country Assessments Country Profiles, using the content analysis to provide in-depth assessments country-by-country. This analysis, coupled with regional contextualization, provides a unique informational tool for policy-makers to identify serious pressures and to enact sensible, well-informed policies.

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Content Analysis in Action

At the top of this page is a sample visualization of content analysis trends in Balochistan, Pakistan, for the two-year period from May 2009, including illustrative events and issues flagged by content analysis behind the various spikes.

Content Analysis is a unique tool that uses computer technology to scan thousands of news reports and track trends in pressures at the national and provincial levels. These reports can be used to evaluate progress in stabilization and development activities. When spikes in CAST pressures occur, additional research should be done, using the content analysis data as well as other methods, to evaluate the circumstances behind them. Correlations between indicator trends can also be useful for generating hypotheses about the unique circumstances in the conflict landscape of concern. The Fund for Peace uses content analysis in triangulation with other data sets and methodologies in the generation of conflict assessment reports for a variety of clients.

CAST has been used to perform analysis at a sub-regional level, from providing an assessment following the floods in Pakistan’s Sindh province to demonstrating how the situations in Mindanao in the south of the Philippines and Luzon in the north can be significantly different. Such regional-level analysis is critical in properly understanding state instability. As nations vary greatly from one another, often the regions within countries will also vary greatly. A country with a significant amount of instability in one region may be perceived as itself unstable overall, although the rest of the country is not experiencing instability. Instances such as these may include countries like Colombia (where although the FARC insurgency continues deep in the jungles and along the frontiers, the major cities such as Bogota, Medillin, Cali and Cartagena enjoy relative calm) or the Philippines (where the situation in the capital Manila is significantly different to that experienced in the southern island of Mindanao). This regional analysis can not only further expand the understanding of a country’s situation, but can also be used to highlight precisely where the pressure points exist for a country, and under precisely what conditions.

For more information regarding specific national-, regional-, or provincial-level analysis, please contact J. J. Messner at
Please note that while we are able to perform customized analysis, we are only able to do so by commercial arrangement.