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RustConf 2019, and systems programming as a data scientist

It could make sense to use Rust as a data journalist for in-browser computations, and other thoughts from RustConf.

La estadística de mortalidad del conflicto en Perú

En ese artículo respondemos a una crítica del estudio de mortalidad que realizamos para la Comisión de la Verdad y Reconciliación en 2003.

Training with HRDAG: Rules for Organizing Data and More

I had the pleasure of working with Patrick Ball at the HRDAG office in San Francisco for a week during summer 2016. I knew Patrick from two workshops he previously hosted at the University of Washington’s Centre for Human Rights (UWCHR). The workshops were indispensable to us at UWCHR as we worked to publish a number of datasets on human rights violations during the El Salvador Civil War.  The training was all the more helpful because the HRDAG team was so familiar with the data. As part of an impressive career which took him from Ethiopia and Kosovo to Haiti and El Salvador among others, Patrick himself had worked on gathering and analysing ...

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Perú, Final Report – General Conclusions.


Perú

In 2001, President Alejandro Toledo, called for the establishment of the Comision de la Verdad y Reconciliacion (CVR) (Truth and Reconciliation Commission) to investigate human rights abuses in Perú between 1980 and 2000. Dr. Patrick Ball was invited to work with the Commission to evaluate the CVR technical work and make recommendations on the information management process and analytic strategies. HRDAG consultant Jana Asher worked with Dr. Ball and CVR staff members David Sulmont (Director Informations Systems) and Daniel Manrique (Database Expert) to present evidence of the violations in a report to the CVR. The work included new estimates of ...

Multiple Systems Estimation: The Matching Process

<<Previous post: Collection, Cleaning, and Canonicalization of Data Q8. What do you mean by "overlap," and why are overlaps important? Q9. [In depth] Why is automated matching so important, and what process do you use to match records?  Q8. What do you mean by "overlap," and why are overlaps important? MSE estimates the total number of violations by comparing the size of the overlap(s) between lists of human rights violations to the sizes of the lists themselves. By "overlap," we mean the set of incidents, such as deaths, that appear on more than one list of human rights violations. Accurately and efficiently identifying overlaps between ...

String matching for governorate information in unstructured text

code{white-space: pre;} pre:not([class]) { background-color: white; } h1 { font-size: 34px; } h1.title { font-size: 38px; } h2 { font-size: 30px; } h3 { font-size: 24px; } h4 { font-size: 18px; } h5 { font-size: 16px; } h6 { font-size: 12px; } .table th:not([align]) { text-align: left; } .main-container { max-width: 940px; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; } code { color: inherit; background-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.04); } img { max-width:100%; height: auto; } .tabbed-pane { padding-top: 12px; } .html-widget { margin-bottom: 20px; } button.code-foldin...

Yezidi Activists Teach HRDAG about Human Rights – updated

UPDATE (21 Dec 2014): Juan Cole is reporting that the Kurdish militia (the peshmerga) have retaken Shingal (also known as Sinjar) mountain where many Yezidi people have been trapped since 3 August 2014. They are now moving to liberate other Yezidi towns south of the mountain. The Yezidi people trapped on the mountain are now free. There is no word yet on the thousands of Yezidi people enslaved by ISIS. ORIGINAL (19 Nov 2014): Farhad (not his real name) got the call from ISIS on his personal cell phone just after lunch: we have your sister, and we will give her back if you pay us $6000, plus $1500 for the driver. Carrying little more than his ...

Las cifras de la CVR en el 2019

Las estimaciones se estratificaron por ubicación y perpetrador.

In Solidarity

We stand with our partners and every organizer fighting for justice.

Herb Spirer, 1925 – 2018

Herb led and mentored a generation of statisticians working in human rights.

Multiple Systems Estimation: Stratification and Estimation

<< Previous post, MSE: The Matching Process Q10. What is stratification? Q11. [In depth] How do HRDAG analysts approach stratification, and why is it important? Q12. How does MSE find the total number of violations? Q13. [In depth] What are the assumptions of two-system MSE (capture-recapture)? Why are they not necessary with three or more systems? Q14. What statistical model(s) does HRDAG typically use to calculate MSE estimates? (more…)

CIIDH Data – Value Labels

Version date: 2000.01.29 Current version: ATV20.1 Patrick Ball & Herbert F. Spirer v_ind -------------+----------- Victim | Ethnic | category | | Freq. -------------+----------- 1 Indigenous | 2,722 2 Ladino | 1,014 3 Unknown | 13,687 | Total | 17,423 -------------+----------- v_sex ----------+----------- Victim | Sex | Freq. ----------+----------- 4 F | 2,001 5 M | 11,445 6 d | 3,977 | Total | 17,423 ----------+----------- v_eth -------------+----------- Victim | Maternal | language ...

