swisspeace's Early Warning Program - FAST International
swisspeace's early warning program, which was operational from 1998-2008, covered 25 countries or regions in Africa, Asia and Europe. It was aimed at enhancing the ability of decision makers and their staff in state and non-state institutions to identify critical developments in a timely manner so that coherent political strategies could be formulated to either prevent or limit destructive effects of violent conflicts, or to identify windows of opportunity for peacebuilding.
FAST International was funded and utilized by a range of international development agencies, including the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
They were provided with a constant and systematic collection of early warning information through real time access to the FAST Reporter, a web interface that allowed users to access and work with the entire FAST database. In addition, short, precise and comprehensive scientific analyses based on a combined quantitative and qualitative approach were produced. In doing so, we drew on international as well as local expertise. In addition, the focus of FAST International's analyses could be tailored to our clients' specific needs and interests. In this context we have undertaken numerous short analyses and assessments requested by our donors.
FAST International furthermore closely collaborated with a number of local partner organizations - primarily the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in Pretoria (South Africa) and FEWER Eurasia in Moscow (Russia). Such cooperation included shared monitoring of the Great Lakes region, Southern Africa, Georgia and the North Caucasus region, as well as an exchange of country expertise and knowledge on conflict analysis and conflict prevention. Cooperation also facilitated a broader regional dissemination of early warning reports. We also cooperated with the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), hoping to develop a statistical prediction and risk analysis model that would combine event data from FAST International with structural data from the Facts on International Relations and Security Trends (FIRST) project at SIPRI.