The Programme has established a fully functional early warning system called the COMESA Conflict Early Warning System (COMWARN). As part of its functionality and to provide early warning, COMWARN utilises the Structural Vulnerability Assessment (SVA) methodology which uses a composite index called the COMESA Peace and Prosperity Index (CPPI) to produce forecasted explanatory structural drivers. The forecasted structural drivers which are prioritised in order of importance in explaining the CPPI, and are also classified into eight thematic baskets (economy, education, environment, governance, health, military, security and social) for ease of analysis become valuable inputs to SVA reports that are shared with Member States for action.
It is worthwhile to point out that the development and implementation of COMWARN has been achieved through collaboration with various key stakeholders. These include Government officials at various levels, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Private Sector Organisations (PSOs), think tanks, regional experts, the African Union (AU), Regional Economic Communities (RECs)/ Regional Mechanisms (RMs), among others. These stakeholders have been pivotal in the various review sessions that include the conduct of baseline assessments, review of the SVA methodology, review of draft indicators, review and compilation of data sources, validation of the SVA reports, among others. In terms of response, CSOs have continued to occupy the epicentre especially addressing some of the vulnerabilities and enhancing resilience drivers identified in the COMWARN SVA forecasts.
To further strengthen conflict prevention efforts, a COMESA Committee of Elders (CCOE), constituting nine eminent members (Elders) and established by the COMESA Authority in 2008, is in place and fully functional. As part of their work, the Elders are deployed by the COMESA Secretary General to various missions in COMESA Member States, including for preventive diplomacy initiatives as and when is necessary. In these missions, CSOs constitute the larger part of selected key stakeholders that the Elders consult in their work.