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Press Release: Collaboration between ISS and FAST
15 December 2004

Press Release: Collaboration between ISS and FAST 

The African Security Analysis Programme (ASAP) at the Institute for Security Studies is pleased to announce the conclusion of a collaboration agreement with FAST, the early warning programme of SwissPeace. The agreement reached between the two institutions is now being implemented and will run until 2006.

FAST (German acronym for `early analysis of tensions and fact-finding`) is the Early Warning Programme of SwissPeace (Swiss Peace Foundation). It was developed in 1998 by SwissPeace in close collaboration with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) in order to supply the latter with an external analysis tool that is complementary to the in-house analysis by SDC desk officers and the Swiss embassies. At present, FAST monitors 22 countries of special interest to the SDC and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).

Through its early warning program FAST, SwissPeace (based in Berne) has in the last couple of years developed a sui generis and comprehensive early warning methodology, which combines quantitative as well as qualitative aspects of conflict analysis with the aim of enhancing political decision-makers` ability to identify critical developments in a timely manner, so that coherent political strategies can be formulated to either prevent or limit the destructive effects of violent conflicts and identify opportunities to build peace. In sub-Saharan Africa FAST monitors the developments in the following eight countries: Angola , Burundi , DRC/Kivu region, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Rwanda, and Somalia.

The Institute for Security Studies` early warning and conflict analysis unit, the African Security Analysis Programme (ASAP, based in Pretoria) has been in existence since 1998. With six full time country and theme experts, the ASAP team uses an open-source and qualitative methodology with the aim of serving as an African and international reference source of timely in-depth analysis of threats to human security in Africa, in support of African and international conflict prevention, management and resolution activities. ASAP tracks and monitors developments in eleven sub-Saharan African countries: Angola, Botswana, Burundi, DRC, Lesotho, Mozambique, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. 

The aim of the collaboration between ISS/ASAP and SwissPeace/FAST in the year 2004 ­ 2006 is to support the FAST programme in the management of Local Information Networks for Madagascar, DRC/Kivus, Mozambique and Angola; operating the production of the FAST Updates for the sub-contracted countries, and broadening the coverage by increasing the dissemination of the FAST products via the ISS website. The purpose of the collaboration for ASAP as a partner of FAST is to assist the FAST programme in guaranteeing the smooth running of the early warning programme, to assure a regular information flow feeding into the database in support of the quantitative component of FAST, to increase the coverage of FAST products in Africa, and to support the strengthening of links between early warning and early action.

Issued by the Institute for Security Studies


15 December 2004