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Death Toll In Syria Jumps To Nearly 93,000


How Do We Know the Death Toll in Syria Is Accurate?


Estimating Deaths


Contabilidad el número de víctimas de la guerra de Siria


The Death Toll in Syria


Data Mining on the Side of the Angels

“Data, by itself, isn’t truth.” How HRDAG uses data analysis and statistical methods to shed light on mass human rights abuses. Executive director Patrick Ball is quoted from his speech at the Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg, Germany.


Why Collecting Data In Conflict Zones Is Invaluable—And Nearly Impossible


The Case Against a Golden Key

Patrick Ball (2016). The case against a golden key. Foreign Affairs. September 14, 2016.  ©2016 Council on Foreign Relations, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Patrick Ball (2016). The case against a golden key. Foreign Affairs. September 14, 2016.  ©2016 Council on Foreign Relations, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Syrian civil war death toll exceeds 190,000, U.N. reports

Ayan Sheikh of PBS News Hour reports on the UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Right’s release of HRDAG’s third report on reported killings in the Syrian conflict.
From the article:
The latest death toll figure covers the period from March 2011 to April of this year, came from the Human Rights Data Analysis Group and is the third study of its kind on Syria. The analysis group identified 191,269 deaths. Data was collected from five different sources to exclude inaccuracies and repetitions.


UN Raises Estimate of Dead in Syrian Conflict to 191,000

Nick Cumming-Bruce of the New York Times writes about the UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Right’s release of HRDAG’s third report on reported killings in the Syrian conflict.
From the article:
In its third report on Syria commissioned by the United Nations, the Human Rights Data Analysis Group identified 191,369 deaths from the start of the conflict in March 2011 to April 2014, more than double the 92,901 deaths cited in their last report, which covered the first two years of the conflict.
“Tragically, it is probably an underestimate of the real total number of people killed during the first three years of this murderous conflict,” Ms. Pillay said in a statement that accompanied the report, which observed that many killings in Syria were undocumented.


Syria’s status, the migrant crisis and talking to ISIS

In this week’s “Top Picks,” IRIN interviews HRDAG executive director Patrick Ball about giant data sets and whether we can trust them. “No matter how big it is, data on violence is always partial,” he says.


Download: Megan Price

nyt_square_logoExecutive director Megan Price is interviewed in The New York Times’ Sunday Review, as part of a series known as “Download,” which features a biosketch of “Influencers and their interests.”


Recent Talks


Civil War in Syria: The Internet as a Weapon of War

Suddeutsche Zeitung writer Hakan Tanriverdi interviews HRDAG affiliate Anita Gohdes and writes about her work on the Syrian casualty enumeration project for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. This article, “Bürgerkrieg in Syrien: Das Internet als Kriegswaffe,” is in German.


Experts Greet Kosovo Memory Book

On Wednesday, February 4, in Pristina, international experts praised the Humanitarian Law Centre’s database on victims of the Kosovo conflict, the Kosovo Memory Book. HRDAG executive director Patrick Ball is quoted in the article that appeared in Balkan Transitional Justice.


Kriege und Social Media: Die Daten sind nicht perfekt

Suddeutsche Zeitung writer Mirjam Hauck interviewed HRDAG affiliate Anita Gohdes about the pitfalls of relying on social media data when interpreting violence in the context of war. This article, “Kriege und Social Media: Die Daten sind nicht perfekt,” is in German.


SermonNew death toll estimated in Syrian civil war

Kevin Uhrmacher of the Washington Post prepared a graph that illustrates reported deaths over time, by number of organizations reporting the deaths.


Are journalists lowballing the number of Iraqi war dead?

The Columbia Journalism Review investigates the casualty count in Iraq, more than a decade after the U.S. invasion. HRDAG executive director Patrick Ball is quoted. “IBC is very good at covering the bombs that go off in markets,” said Patrick Ball, an analyst at the Human Rights Data Analysis Group who says his whole career is to study “people being killed.” But quiet assassinations and military skirmishes away from the capital often receive little or no media attention.


Sous la dictature d’Hissène Habré, le ridicule tuait

Patrick Ball, un expert en statistiques engagé par les Chambres africaines extraordinaires, a conclu que la « mortalité dans les prisons de la DDS fut substantiellement plus élevée que celles des pires contextes du XXe siècle de prisonniers de guerre ».


Direct procès Habré: le taux de mortalité dans les centres de détention, au menu des débats

Statisticien, Patrick Ball est à la barre ce vendredi matin. L’expert est entendu sur le taux de mortalité dans les centres de détention au Tchad sous Habré. Désigné par la chambre d’accusation, il dira avoir axé ses travaux sur des témoignages, des données venant des victimes et des documents de la DDS (Direction de la Documentation et de la Sécurité).


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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