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Poor-quality data about conflict events can hinder humanitarian responses and bias academic research. There is increasing recognition of the role that new information technologies can play in producing more reliable data faster. We piloted a novel data-gathering system in the Democratic Republic of Congo in which villagers in a set of randomly selected communities report on events in real time via short message service. We first describe the data and assess its reliability. We then examine thedoi:10.31235/osf.io/u3mvf fatcat:2dsw5hfzcbdvrph4yjpdy5bvuq