How many social movement leaders have been killed in Colombia? An estimate and analysis

As the war between the guerrillas, the Army, and paramilitary groups in Colombia winds down, violence against social movement leaders has intensified. Using data from six organizations, this report estimates the total number of social movement leaders killed in 2016 and 2017. The perpetrators of the killings are not reported in the data or in the report. In the report, we observe that together, the monitoring organizations documented 160 killings in 2016, and we estimate a total population of 166 deaths.[1] In 2017, there were 172 documented killings, and we estimate a ...

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Happy Hacking

2018 HRDAG Gus Brocchini, Erin Lipman, Maria Gargiulo
From my first introduction to the HRDAG community at the annual retreat it was clear to me that mentorship is an organizational priority and that the contributions of interns are valued. Much of my first couple weeks as a summer intern at HRDAG were spent familiarizing myself with Patrick’s paradigm for principled data processing. At the same time, I was learning the skills and tricks (bash, make, vim, git) that promote an effortless programming workflow, a pursuit that Patrick calls “sharpening the saw” (just like in programming, you can cut down a tree with a ...

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Disrupt San Francisco TechCrunch 2018

On September 7, 2018, Kristian Lum and Patrick Ball participated in a panel at Disrupt San Francisco by TechCrunch. The talk was titled "Dismantling Algorithmic Bias." Brian Brackeen of Kairos was part of the panel as well, and the talk was moderated by TechCrunch reporter Megan Rose Dickey. From the TechCrunch website, "Disrupt is a 3-day conference focused on breaking technology news and developments with big-name thought leaders who are making waves in the industry." Video of the talk is available here, and Megan Rose Dickey's coverage is here.

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Patrick Ball wins the Karl E. Peace Award

Patrick Ball won the Karl E. Peace Award for Outstanding Statistical Contributions for the Betterment of Society at the 2018 Joint Statistical Meeting.

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HRDAG Retreat 2018

What follows is an elaborate criss-crossing of collaborations—retreat is a time to embrace the productivity that comes with being in the same room.

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Kristian Lum in Bloomberg

The interview poses questions about Lum's focus on artificial intelligence and its impact on predictive policing and sentencing programs.

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Skoll World Forum 2018

Megan Price 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.

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Data Science Symposium at Vanderbilt

Patrick Ball keynoted the Data Science Symposium at Vanderbilt University.

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New publication in BIOMETRIKA

Fig 1A in Biometrika 2018 Theoretical limits of microclustering for record linkage
New paper in Biometrika, co-authored by HRDAG's Kristian Lum and James Johndrow: Theoretical limits of microclustering in record linkage.

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FAT* Conference 2018

Kristian Lum spoke about "Understanding the Context and Consequences of Pre-Trial Detention" at the Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency (FAT*).

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Reflections: A Love Letter to HRDAG

Alejandra García and Doña Amelia García
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.

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Reflections: The People Who Make the Data

Daniel Cruz, Guatemala
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.

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Reflections: Minding the Gap

How might we learn what we don’t know? HRDAG associate Christine Grillo hits the wayback machine and recalls her first exposure to People Against Bad Things, ideas about bias and correlation versus causation, and truth.

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HRDAG and #GivingTuesday 2017

Help us hold human rights violators accountable!

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New results for the identification of municipalities with clandestine graves in Mexico

Municipalities with highest probability of having clandestine graves in 2015
The goal of this project is identify Mexican municipalities with a high probability of having clandestine graves. Knowing where to search will help to create better public programs regarding missing persons in Mexico.

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Reflections: The G in HRDAG is the Real Fuel

It took me a while to realize I had become part of the HRDAG incubator—at least that’s what it felt like to me—for young data analysts who wanted to use statistical knowledge to make a real impact on human rights debates.

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Reflections: Challenging Tasks and Meticulous Defenders

I have made it my personal objective to amplify HRDAG's message of being extra careful and scientifically rigorous with human rights data.

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Our Thoughts on #metoo

Twitter Moment capturing #metoo 2017
Violence against women in all its forms is a human rights violation. Most of our HRDAG colleagues are women, and for us, unfortunately, recent campaigns such as #metoo are unsurprising.

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In Pursuit of Excellent Data Processing

Roman Rivera HRDAG Invisible Institute 2017
The week began by going over the method I had developed for doing iterative pairwise matching on individual officers identified in distinct datasets with some overlapping information. Patrick offered a more rigorous and cogent way of describing the method—I did not have such a succinct description upon arrival.

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Reflections: A Meaningful Partnership between HRDAG and Benetech

Benetech Martus team: Ivo Pletikosic, Anna Berns, Patrick Ball, Lewis Tecson, Dave Offen, Kevin Smith, Marc Levine, Scott Weikart, Charles LaPierre
I joined the Benetech Human Rights Program at essentially the same time that HRDAG did, coming to Benetech from years of analyzing data for large companies in the transportation, hospitality and retail industries. But the data that HRDAG dealt with was not like the data I was familiar with, and I was fascinated to learn about how they used the data to determine "who did what to whom." Although some of the methodologies were similar to what I had experience with in the for-profit sector, the goals and beneficiaries of the analyses were very different. At Benetech, I ...

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