Unrest Scale

What is the Unrest Risk Scale?

Social Surveys Africa has conducted a unique analysis that identifies the underlying characteristics of peaceful protest and violent unrest. On this basis we can reliably predict the likelihood of protest (either peaceful or violent) and the likelihood of Violent Unrest at a community level. When tested against a sample of past protest incidents, the scales correctly predict 96% of protest cases and 99% of violent unrest cases.


The Protest Risk and Violence Risk Scales show that communities with histories of protest have statistically distinct profiles from those without, and communities with peaceful protest have different characteristics from those with violent unrest.

What do the Protest and Unrest Risk Scales allow you to do?

Know where: Identify communities with higher risks of protest and of violent unrest.


Know which: Enable mapping of at-risk localities to prioritise unrest-prevention interventions.


Know what to do: Support conflict-sensitive investment, budgeting, programme planning and monitoring & evaluation.

Who can use the Protest and Unrest Risk Scales?

Municipal and IDP Planners to identify high and low risk areas when planning resource allocations and unrest-prevention activities.


Councillors when planning how to communicate with high risk communities about service delivery issues.


Programme Managers of all kinds (government, NGO, corporate) when planning where to locate projects and how to make projects conflict-sensitive.


Safety and Security stakeholders when prioritising conflict prevention activities.

Who is using this already?

SALGA (South African Local Government Association) is using the Protest and Unrest Risk Scales to support all Municipalities in the country with conflict-sensitive public participation processes and IDP planning.

How can I access this?

Social Surveys Africa offers bespoke risk mapping reports and a range of strategic advisory services to ensure your operations and planned activities are conflict sensitive. For more information, contact info@socialsurveys.co.za or call 011 486 1025.


An autonomous association of all 257 South African local governments.

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