September 17, 2007
  • Wrote out the weekly meeting questions script for professor wheaton
  • Set-up news alert for each one of my countries using yahoo news. These alers will be delivered to my e-mail address.
  • Set-up a new folder in Firefox scrapbook for the Strategic Intelligence project, with a separate folder for each country within. I also created separate folders under each country for the various actors, as a means for better organization.
  • Started some small preliminary google searches for “country+non state actors”; “country+NGO”

September 18-20, 2007
  • Working on getting up to speed on the news alerts relating to each one of my countries that are being pushed to my e-mail address.
  • Started putting all the information i collected into my scrapbook files, and including the NGOs and a few lines about them in an Excel spreadsheet.
  • Used CIA factbook to get familiar with the overall economic, political etc. in each one of my 10 countries.

September 24, 2007
  • I discovered some good online NGO databases, that made it easier to locate a large number of NGOs in each country without having to do through a whole lot of websites. There is definetly a great deal of information out there, to match the huge number of NGOs operating within Africa currently.

October 5, 2007
  • This morning i read through some of the many many many news alerts that are being pushed to my e-mail address for each one of my countries.
  • Tonight I started looking up my countries in various indexes that we established as significant in understanding the possible interactions/presence of non-state actors in each country. I collected all these useful sites in my scrapbook-the home pages in a generic scrapbook folder, and the specific country description under the folder for each country. Scrapbook is an amazing little tool to have. I was not sure whether we were all using the same sources to help with consistency, so i did some Google searches to get my own reliable sources for each index, and the information i got did not seem to vary a lot from what others have found. I filled in the ranking information for Angola and Benin so far, I plan on finishing the other countries tomorrow and start writing my SFARs at the latest on Sunday.

October 7, 2007
  • I read more of the news alerts i receive in my e-mail. I get somewhere around 10-15 of those e-mails a day, each with quite a few numbers of articles in them, so it takes a little bit of time to stay on top of them.
  • I finished filling in the index information on all of my countries, and started to think about what each means. After i finished, i read over some of the SFARs already posted to get a sense of what they were supposed to look like and started writing my own.
  • Finished the SFAR on non-state actors in Angola ( it was easier than i thought to figure out how to look at all the info, and fill in any gaps, but it took close to 3 hours).

October 8, 2007
  • Read over my most recent news alerts, especially those relating to Benin but did not obtain a lot of usefully information from them about non-state actors.
  • Finished the Benin SFAR, and i am starting to question just how detailed and nuanced those are suppose to be at this time.
  • I developed a system for making sense of all the indexes and information i collected for each country before i start writing the SFARS on the wiki:
    • Read all the recent news alerts
    • Read the information collected on scrapbook relating to overall situation in the country: political, economic, social etc.
    • Write down the key points from what i read on my notebook, indicating with plus and minus whether they prove detrimental or beneficial to non-state actors in the country.
    • Go over each of the indexes and write down what the data means in regards to the influence of non-state actors
    • Then start writing the SFAR reports (this process might account for the lenght and detail of my reports)
  • I started this "brainstorming on paper" process for all my other countries, which will allow me to type up and finish the rest of my SFARs by the end of the week.