4 results for month: 08/2017


Reflections: Some Stories Shape You

The first time I met anyone at HRDAG, I was a journalist. It was 2006. I was working on a story about a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon who’d collaborated with the organization on a survey in Sierra Leone, and I contacted Patrick Ball to discuss the work. At the time, I found him challenging. But I thought his work—trying to estimate how many people were killed, or, in that study, otherwise injured, during wars—was fascinating. Over the next few years, I got to know other researchers working on similar questions. In 2008, as the war in Iraq ramped up, I spoke with epidemiologists from Johns Hopkins University, the World Health Organiz...

Our Thoughts on the Violence in Charlottesville

This week, we join our friends and colleagues in feeling horrified by the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. As we have for the past 26 years, we stand with the victims of violence and support human rights and dignity for all. We spend our careers observing and documenting mass political violence across the world. The demands by the so-called “alt-right” to normalize racism and social exclusion are all too familiar to us. At HRDAG, our work is always guided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). We reaffirm our commitment to these principles, in particular that the “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and ...

A Newcomer’s Perspective on HRDAG Systems

I’m a high school student who has been working with Patrick Ball here at HRDAG as an intern over the summer. I arrived here after asking my parents about what jobs existed that used data analysis to help people. Through our friend and human rights lawyer Kathy Roberts at the CJA, I was introduced to Patrick and have been lucky enough to spend my time here learning what data analysis looks like as an actual job. Here’s an overview of the tools and methods I have learned so far at HRDAG. Prior to this summer, I didn't realize why data science is so hard. Because of the number of people who work on our projects and the significance of the work ...

Reflections: Pivotal Moments in Freetown

The summer of 2002 in Washington, DC, was steamy and hot, which is how I remember my introduction to HRDAG. I had begun working with them, while they were still at AAAS, in the late spring, learning all about their core concepts: duplicate reporting and MSE, controlled vocabularies, inter-rater reliability, data models and more. The days were long, with a second shift more often than not running late into the evening. In addition to all the learning, I also helped with matching for the Chad project – that is, identifying multiple records of the same violation – back when matching was done by hand. But it was not long after I arrived in Washington ...