09/25/2007

Upon distributing the countries among myself and the other analysts, I began collecting information pertaining to the ten that I received. First, I visited Janes and the CIA World Factbook to collect preliminary, general information about each country. I then began to narrow my search. For each country, I utilized Google searches through it's advanced search options (pdf, html, images, excel, etc.). For terrorist organizations within each country, I used MIPT and the NCTC site to determine which terrorist organizations are active within the region of Africa. At this point, I have had no problems finding NGOs within countries. This week I plan to continue collection and extend my research tools with Yahoo and Kartoo to hopefully encounter relevant and applicable information.

10/4/2007
I finished up my initial collection for each country. Now, I have focused my collection efforts more toward economic information for each country and narrowed my search to finding how much a role the government plays in the country's economy. Also, I plan to start searching for information that gives rank to countries within sub-Saharan Africa in respect to economy, disease, and political stability.

10/8/2007
I updated each country with research pertaining to the SFAR that Dan posted. Each country now has its rank for the categories/indexes that our group chose to analyze. I now plan to write up the individual SFARs for each country.

10/13/2007
As a group, we determined that a country's economy, political sphere, international involvement, and stability are indicators of the role of non-state actors within each country. We developed a 5pt scale that demonstrates whether the economy, political sphere, etc. inhibit or enhance the role of non-state actors.

10/21/2007
We are working on geographical analysis to display the role of businesses, NGOs, and terrorist organizations within sub-Saharan Africa. Utilizing community walk, we will establish markers within each country in order to provide geographical picture of where non-state actors play a role.

11/7/2007
I think the ACH has been a beneficial method for analyzing the role of non-state actors in the next 5 years. It has helped me to evaluate what type of information (evidence) I am collecting by looking at the information's relevance and credibility.