Friday, July 23, 2010

How Do You Measure Militancy?

Dear all,

Now that I've been here a few weeks, and have my house in order, I can start to learn more academic things (aside from how to change a lock, which I learned how to do this week).

So, I'm starting to explore what is going on with several major issues in this part of Nigeria...what's going on in the oil sector? What's happening with the Amnesty Program? How do you reform militants?

In relation to that, part of the project I'm working on is trying to measure whether or not our project has an impact on a young person's inclination towards violent organizing. How does one measure that?

Have you measured tendencies towards violence? Gang affiliation?

I would love to hear your thoughts/methodologies/advice!



  1. I imagine that one important metric would be the maturity of their organization and tactics. There are some dimensions to this that will help you determine what type of militancy you are facing. Logistics, or their ability to supply their operations, consists of their storage capabilities, distribution, and of course, their sourcing - be it single or multiple channels by which they acquire what they need to be militant. Size and scope of their operations, whether they're committing groups of a dozen or so people to harass virtually unarmed villages, or if those dozen or so are a part of a thousand man operation to shake down a regional power...

    Even beyond such practical considerations of an organized or disorganized force that perhaps may not have a single head, militancy is not a metric. Rather, it is a human instinct when faced with shortage or a perception of shortage.

  2. No, sorry for not being clear.

    How do you measure an individual's tendencies towards violence or militancy. Not how far has a group progressed.

    I'm working with kids--I need to see how our project impacts their development as peaceful (or not) citizens.

    All things are and aren't metrics :)