There are 42 questions and it takes between 30 and 45 minutes to answer the questionnaire. Once you have completed the questions you will be able to find your position on each axis and find the corresponding square on the matrix.

Click on the appropriate square and read about the type of problem you are facing and the risks and opportunities connected to it.

From there you can access the contact page where you can choose a number of options including further information and advice.

    Select one alternative for each question


  • 1.1 Length of time the problem has existed
    How long has it been since the problem arose?

    Consider the problem and all the associated problems as one. For example the current tension started when immigrants moved into the area
  • 1.2 Previous attempts to deal with the problem
    Have previous attempts been made to deal with the problem?

    These can be programs, conversations, meetings, etc. with the purpose of alleviating or resolving the problem.
  • 1.3 One party has a bad reputation
    Is a party accused for having done a bad job before?

    Has one of the parties failed in similar assignments? Has a contractor for example been involved in other failed projects?
  • 1.4 Violent threats
    Has somebody received threats of violence while the problem has existed?

    Threats can be made on social media or in a more direct way.
  • 1.5 Presence of physical violence
    Has violence occured between involved parties or stakeholders?

    This question concerns those who are involved in the conflict or closely connected to the problem. It relates to physical violence or harm in some form. The next question relates to psychological violence.
  • 1.6 Psychological violence
    Has psychological violence (PsV) occured during this conflict?

    Psychological violence (PsV) is the exercise of power over others with the purpose of breaking them down psychologically. For example, threats that create fear, insult or isolation. This can occur consciously or unconsciously.
  • 1.7 Deaths
    Have deaths occured that can be linked to the problem?

    Deaths may be the result of violence between parties, but also as a result of the problem. For example, a chemical spill or other accident might have led to deaths.

  • 2.1.1 How many individuals are actively engaged in the conflict?

    Individuals act mainly on their own and are not organised into groups or networks. The questions focus primarily on individuals who are actively engaged in some way or another.
  • 2.1.2 How many groups and/or networks are engaged in the conflict?

    Groups refer to loosely or well-organised groups as well as networks and groups on social media
  • 2.2 Authorities and public institutions
    Are authorities (police, army, municipal or regional authorities) or other public institutions involved in some way?

    This may involve the state, regional or local authorities, the police or the army; also formal public institutions. The problem may involve actors on many levels of authority (5 & 6) for example, the state, the region and local government
  • 2.3 Internal conflict or disagreement
    Are conflicts, tension or disagreemnt present within (not between) the organisations that are involved?

    This could involve differences in opinion related to the problem, power struggles or different factions within stakeholder groups.
  • 2.4 Activists or gangs
    Are activists or gangs involved?

    With activists understand groups that actively protest - using violent or peaceful means. Criminal gangs - although not to be compared to activists - should be included here too.
  • 2.5 Conflict lines
    Does the problem involve conflicts between different groupings? How many different conflicts are present?

    A problem can contain several lesser but connected conflicts. These may be between parties or within stakeholder groups.
  • 2.6 Media involvement
    To which degree is the press involved? Have there been reports concerning the problem or conflict?

    Media includes newspapers, web-news sites, radio, and TV.

  • 3.1 Smaller problems contained within the main problem
    How many smaller problems are contained within the main problem?

    A problem often contains several lesser problems. For example, a conflict about health care may involve leadership, working conditions for nurses and doctors ambulance transport, availability of emergency services and poor follow-up with patients.
  • 3.2 The problem affects or is affected by other problems
    Does the problem affect other problems? Is it affected by other problems?

    A conflict about safety in the town center might be affected by the flight of business from the center. In its turn, the safety problem affects the problem of tourists not wanting to visit the town center at night.

  • 4.1 Sudden changes
    Is the problem characterised by sudden changes or unforseen events?

    Unforeseen events can be caused by people who are involved in the problem or by outside events. They affect the situation in varying degrees.
  • 4.2 Rumours and fake news
    Do incidents of spreading rumours and false news occur?

    Rumours can be spread via social media, the press or in direct communication. Fake news implies the spreading of false information for a specific purpose.
  • 4.3 A sense of escalation
    Do stakeholders sense (subjectively) that the conflict is escalating or the situation is getting worse?

    An example: the presence of groups of youths in the shopping center creates uncertainty and fear amongst the elderly. A recent robbery attempt in the center has resulted in a sense that the situation is worsening.
  • 4.4 Structural and legal obstacles
    Do organisational structures, rules and laws make it difficult to deal with the problem?

    Examples can be rules, laws, internal routines and organisational structures that make it difficult to communicate or that stand in the way for a constructive dialogue or mediation. These also include obstacles making it difficult for parties to make or implement agreements.
  • 4. Problems involving values
    Does the problem involve or include strongly held values?