HRDAG Testifies in Hissène Habré Trial

Last week HRDAG’s executive director, Patrick Ball, served as an expert witness for the prosecution in the trial of Hissène Habré, the ruler of Chad from 1982 to 1990. The trial is taking place in Dakar, Senegal, where the 73-year-old Habré has been living since 1990 when he fled Chad. He has already been sentenced to death in absentia in Chad. Habré is being charged with war crimes, crimes against humanity, and torture that took place during his eight-year reign. The trial is happening at the Extraordinary African Chambers, which was inaugurated by Senegal and the African Union to try Habré. This is the first time that one country has ...

Timor-Leste FAQs

How do you know that there are more conflict-related deaths than have been reported to the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR, by its Portuguese acronym)? Where did the method of multiple systems estimation come from? If you didn't have access to the whole population, how do you know how representative these data are of the entire population? i.e. How do you control for bias? What are the total conflict-related mortality numbers? How many people were killed and disappeared between 1974 and 1999? And how many people died due to hunger and illness? What is the margin of error associated with these results? What is ...

How we make sure that nobody is counted twice: A peek into HRDAG's record de-duplication

HRDAG is currently evaluating the quality and completeness of the Kosovo Memory Book of the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) in Belgrade, Serbia. The objective of the Kosovo Memory Book (KMB) is to commemorate every single person who fell victim to armed conflict in Kosovo from 1998 to 2000, either through death or disappearance. While building and reviewing their database, one of the things that HLC has to do is “record linkage,” a process also known as “matching.” Matching determines whether two records are the same people (“a match”) or different people (“a non-match”). Matching helps to identify whether two existing records refer ...

HRDAG contributes to textbook Counting Civilian Casualties

Next week, on June 11, Oxford University Press officially puts Counting Civilian Casualties: An Introduction to Recording and Estimating Nonmilitary Deaths in Conflict on the market. This textbook, edited by Taylor B. Seybolt, Jay D. Aronson, and Baruch Fischhoff, responds to the increasing concern for civilians in conflict and aims to promote scientific dialogue by highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the most commonly used casualty recording and estimation techniques. HRDAG is very well represented here, as our colleagues have co-authored four chapters, and Nicholas Jewell, who sits on our Science Committee, has co-authored a fifth. ...

HRDAG is hiring – technical lead

If this could be you, let us know. Also, please feel free to pass on this link to great people. Job Title. Technical lead with a hacker's heart Location. A cool office in SOMA, San Francisco. You need to be on-site with us. What we do. The Human Rights Data Analysis Group (HRDAG) develops statistical techniques to measure human rights atrocities. Our work helps bring dictators to justice through data analysis of human rights atrocities around the world. Over more than 20 years, our small team has developed technology and statistical techniques to take disjoint, incomplete, and inaccurate information from conflict zones and process it to identify ...

How We Choose Projects

For more than 20 years, HRDAG has been carving out a niche in the international human rights movement. We know what we’re good at and what we’re not qualified to do. We know what quantitative questions we think are important for the community, and we know what we like to do. These preferences guide us as we consider whether to take on a project. We’re scientists, so our priorities will come as no surprise. We like to stick to science (not ideology), avoid advocacy, answer quantifiable questions, and increase our scientific understanding. While we have no hard-and-fast rules about what projects to take on, we organize our deliberation ...

Data Archaeology for Human Rights in Central America: HRDAG Collaborates with UWCHR

Patrick Ball is kicking himself for a decision he made almost 25 years ago. “I was clever, but I wasn’t smart,” he says ruefully, as he considers the labyrinth of tables and ASCII-encoded keystrings he used to design a database of human rights violations for the pioneering Salvadoran non-governmental Human Rights Commission (CDHES). Now I’m sitting in his office in San Francisco’s Mission District watching over his shoulder, and trying to keep up, as he bangs out code to decipher the priceless data contained in these old files. Created in 1991 and 1992, during the last days of El Salvador’s internal armed conflict, the files detail ...

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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