Xenowatch

Xenowatch – Be inspired

In a nutshell

Xenowatch is an open source platform created by the African Centre for Migration & Society (ACMS) at the University of the Witwatersrand to monitor incidents of –and responses to- xenophobic violence in South Africa

What we do

Xenowatch records, collates, visualises, analyses and makes publicly available data (collected through crowdsourcing, media reports and original research) on xenophobic violence incidents in the country. 

How we do it

Xenowatch aims to track all forms of xenophobic threats and attacks on people and property as well government and civil society responses to such incidents to develop effective tools for combating xenophobic violence and promoting social cohesion in South Africa. More specifically, Xenowatch:

  • Monitors xenophobic threats and violence across the country, including official responses to such incidents;
  • Serves as an early warning system that notifies authorities and civil society about threats, violence and displacement;
  • Verifies and anonymises reports and makes them publicly available on our website;
  • Identifies the characteristics of communities at risk and the triggers of violence in ways that can inform conflict prevention and resolution initiatives along with local and national policy;
  • Encourages greater accountability among police and other government officials to promote social cohesion and security for all.

What we have achieved

  • Developed the Xenowatch platform. The platform is now fully operational; 
  • Conducted a country wide launch of the platform and recruited project partners in all provinces in the country;
  • Regularly share data generated by the platform with relevant stakeholders in government and civil society;

What we have learned

Lessons:

Data sharing and early warning work when mandated institutions respond: several concrete examples indicate that strengthened partnerships and collaboration among key stakeholders can be useful in the prevention of xenophobic violence. 

Challenges:

More awareness is required on the existence of the platform for people to report incidents of xenophobic violence. Relevant institutions do not always respond when notified of threats of -or actual- violence.