We believe truth leads to accountability, and at HRDAG, promoting accountability for human rights violations is our highest purpose.

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The Human Rights Data Analysis Group is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that applies rigorous science to the analysis of human rights violations around the world. As scientists, we work to support our partners—the advocates and human rights defenders who “speak truth to power”—by producing unbiased, scientific results that bring clarity to human rights violence and by ensuring that the “truth” is the most accurate truth possible.

Our work at HRDAG is organized into three areas:

  1. Basic Research and Development - We invent and extend scientific methods so that we can better understand patterns of mass violence.
  2. Creation of Knowledge - We help to establish a scientifically defensible historical record of human rights abuses, including publishing public reports and providing expert testimony in war crimes trials.
  3. Education and Outreach - Through speaking engagements, publications, and training graduate students, we help those working in the human rights community to better understand the role and power of statistical data and reasoning.

Featured Projects



In 2012, at the request of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), HRDAG undertook a comparison of seven datasets documenting killings in Syria. Based on this analysis, we found 59,648 unique, identifiable records of killings between March 2011 and November 2012.   Read more.

US Police Killings

In early March, the Bureau of Justice Statistics published a report estimating that from 2003 to 2009 and 2011, there were approximately 7427 US homicides committed by police. We responded that the method the analysts used, capture-recapture with two databases, is vulnerable to underestimation.   Read more.


In 1996, a peace accord brokered by the United Nations ended 36 years of internal armed conflict in Guatemala. During the hostilities, non-governmental organizations asked for technical support from the scientific community in the project to gather the experiences and of witnesses and victims in databases for statistical analysis. Read more.


Hissène Habré’s rule over Chad (1982-1990) was marked by allegations of systematic torture and crimes against humanity. Habré claims that he was not aware of violations committed by the Documentation and Security Directorate, the state security force that pursued political opponents and operated prisons.   Read more.

Inaccurate statistics can damage the credibility of human rights claims—and that’s why statistics about human rights violations must be as scientifically accurate as possible.

Read about our Core Concepts.

Team Members

Team Members The Human Rights Data Analysis Group is composed of a diverse group of board members, full-time staff, and consultants. Employing a multidisciplinary approach, we work with experts in the fields of computer science, software development, mathematical and applied statistics, and demography.

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Megan Price, PhD

Executive Director
Designs strategies and methods for statistical analysis of human rights data for projects in a variety of locations including Guatemala, Colombia, and Syria.

Patrick Ball, PhD

Director of Research
More than twenty years of quantitative analysis for truth commissions, non-governmental organizations, international criminal tribunals, and United Nations missions.

Kristian Lum, PhD

Lead Statistician
Furthers the statistical methodology most commonly used by HRDAG—population estimation—with a particular emphasis on Bayesian methods and model averaging.

Suzanne Nathans

Administrative Manager
15 years of experience in non-profit administration. The “admin hub” for HRDAG, supporting Megan and the rest of the team from the San Francisco office.

Christine Grillo

Directs the organization’s message through a variety of online outlets and monitors the social media landscape around HRDAG.
Featured Talk
HRDAG team members present talks around the world to communities who want to better understand the power of data analysis to defend human rights. View All Talks

Featured Video

Kristian Lum | Data & Society Research Institute

Our work has been used by truth commissions, international criminal tribunals, and non-governmental human rights organizations. We have worked with partners on projects on five continents.

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