SA: The Institute for Security Studies (ISS), South Africa, has launched the country's first open access project to map all forms of public violence. Building on existing academic research and efforts to monitor protest action, the ISS will track levels of public violence over time, as well as responses to incidents. Each incident is uploaded onto a map to produce a picture of where hotspots exist and where they may be emerging. Some of the key questions to explore are: What are the triggers that cause peaceful protests to turn violent? What does an analysis of the Census data and public violence hotspots show? The results of this project will enhance our understanding of this growing phenomenon and improve the way that the police, other government departments, and affected communities are able to respond.
The mapping project has been funded by Hanns Seidel Foundation and the Ford Foundation. Success will depend on the joint efforts of government and civil society, and this requires transparency and open access to accurate data. As a starting point, the ISS Crime and Justice Information and Analysis Hub launched a free public violence map viewer that allows Internet users to view public and potential election violence hot spots using interactive maps. Users can also report incidents of violence online.