CIFP has its origins in a prototype geopolitical database developed by the Canadian Department of National Defence in 1991. The prototype project called GEOPOL covered a wide range of political, economic, social, military, and environmental indicators through the medium of a rating system. In 1997, under the guidance of Andre Ouellete, John Patterson , Tony Kellett and Paul Sutherland, the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade decided to adopt some elements of GEOPOL to meet the needs of policy makers, the academic community and the private sector.
The CIFP project as it became known has since then operated under the guidance of principal investigator David Carment of Carleton University and has received funding from DFAIT, DND, the EU, Carleton University and CIDA among others. The project represents an on-going effort to identify and assemble statistical information conveying the key features of the political, economic, social and cultural environments of countries around the world. The cross-national data generated through CIFP was intended to have a variety of applications in government departments, NGOs, and by users in the private sector. The data set provides at-a-glance global overviews, issue-based perspectives and country performance measures.
Currently, the data set includes measures of domestic armed conflict, governance and political instability, militarization, religious and ethnic diversity, demographic stress, economic performance, human development, environmental stress, and international linkages.
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