A Department of Homeland Security Emeritus Center of Excellence led by the University of Maryland

A consortium of researchers dedicated to improving the understanding of the human causes and consequences of terrorism

START launches new GTD website and announces partnership with CHC Global


START launches new GTD website and announces partnership with CHC Global

October 8, 2019Jessica Rivinius

CHC Global and START logosIn concert with the new Global Terrorism Database™ report on "Trends in Global Terrorism" and 2018 data, START is announcing a new partnership and launching a new GTD™ website.

The University of Maryland has partnered with CHC Global, to serve as START’s exclusive commercial distribution partner for the GTD.  Headquartered in London, CHC Global is an independent advisory practice, who work to understand, manage and insure terrorism risks.  The partnership is intended to help secure the long-term stability of the GTD, ensure it remains freely available for personal and academic research use, and allow START researchers to focus on making continual improvements to the data and data collection process.

“CHC Global has extensive expertise in delivering terrorism analytics in the public and private sectors,” START Director William Braniff said. “The fact that they share our commitment to distributing the GTD widely to those who work to understand and minimize the impacts of terrorism makes them ideal partners in this effort.”

The partnership will allow START, via CHC Global, to engage more proactively and gain licensing revenue from the many organizations who value the database and routinely use it in their work and products.

“The GTD is recognized as the authoritative source of terrorism event data by researchers, policy makers and commercial organizations, internationally,” CHC Global CEO Chris Holt said. “It is an unparalleled resource for those who seek to understand the frequency and severity of terrorism. We’re very much looking forward to developing this partnership with START, including enhancing aspects of the data for commercial users.”

Since initially being made public in 2007, monthly downloads of the GTD have risen dramatically as the dataset continues to improve, resulting in an average of more than 1,000 downloads per month in 2018, and over 63,600 total downloads through 2018. While a majority of those downloading the data indicate they are doing so for personal or academic research use – which they will be able to continue to do freely – a large number of users also indicate they represent organizations, including commercial entities. Those users will now need to purchase a license from CHC Global to download the GTD dataset.

All users may still access the search and browse function of the legacy GTD site, subject to agreeing to non-commercial terms of use.

START has compiled and published the GTD for more than a decade but has faced a challenge in securing long-term funding for base data collection. Without 2019 funding, there would have been a lapse in GTD production, meaning that individual governmental and non-governmental organizations and institutions would have needed to develop individualized, ad hoc strategies for measuring terrorism, or rely on less data-driven approaches to countering terrorism.

In addition to partnering with CHC Global to commercially distribute the GTD, START continues to seek consistent funding for the GTD well beyond 2019. Furthermore, without U.S. Government funding, the U.S. Government will not maintain government purpose rights to the data to future releases of the data.

The GTD’s comprehensive, accessible, transparent, structured and unstructured data make it a critical resource for governments, non-government organizations, commercial entities, and scholars alike.  It is used by thousands of analysts around the world, seeking to better inform the public about a frequently misunderstood topic.  All of these users benefit from high-quality data for both operational and analytical purposes.