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Data on Kosovo Migration

[popup citation="For migrations: Ball, Patrick. (2000). AAAS/ Human Rights Data Analysis Group database of migrations in Albania and Kosovo. For killings: Patrick Ball, Wendy Betts, Fritz Scheuren, Jana Dudukovich, and Jana Asher. (2002). AAAS/ABA-CEELI/Human Rights Data Analysis Group database of killings in Kosovo. For other data: Human Rights Data Analysis Group. (2002). Database of NATO airstrikes, geographic coding, and KLA activity in Kosovo."] The data on migration from Kosovo are in seven files. All of the files are comma-delimited ASCII. The fields in each file are described below. For more information, see Policy or Panic, section A1, pp. ...

Revisiting the analysis of event size bias in the Iraq Body Count

(This post is co-authored by Patrick Ball and Megan Price) In a recent article in the SAIS Review of International Affairs, we wrote about "event size bias," the problem that events of different sizes have different probabilities of being reported. In this case, the size of an event is defined by the number of reported victims. Our concern is that not all violent (in this case homicide) events are recorded, that is, some events will have zero sources. Our theory is that events with fewer victims will receive less coverage than events with more victims, and that a higher proportion of small events will have zero sources relative to large events. The ...

Tchad – Reportage Photo

[English] HissĂšne HabrĂ© fĂ»t le PrĂ©sident de l’ancienne colonie française du Tchad de 1982 Ă  1990. De nombreuses allĂ©gations crĂ©dibles de torture systĂ©matique et de crimes contre l’humanitĂ© ont Ă©tĂ© faites contre la Direction de Documentation et de SĂ©curitĂ© (DDS), les forces de l’ordre responsables pour la persĂ©cution d’adversaires du rĂ©gime HabrĂ© qui Ă©taient aussi responsables pour l’administration de nombreuses prisons durant ce rĂ©gime. “La Piscine” est une ancienne piscine qui a Ă©tĂ© couverte par un toit en bĂ©ton. Il est allĂ©guĂ© qu’il s’agissait lĂ  d’une des prisons de la DDS dans laquelle de nombreux ...

Communiqué de presse, Tchad, January 2010

Une Nouvelle Etude DĂ©montre qu’ HissĂšne HabrĂ© supervisait les Prisons de la Police Politique oĂč des Milliers de Personnes Sont DĂ©cĂ©dĂ©es. 10Ăšme Anniversaire de l’Inculpation de l’Ancien Dictateur Tchadien Janvier 29, 2010, N’DjamĂ©na, Tchad, Palo Alto, CA, Etats-Unis – A l’occasion du 10Ăšme anniversaire de la premiĂšre mise en accusation d’HissĂšne HabrĂ© au SĂ©nĂ©gal, le Groupe d'Analyse des DonnĂ©es de Droits Humains de Benetech (GADDH) a rĂ©alisĂ© une nouvelle Ă©tude qui dĂ©montre que l’ancien dictateur tchadien Ă©tait bien informĂ© des politiques et des pratiques de sa police politique. Cette Ă©tude pourrait s’avĂ©rer ...

The Devil is in the Details: Interrogating Values Embedded in the Allegheny Family Screening Tool

Anjana Samant, Noam Shemtov, Kath Xu, Sophie Beiers, Marissa Gerchick, Ana Gutierrez, Aaron Horowitz, Tobi Jegede, Tarak Shah (2023). The Devil is in the Details: Interrogating Values Embedded in the Allegheny Family Screening Tool. ACLU. Summer 2023.

Anjana Samant, Noam Shemtov, Kath Xu, Sophie Beiers, Marissa Gerchick, Ana Gutierrez, Aaron Horowitz, Tobi Jegede, Tarak Shah (2023). The Devil is in the Details: Interrogating Values Embedded in the Allegheny Family Screening Tool. ACLU. Summer 2023.


Lessons at HRDAG: Holding Public Institutions Accountable

Principled Data Processing is a way to prove to someone, usually yourself, that what you did was right.

Truth and Myth in Sierra Leone: An Empirical Analysis of the Conflict, 1991–2000

Tamy Guberek, Daniel Guzmán, Romesh Silva, Kristen Cibelli, Jana Asher, Scott Weikart, Patrick Ball, and Wendy Grossman. “Truth and Myth in Sierra Leone: An Empirical Analysis of the Conflict, 1991–2000″ (pdf). A report by the Benetech Human Rights Data Analysis Group and the American Bar Association. March 28, 2006.


‘Bias deep inside the code’: the problem with AI ‘ethics’ in Silicon Valley

Kristian Lum, the lead statistician at the Human Rights Data Analysis Group, and an expert on algorithmic bias, said she hoped Stanford’s stumble made the institution think more deeply about representation.

“This type of oversight makes me worried that their stated commitment to the other important values and goals – like taking seriously creating AI to serve the ‘collective needs of humanity’ – is also empty PR spin and this will be nothing more than a vanity project for those attached to it,” she wrote in an email.


The Demography of Conflict-Related Mortality in Timor-Leste (1974-1999): Empirical Quantitative Measurement of Civilian Killings, Disappearances & Famine-Related Deaths

Romesh Silva and Patrick Ball. “The Demography of Conflict-Related Mortality in Timor-Leste (1974-1999): Empirical Quantitative Measurement of Civilian Killings, Disappearances & Famine-Related Deaths” In Statistical Methods for Human Rights, J. Asher, D. Banks and F. Scheuren, eds., Springer (New York) (2007)


Counting the Dead in Sri Lanka

ITJP and HRDAG are urging groups inside and outside Sri Lanka to share existing casualty lists.