    Values may include freedoms, rights, quality of life, identity, religion, safety and more. For example, my "right" to use my car, my "freedom" to cut down the forest, my right to exercise my religion and so on.
  • Total complexity scale
    Select one alternative for each question


  • 1.1 A sense of being excluded or marginalised
    Does an individual or group feel excluded from a decision or a decision-making process?

    This concerns the subjective perception of being excluded rather than an "objective fact". It might express itself as the sense of being "railroaded" by powerful people or not being taken seriously.
  • 1.2 Active exclusion from power
    Do those who possess power, exclude other stakeholders from the ability to influence or from decision-making?

    This question concerns those who exclude others from influence and their attitude towards sharing power - often decision-making power.
  • 1.3 Social marginalisation
    Are certain stakeholders excluded from social activities or privileges?

    Social activities and privileges might involve meetings, events, activities where some people feel unwelcome. Privileges might involve the freedom to speak at meetings, to use facilities or to behave in a certain way.

  • 2.1 Jokes
    Do jokes at the expense of individuals or groups occur?

    Jokes are often a way of speaking truth to power. They may also be a way for a group to distinguish itself and create a sense of identity. The jokes are typically sarcastic or caustic.
  • 2.2 Gossip
    Does some form of gossip occur, on social media or directly?

    Gossip refers here to conversations ABOUT other people or groups rather than direct communication WITH them. These conversations are often critical in nature.
  • 2.3 Alliances
    Have parties formed alliances?

    Alliances can be groups on Facebook or other social media platforms, organisations, networks or loosely organised groups. The main motivation for forming alliances is to find strength in numbers and support for one's point of view
  • 2.4 Lobbying
    Are there attempts to directly influence decision-makers or powerful people associated with the problem?

  • 2.5 Perceptions of the other
    How do parties view one another?

    How do parties view other stakeholders? Are they open or do they see each other as opponents or enemies? A group can, for example, view another as less worthy (stupid, ignorant, weird, overly emotional, etc) and in the end, see them as less than human.

  • 3.1 The quality of communication
    Has the quality of communication deteriorated in the during the existence of the problem?

    Has communication become more difficult or strained? Is it less open, characterised by tension, anger, frustration, animosity or withdrawal and silence?
  • 3.2 Communication becomes more formal
    Has communication changed from being open and direct to a more formal form and tone?

    Have you noticed a shift from more informal to formal? For example, where parties previously called each other to speak directly, they now only write emails or send messages to each other; or direct communication is replaced with open letters to the press or posts on social media.
  • 3.3 Communication becomes indirect
    Has indirect communication replaced direct contact?

    Do parties avoid direct communication with each other and rather communicate through a third party or via the press?
  • 3.4 Communication ceases
    Has communication betwen the parties stopped?

    This question focuses on the short or long term cessation of communication between the parties. This need not involve all the parties, but at least some with a central role.

  • 4.1 Active circulation of rumours and disinformation
    Have rumour or false information been spread?

    Conscious disinformation can be a form of attack, a strategy to confuse and influence others negatively (A similar question has been asked under the heading Complexity but for a different reason)
  • 4.2 Threats of violence or damage
    Have threats of violence or damage to property occured?

    Threats of violence include actions that intend to intimidate or scare. Threats of damage can involve damage to property, threats of an economic nature. Threats with legal action with the intent to intimidate can also be included.
  • 4.3 Protest
    Have open protests or demonstrations occurred?

    Protests can take on different forms. They are open and visible. They can be organised or spontaneous. Forms include demonstrations, civil disobedience, obstruction of roads or machines, occupation of buildnings and protest action via the press or other media.
  • 4.4 Sabotage
    Has sabotage occurred?

    Sabotage includes action to prevent activities or to damage property
  • 4.5 Physical violence
    Has physical violence occurred?

    Differentiate between actions that cause physical harm to people or property and psychological violence (in the next section)
  • 4.6 Psychological violence
    Has psychological violence occurred?

    Psychological violence includes threats on the internet or other non-physical forms of intimidation against a person or those close to them. The consequence can be that somebody no longer wants to participate in a process, resigns, needs legal, medical or therapeutic help, etc.
  • 4.7 Deadly violence
    Have people been killed during or as a result of the conflict?

    This concerns deaths that have occurred due to the conflict having become violent - not incidental deaths linked to the problem or conflict
  • 4.8 Mutually destructive violence
    Has one of the parties come to point where they wish to harm the other even if it means that they themselves suffer harm or die?

    Examples are the destruction of one's own property, willingness to go to jail or suffer economic damage. Suicide bombings are an extreme form.
  • Total on the conflict scale
  • Level of complexity
  • Degree of conflict escalation