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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 ...

Truth Commissioner

From the Guatemalan military to the South African apartheid police, code cruncher Patrick Ball singles out the perpetrators of political violence.


Big Data Predictive Analytics Comes to Academic and Nonprofit Institutions to Fuel Innovation

“Revolution Analytics will allow HRDAG to handle bigger data sets and leverage the power of R to accomplish this goal and uncover the truth.” Director of Research Megan Price is quoted


Court Sentences Two Former Policemen to 40 Years in Prison Todanoticia.com


Data-driven development needs both social and computer scientists

Excerpt:

Data scientists are programmers who ignore probability but like pretty graphs, said Patrick Ball, a statistician and human rights advocate who cofounded the Human Rights Data Analysis Group.

“Data is broken,” Ball said. “Anyone who thinks they’re going to use big data to solve a problem is already on the path to fantasy land.”


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


MEDIA MISREPRESENTATIONS OF THE CAVR REPORT

Press release from the Technical Secretariat of the Commission for Reception, Truth, and Reconciliation (CAVR) MEDIA MISREPRESENTATIONS OF THE CAVR REPORT Although not yet officially released, the 2500 page CAVR Report 'Chega!' has been the subject of several prominent reports in the media based on leaked versions of the Executive Summary and particularly its section on Recommendations. Stories on the Report have been carried by AFP, AP, the Japan Times, the Singapore Straits Times, Sydney Morning Herald, Lusa,Timor-Leste press and Bali Times - to name some. Regrettably some of these stories contained serious misrepresentations of the Report which ...

Round-up

Benetech's Human Rights Data Analysis Group Publishes 2010 Analysis of Human Rights Violations in Five Countries Analysis of Uncovered Government Data from Guatemala and Chad Clarifies History and Supports Criminal Prosecutions By Ann Harrison The past year of research by the Benetech Human Rights Data Analysis Group (HRDAG) has supported criminal prosecutions and uncovered the truth about political violence in Guatemala, Iran, Colombia, Chad and Liberia. On today's celebration of the 62nd anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, HRDAG invites the international community to engage scientifically defensible methodologies that ...

About Us

Who We Are 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. We are a team with expertise in mathematical statistics, computer science, demography, and social science. We are non-partisan—we do not take sides in political or military conflicts, nor do we advocate any particular political party or government policy. However, we are not neutral: we are always in favor of human rights. We support the protections established in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and ...

Our People

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. Advisory Board As a nonprofit organization, our Advisory Board serves as our governing body. This board helps us to make decisions, keeps us on track with our mission and goals, and oversees the organization in legal and logistical matters. David Banks, Professor, Statistical Science, Duke University Kim Keller, Executive Director, The Keller Foundation Dinah ...

Sierra Leone

Following a brutal 11-year civil war, the Parliament of Sierra Leone called for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to create "an impartial, historical record of the conflict", and "address impunity; respond to the needs of victims; promote healing and reconciliation; and prevent a repetition of the violations and abuses suffered." The full text of the TRC report is available on the Sierra Leone Web. HRDAG assisted the TRC to build a systematic data coding system, electronic database, and secure data analysis process to manage the thousands of statements given to them in the course of their work. Dr. Ball visited Freetown twice, and HRDAG ...

Descriptive Statistics From Statements to the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Kristen Cibelli, Amelia Hoover, and Jule Krüger (2009). “Descriptive Statistics From Statements to the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission,” a Report by the Human Rights Data Analysis Group at Benetech and Annex to the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia. Palo Alto, California. Benetech.


Colombia

How Many Social Movement Leaders Have Been Killed in Colombia? The killing of social movement leaders has been widely documented in Colombia, particularly since the Peace Agreement in 2016. Documentation organizations do not agree on the exact number of killings. 2018: Using data from six organizations, this report estimates the total number of social movement leaders killed in 2016 and 2017. We conclude that the number of killings is increasing. More precisely, we estimate that there is a 50 percent probability that the increase between 2016-2017 was 10 percent or greater. HRDAG has drafted and published this report in partnership with Dejus...

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 ...

Patrick Ball Honored with Degree at Claremont Graduate University

We’re happy to announce that our executive director, Patrick Ball, has been presented an honorary degree from Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California. University President Deborah Freund presented the degree to Patrick at the university’s 88th annual commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 16, 2015. The degree conferred was Doctor of Science honoris causa. “We at CGU are thrilled that Patrick Ball accepted our Honorary Degree invitation and joined us for commencement,” said Thomas Horan, CGU Professor and Director, Center for Information Systems and Technology. “Patrick’s work stands as a model for conducting first-r...

Reality and risk: A refutation of S. Rendón’s analysis of the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s conflict mortality study

Daniel Manrique-Vallier and Patrick Ball (2019). Reality and risk: A refutation of S. Rendón’s analysis of the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s conflict mortality study. Research & Politics, 22 March 2019. © Sage Journals. https://doi.org/10.1177/2053168019835628

Daniel Manrique-Vallier and Patrick Ball (2019). Reality and risk: A refutation of S. Rendón’s analysis of the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s conflict mortality study. Research & Politics, 22 March 2019. © Sage Journals. https://doi.org/10.1177/2053168019835628


FAQs on Predictive Policing and Bias

Last month Significance magazine published an article on the topic of predictive policing and police bias, which I co-authored with William Isaac. Since then, we've published a blogpost about it and fielded a few recurring questions. Here they are, along with our responses. Do your findings still apply given that PredPol uses crime reports rather than arrests as training data? Because this article was meant for an audience that is not necessarily well-versed in criminal justice data and we were under a strict word limit, we simplified language in describing the data. The data we used is a version of the Oakland Police Department’s crime report...

Truth Commissioner


Funding

HRDAG’s funding comes from private, international donors:  the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Open Society Foundations, an anonymous U.S.-based private foundation, Zennström Philanthropies, Ford Foundation, The National Endowment for Democracy and individual donors. This funding supports both specific projects, as well as our scientific work generally in human rights data analysis. For the entirety of its existence, HRDAG has been a project of non-profit organizations, first at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and then at Benetech, a non-profit Silicon Valley technology company. ...

State Coordinated Violence in Chad under Hissene Habre: A Statistical Analysis of Reported Prison Mortality in Chad’s DDS Prisons and Command Responsibility of Hissene Habre, 1982-1990.

Romesh Silva, Jeff Klingner, and Scott Weikart. “State Coordinated Violence in Chad under Hissene Habre: A Statistical Analysis of Reported Prison Mortality in Chad’s DDS Prisons and Command Responsibility of Hissene Habre, 1982-1990.” A Report by Benetech’s Human Rights Data Analysis Group to Human Rights Watch and the Chadian Association of Victims of Political Repression and Crimes. 29 January 2010. (Available in French) © 2010 Benetech. Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.


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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