Small Arms Survey

Founding Year: 1999

Staff: 50


Eric Berman (Director)

The principal international source of public information on all aspects of small arms and armed violence, serving as a resource for governments, policy-makers, researchers, and activists. Their work is based on the realization that armed conflict has declined, but the number of people killed by armed violence—nearly half a million/year—has not, resulting in vast societal impacts.

They generate policy-relevant research and analysis, and provide both resources and services like training and capacity-building. Their main objective is to reduce the illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons and their impacts.  Hosted by the Geneva Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies and supported by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, with contributions from Canada, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the UK, the US, etc. and various UN agencies.

Research Areas:

  • Weapons and Markets
  • Armed Violence
  • Armed Actors
  • Regulations and Controls
  • Security Programs


  • Arms Transfers DialogueTogether with the UN Institute for Disarmament Research they host a series of meetings for Geneva-based diplomats and other stakeholders. These meetings provide a forum for exploring options and approaches that support multilateral processes on conventional arms control, including small arms and light weapons.
  • Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development – A diplomatic initiative aimed at addressing the interrelations between armed violence and development. Strives to achieve measurable reductions in the global burden of armed violence and improvements in human security. The Small Arms Survey hosts the Secretariat of the Declaration that has been endorsed by >100 states.
  • Global Partnership on Small Arms – The Global Partnership on Small Arms is a platform where stakeholders engaged in reducing or preventing illicit arms trafficking; exchange information, experience, and knowledge; and give feedback to further their shared goals. Their website also hosts a library of resources on illicit small arms and light weapons flows and control measures.
  • Human Security Baseline Assessment for Sudan and South Sudan – A multi-year research project administered by the Small Arms Survey, an independent research project of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. Through the active generation and dissemination of timely empirical research, the project supports violence reduction initiatives.
  • Making Peace Operations More EffectiveThe number of peacekeeping forces deployed in recent years is at historic heights. The security of the men and women serving in these missions—and of the weapons, ammunition, and equipment in their possession—is frequently at risk. This project aims to deepen the understanding of the loss of weapons and materiel from peace operations in order to counter them.
  • Regional Approach to Stockpile Reduction (RASR) Initiative A long-term, coordinated, regional approach to address the threats posed by excess, unstable, loosely secured or otherwise at-risk stockpiles of conventional weapons and munitions.
  • Security Assessment in North AfricaA multi-year project to support those engaged in building a more secure environment in North Africa and the Sahel-Sahara region. The project produces timely, evidence-based research and analysis on the availability and circulation of small arms, the dynamics of emerging armed groups, and related insecurity.



Small Arms Survey contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals

  Organization Type

  Geographic Foci


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