The Household in Conflict Network (HiCN) was set up in 2004 by Tilman Brück, Patricia Justino and Philip Verwimp to address a lack of quantitative research on the micro-level effects of violent conflict. Over the last 15 years or so, HiCN has delivered a large range of impactful research, changing the nature of micro-level research on violent conflict.
The Households in Conflict Network aims to:
- publish working papers on the micro-level analysis of violent conflict;
- organize annual and thematic workshops on this theme;
- facilitate new collaborative research projects; and
- enable networking within the field.
In working towards these objectives, HiCN and its Affiliates and representatives are committed to global research collaboration, best academic practice, diversity in research and conducting ethical, fair and secure fieldwork.
Over the last 15 years, HiCN has achieved a lot:
- attracted 172 HiCN Affiliates as currently listed on the web site;
- published many special issues, including in the Journal of Peace Research, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, the World Bank Economic Review, the Journal of Development Economics, and World Development;
- published 322 HiCN Working Papers;
- 15 Annual HiCN Workshops (and many thematic ones); and
- obtained multiple large scale, multi-year research projects funded by the EU, ESRC, World Bank, FAO and others.
We learnt about conflict impacts on households, for example concerning education and health. We developed new methods and approaches, for example for collecting survey data on conflict. We raised awareness of the micro-level analysis of violent conflict and its impacts, as for example documented in the introduction to the recent special issue of the Journal of Development Economics. Overall, HiCN’s core topic has moved into the academic mainstream; HiCN is no longer exotic nor isolated.
Despite these achievements, many research questions remain unanswered, while new ones emerge. Many researchers in the field also still feel isolated from like-minded experts. And expertise and understanding of the micro-level analysis of violent conflict in governments, international organisations and NGOs still remains weak.
Some important knowledge gaps include:
- linkages to related topics (e.g. governance, fragility, humanitarian emergencies, climate change, etc);
- working across disciplines;
- using new data and methods; and
- addressing policy needs.
Looking ahead, HiCN will focus on its strengths (conducting workshops, publishing working papers, and enabling networks to form) while reaching out to new players and related research agendas.
HiCN works to reduce barriers in knowledge creation and dissemination between world regions, between disciplines and between research and practice. HiCN aims to support especially the development of capacities of younger researchers and practitioners and researchers and experts based in the Global South. Activities and funds raised should also have explicit capacity development components whenever possible. HiCN thus:
- engages with policy makers to enhance evidence-based policy making;
- facilitates global knowledge exchange; and
- supports young researchers and young practitioners.