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Foundation of Human Rights Statistics in Sierra Leone

Richard Conibere (2004). Foundation of Human Rights Statistics in Sierra Leone (abstr.), Joint Statistical Meetings. Toronto, Canada.

Applications of Multiple Systems Estimation in Human Rights Research

Lum, Kristian, Megan Emily Price, and David Banks. 2013. The American Statistician 67, no. 4: 191-200. doi: 10.1080/00031305.2013.821093. © 2013 The American Statistician. All rights reserved. [free eprint may be available].

Estimating the Number of SARS-CoV-2 Infections and the Impact of Mitigation Policies

This Harvard Data Science Review article uses the least unreliable source of pandemic data: reported deaths.

12 Questions about Using Data Analysis to Bring Guatemalan War Criminals to Justice

When people talk about war criminals in Guatemala, which war are they talking about? They’re talking about the Guatemalan civil war, which began in 1960 and ended in 1996. That’s thirty-six years of civil war. Even though it ended almost two decades ago, Guatemala is still recovering from it. At its simplest, this civil war story was right-wing government forces fighting leftist rebels. But it went deeper than that, of course. The majority of the rebel forces was composed of indigenous peoples, primarily the Maya, (more…)

Welcoming Our 2019-2020 Visiting Data Science Student

Bing Wang has joined HRDAG as a Visiting Data Science Student until the summer of 2020.

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…)

Chad – FAQs

State Coordinated Violence in Chad under Hissène Habré -- [Français]      

Rapid response to: Civilian deaths from weapons used in the Syrian conflict

On November 4, 2015, the BMJ published our "Rapid Response" to Civilian deaths from weapons used in the Syrian conflict (BMJ 2015;351:h4736). The response was co-authored by Megan Price, Anita Gohdes, Jay Aronson (Carnegie Mellon University, Center for Human Rights Science), and Christopher McNaboe (Carter Center, Syria Conflict Mapping Project). We have three concerns about this article. First, the article apportions responsibility for casualties to particular perpetrator organizations based on a single snapshot of territorial control that ignores the numerous (and well-documented) changes in this phenomenon over time. Second, combining Syrian ...

Press Release, Timor-Leste, February 2006

SILICON VALLEY GROUP USES TECHNOLOGY TO HELP THE TRUTH COMMISSION ANSWER DISPUTED QUESTIONS ABOUT MASSIVE POLITICAL VIOLENCE IN TIMOR-LESTE Palo Alto, CA, February 9, 2006 – The Benetech® Initiative today released a statistical report detailing widespread and systematic violations in Timor-Leste during the period 1974-1999. Benetech's statistical analysis establishes that at least 102,800 (+/- 11,000) Timorese died as a result of the conflict. Approximately 18,600 (+/- 1000) Timorese were killed or disappeared, while the remainder died due to hunger and illness in excess of what would be expected due to peacetime mortality. The magnitude of deaths ...

Counting the Dead in Sri Lanka

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

Covid-19 Research and Resources

HRDAG is identifying and interpreting the best science we can find to shed light on the global crisis brought on by the novel coronavirus, about which we still know so little. Right now, most of the data on the virus SARS-CoV-2 and Covid-19, the condition caused by the virus, are incomplete and unrepresentative, which means that there is a great deal of uncertainty. But making sense of imperfect datasets is what we do. HRDAG is contributing to a better understanding with explainers, essays, and original research, and we are highlighting trustworthy resources for those who want to dig deeper. Papers and articles by HRDAG .ugb-bbeb275 .ugb-blo...

HRDAG Drops Dropbox

On Wednesday, April 9, the file hosting service Dropbox announced the addition of Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. National Security Advisor and Secretary of State, to their Board of Directors, citing the need for “a leader who could help us expand our global footprint.” In response to this announcement, HRDAG requested (and rapidly received) a refund for our recent purchase of Dropbox for Business, and will drop the use of their service entirely. Patrick Ball, HRDAG’s Executive Director stated: “As a human rights organization, we find Condoleezza Rice's complicity in the serious human rights abuses of the Bush administration very worrying. ...

Reflections on Data Science for Real-World Problems

"Data science can lay out evidence to engage the state about systemic issues and assure people that they are not alone."

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 ...

Reflections: The People Who Make the Data

HRDAG associate Miguel Cruz has an epiphany. All those data he’s drowning in? Each datapoint is a personal tragedy, a story both dark and urgent, and he’s privileged to have access.

Skoll World Forum 2018

Illuminating Data's Dark Side: Big data create conveniences, but we must consider who designs these tools, who benefits from them, and who is left out of the equation.

Guatemala’s Bol de la Cruz Found Guilty

Today Guatemala’s former national police chief Colonel Héctor Rafael Bol de la Cruz was convicted and sentenced to 40 years in prison for his role in the 1984 kidnapping and disappearance of 27-year-old student union leader Fernando Garcia, who was last seen when officers detained him outside his home. Along with Bol de la Cruz, former senior police officer Jorge Gomez was also tried; he received a sentence of 40 years in prison. That verdict comes in part because of testimony this month by HRDAG’s Patrick Ball, who served as an expert witness and presented data analysis done with colleague Daniel Guzmán to assess the flow of thousands of ...

Update on Work in Guatemala and the AHPN

HRDAG has sampled and analyzed documents at Guatemala's AHPN and has testified against war criminals based on that analysis.

CIIDH Data – Dictionary

Version date: 2000.01.29 Current version: ATV20.1 Patrick Ball & Herbert F. Spirer The unit of analysis for each record in this structure is VIOLATION. Each violation was of a particular type, happened at a particular time and place, and was committed by zero, one, or several organizational perpetrators. The violation was committed against zero or one named (individually identified) victim, and zero or more anonymous (unidentified) additional victims. The violation was reported one or more times in one, two, or three source types. Note that to count the number of times individuals suffered particular violations, users should sum either the ...

HRDAG and AHPN Launch Book Detailing Collaboration

Earlier this month, HRDAG and the Historic Archive of the National Police (AHPN) of Guatemala launched a book that represents a long-time collaboration between the two organizations. The book, “Una mirada al AHPN a partir de un studio de cuantitativo,” is, as the title states, a look at the Archive’s datasets via a quantitative study. Book authors are HRDAG executive director Megan Price and AHPN colleague Carolina López, with translations by Beatriz Vejarano. The book is available in Spanish and forthcoming in English. The book explains how HRDAG and the Archive worked together over a decade to gain insight into the police activities that ...

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.