1- What is Nigeria Watch?
Nigeria Watch is a database that monitors lethal violence, conflicts, and human security in Nigeria. Our data is based on a thorough analysis of ten national daily newspapers completed by reports from human rights organizations and the police whenever they are available.
2- Are the statistics produced by our database trustworthy?
Yes. The database is consistent and uses the same approach since 2006. For many years, the academia, international organizations, and companies have used our data. We are also a member of the Casualty Recorders Network which promotes standards and the international recognition of casualty recording as a core component of states’ existing obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law.
3- Is Nigeria Watch’s database exhaustive?
No. The press is mainly based in the South and does not cover properly rural areas in the North. As for the Nigeria Police, it tends to underreport crime. Yet the lack of data for some Local Government Areas helps us to map out research gaps and identify new fields of investigation.
4- Is Nigeria Watch’s database accurate?
Yes and No. It would be unrealistic to claim to be exhaustive in the Nigerian context. The scientific hypothesis is that our margin of error is the same from one region and one period to another. We find it more relevant and feasible to look for consistency rather than accuracy.
5- What do we do when there are conflicting figures?
The number of casualties reported in the press often differs from one article to another. Such discrepancies are the reason why this database includes as many sources as possible, to cross-check information and compute averages.
6- What to do when there are no numbers indicated?
The number of fatalities is not always clearly stated in media reports. To address this, we have created a lexicon where each term used by journalists is assigned a numerical value. For instance, one enters a number of "20" in the database when an article refers to a "score of people killed". This approach has been used since 2006.
7- How do we deal with biased reports?
Nigerian journalists are often under political pressure. Moreover, they have their own perceptions of conflicts. They are exposed to sensationalism and they do not always avoid stereotypes. Also, the newspapers they work for are usually owned by businessmen with a political agenda. As a result, the Nigeria Watch’s team tries as much as possible to use different media reports from the South and the North.