Research Methodology

For thirty years, the Wisconsin Project has been providing reliable open-source information and analysis about the threat posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The organization has a long and successful history of raising public awareness of how illicit trade supports proliferation, and of publicizing such transactions.

The Risk Report relies on information from a wide range of open sources, including company registries, sanctions notices, indictments and plea agreements, early warning lists, company websites, financial statements, bills of lading, vessel manifests, trade exhibition directories, and many others.

Wisconsin Project analysts build profiles of risky entities through a process of careful research and rigorous vetting. Every assertion made in an entity profile is independently reviewed by two or more analysts at the Wisconsin Project to confirm that it is fully supported by a reliable documentary reference. Copies of all references are kept on file and are available to subscribers upon request.

Research that governments rely on

In some 40 countries, government officials in export licensing, customs, law enforcement, policy-making, financial regulation, and intelligence roles rely upon the Risk Report on a daily basis to help make decisions of strategic importance. The Risk Report provides governments with access to open-source information on entities linked to proliferation, which can be used while protecting classified sources.

U.N Security Council Resolution 1540

Countries must maintain export and trans-shipment controls to prevent the proliferation of nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons and their means of delivery, including by “establishing end user controls” and maintaining effective border controls and law enforcement to detect illicit trafficking. Civil society initiatives — like the Risk Report — help countries fulfill these obligations. In some countries, Risk Report access is sponsored by the U.S. government, as part of an effort to support 1540 implementation

Research that businesses rely on

Companies in Asia, Europe, and North America use the Risk Report to conduct enhanced due diligence on their customers and supply chains. The database helps protect these companies from the reputational damage that might come from unwittingly doing business with a restricted party or an entity linked to a dangerous weapon program.

Nuclear Suppliers Group

Adopted a set of “good practices” through which companies can support national nonproliferation efforts, which includes the implementation of internal systems for due diligence checks and reliance on public information provided by “parties with an interest in supporting the multilateral nonproliferation effort.”  The Risk Report is a source of such information.