HRDAG Analysis Supports Efforts to Hold Salvadoran Commanders Accountable for 1989 Jesuit Massacre

Almost a quarter century ago, on November 16, 1989, six Jesuit scholars, their housekeeper and her 15-year-old daughter were massacred inside the University of Central America (UCA) in San Salvador, El Salvador. Their chief target was the rector of the country’s leading university. The murders were carried out by members of the elite Atlacatl Battalion, acting on the direct orders of the highest-ranking members of the Salvadoran military. The United Nations–sponsored Truth Commission for El Salvador found that members of the Salvadoran military's high command “gave...the order to kill Father Ignacio Ellacuría and to leave no witnesses.” ...

Press Release, Chad, January 2010

NEW STUDY DOCUMENTS HISSÈNE HABRÉ’S OVERSIGHT OF POLICE PRISONS WHERE THOUSANDS DIED 10th Anniversary of Indictment of Chad Ex-Dictator January 29, 2010, N’Djamena, Chad and Palo Alto, CA, U.S. - On the 10th anniversary of the first indictment of HissĂšne HabrĂ© in Senegal, the Benetech Human Rights Data Analysis Group (HRDAG) released a new study showing that the former Chadian dictator was well informed of the hundreds of deaths that occurred in prisons operated by his political police. This information could be critical in the long delayed prosecution of HabrĂ© who has been accused of killing and systematically torturing thousands of politi...

Reflections: A Love Letter to HRDAG

On the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, HRDAG executive director Megan Price tells us why she loves her work, and why she feels hopeful about the future.

La estadĂ­stica de mortalidad del conflicto en PerĂș

En ese artĂ­culo respondemos a una crĂ­tica del estudio de mortalidad que realizamos para la ComisiĂłn de la Verdad y ReconciliaciĂłn en 2003.

Courts and police departments are turning to AI to reduce bias, but some argue it’ll make the problem worse

Kristian Lum: “The historical over-policing of minority communities has led to a disproportionate number of crimes being recorded by the police in those locations. Historical over-policing is then passed through the algorithm to justify the over-policing of those communities.”


Preguntas frecuentes sobre el proyecto JEP-CEV-HRDAG de integraciĂłn de datos y estimaciĂłn estadĂ­stica

ÂżHay una fuente de informaciĂłn Ășnica sobre las vĂ­ctimas del conflicto armado en Colombia? No. Colombia cuenta con un amplio proceso de documentaciĂłn de vĂ­ctimas del conflicto armado. Cientos de entidades, organizaciones de vĂ­ctimas y organizaciones de la sociedad civil han focalizado sus esfuerzos en registrar la informaciĂłn. Sin embargo, cada entidad u organizaciĂłn desarrolla este proceso con las limitaciones propias de capacidades tĂ©cnicas, logĂ­sticas, sociales y de misionalidad, lo que conduce a que ninguna entidad ni organizaciĂłn logre documentar el universo completo de vĂ­ctimas.  Esto se debe a que les es imposible llegar a ...

The case of Ana Lucrecia Orellana Stormont

When working with documents in an archive, every document offers the opportunity for statistical study and quantitative research. But a document can also offer the discovery of a story. That is the case with the disappearance of Ana Lucrecia Orellana Stormont, who was reported missing on June 6, 1983, at the age of 35. Ana Lucrecia, a professor of psychology at the University of San Carlos, was scheduled to attend a meeting with Edgar RaĂșl Rivas RodrĂ­guez at the Plaza Hotel in Guatemala’s capital city. Edgar, who also went missing, was a teacher at the School of Political Science at the University. (Ana Lucrecia’s case is explained more fully ...

IRR: Agreement Among Coders is Key

For years I have been engaged in a quantitative study at Guatemala’s Historic Archive of the National Police, or AHPN. (See the blogposts below.) In this study coders collect data on sheets of paper according to criteria established and explained in manuals. But when collecting data, there’s always room for human error—this is why the validity of the study hinges on verifying that coders use the correct criteria. It is important to mention that the mainstay of coding is the use of a controlled vocabulary. A controlled vocabulary gives analysts a framework, or frame of reference, when converting qualitative information into categories ...

14 Questions about Counting Casualties in Syria

In early 2012, HRDAG was commissioned by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to do an enumeration project, essentially a count of all of the reported casualties in the Syrian conflict. HRDAG has published two analyses so far, the first in January 2013, and the second in June 2013. In this post, HRDAG scientists Anita Gohdes, Megan Price, and Patrick Ball answer questions about that project. So, how many people have been killed in the Syrian conflict? This is a complicated question. As of our last report, in June 2013, we know that there have been at least 93,000 reported, identifiable conflict-related casualties. The ...

When Data Doesn’t Tell the Whole Story

This blog is a part of International Justice Monitor’s technology for truth series, which focuses on the use of technology for evidence and features views from key proponents in the field. As highlighted by other posts in this series, emerging technology is increasing the amount and type of information available, in some contexts, to criminal and other investigations. Much of what is produced by these emerging technologies (Facebook posts, tweets, YouTube videos, text messages) falls in the category we refer to as “found” data. By “found” data we mean data not generated for a specific investigation, but instead, that is generated for ...

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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