Liberian TRC Data and Data Dictionary

The files linked on this page contain the data used in the calculations presented in Benetech’s report to the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission entitled “Descriptive Statistics From Statements to the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission.” In accordance with Benetech’s Memorandum of Understanding with the TRC, these data are published on the Internet so that others can use the material to replicate our findings and continue research on past human rights violations in Liberia. In order to protect the privacy of the people who suffered, the information in the files below contains no personal identifying information about the victims or witnesses of the violations. As noted in the report, these violations were reported in statements given to the TRC. There is no way to know if the violations in this dataset are statistically representative of the patterns of all violations that occurred in Liberia during the conflict.

The first data file – anonymized-statgivers.csv – contains information about the individual statement-givers to the TRC. There is one row for each individual who gave a statement to the TRC. Each statement is uniquely identified with the variable folder.ref.id. Information about the statement-givers includes the sex of the statement-giver and when and where the statement was taken. As noted above, names and other individually indentifying information has been removed to protect the confidentiality of the statement-givers. The file also contains data on statement-givers responses to questions about the causes and consequences of the war, the TRC and reconciliation and others. Responses to these questions are analyzed in Section 8 “Statement-giver Responses to Supplemental Questions” of the report “Descriptive Statistics From Statements to the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission”. The table below, Statement-givers Variable Names, describes the variables in this data file in further detail.

Table 1. Statement-givers Variable Names

prefix Prefix from the folder-ref-id – gives the county in which the statement was taken
actor.id ID automatically assigned by the database, uniquely indentifying a particular actor in an act
folder.ref.id Unique identifier assigned to each TRC statement – Consists of a three-letter county code for the county in which the statement was taken, followed by a five-digit number.
sex Statementgiver sex
taker.location Location where statement was taken
religiousorg Statementgiver religious organization
socialorg Statementgiver social organization
ostracized Statementgiver feels ostracized – yes/no
otheraffiliation Statementgiver other affiliation – yes/no
otheraffilitationtext Other statementgiver affiliation – text
sourcework Statementgiver source of livelihood from work
sourcefamily Statementgiver source of livelihood from family
sourcefriends Statementgiver source of livelihood from friends
sourceother Statementgiver source of livelihood from other sources
sourcetheothertext Statementgiver other source of livelihood
economicpoverty Economic impact on statementgiver – poverty
economicdestroyed Economic impact on the statementgiver – economic livelihood destroyed
economicacademic Economic impact on statementgiver – academic backwardness
economichealth Economic impact on statementgiver – damaged health
economictrauma Economic impact on statementgiver – trauma
economicother Economic impact on statementgiver – other
economic.other.text Economic impact on statementgiver – other text
neededreparations Statementgiver needs to restore to full economic and social life – reparations
neededasst Statementgiver needs to restore to full economic and social life – job
neededjob Statementgiver needs to restore to full economic and social life – job
neededrestjustice Statementgiver needs to restore to full economic and social life – restorativejustice
neededretjustice Statementgiver needs to restore to full economic and social life – retributive justice
needed.other Statementgiver needs to restore to full economic and social life – other
needed.other.text Statementgiver needs to restore to full economic and social life – other text
done.reconciliation.yes Statementgiver took part in reconciliation ritual – yes
done.reconciliation.no Statementgiver took part in reconciliation ritual – no
done.reconciliation.na Statementgiver took part in reconciliation ritual – na
know.perp.yes Statementgiver knew perpetrator – yes
know.perp.no Statementgiver knew perpetrator – no
know.perp.na Statementgiver knew perpetrator – na
willing.meet.perp.yes Statementgiver willing to meet perpetrator – yes
willing.meet.perp.no Statementgiver willing to meet perpetrator – no
willing.meet.perp.na Statementgiver willing to meet perpetrator – na
howreconciliationff How can reconciliation be achieved – forgive and forget
howreconcilitationreparations How can reconciliation be achieved – reparations
howreconciliationeqrights How can reconciliation be achieved – equal rights
howreconciliationretjustice How can reconciliation be achieved – retributive justice
howreconciliationpeaceprg How can reconciliation be achieved – peace programs
how.reconciliation.other.cb How can reconciliation be achieved – other
howreconciliationothertext How can reconciliation be achieved – other text
govtreconstruction Statementgiver recommendations to Liberian government – reconstruction
govtjob Statementgiver recommendations to Liberian government – jobs
govtretjustice Statementgiver recommendations to Liberian government – justice
govtgoodgov Statementgiver recommendations to Liberian government – good governance
govtrestjustice Statementgiver recommendations to Liberian government – justice
govtforgiveregret Statementgiver recommendations to Liberian government – forgive and forget
govtother Statementgiver recommendations to Liberian government – other text
trc.mandate Statementgiver recommendations to the TRC – carry out mandate
trc.reparations Statementgiver recommendations to the TRC – reparations
trc.ret.justice Statementgiver recommendations to the TRC – retributive justice
trc.forgive.forget Statementgiver recommendations to the TRC – forgive and forget
trc.rest.justice Statementgiver recommendations to the TRC – restorative justice
trc.academic.asst Statementgiver recommendations to the TRC – academic assistance
trc.other.cb Statementgiver recommendations to the TRC – other
trc.other.text Statementgiver recommendations to the TRC – other text
govt.other.cb Statementgiver recommendations to Liberian government – other
countyname Full name for county, in which statement was taken

 

The second file – anonymized-trc-main.csv – contains information about the violations reported by the statement-givers to the TRC. The unit of analysis in this file is the violation. Each violation was of a particular type, happened at a particular time and place. Please see Appendix A Methodology in our report for a full listing of the violations categories identified by the TRC for the analysis. Zero, one or many reported institutional perpetrators committed each violation. Please see the Section 6 – Perpetrating Groups of the report for the full names of the institutional perpetrators identified in the analysis. The violation was committed against zero or one named (individually identified) victims and zero or more anonymous (unidentified) additional victims.

 

In order to count the number of violations recorded in the dataset, users should simply count the number of rows or records in dataset. Each violation may have been committed against one or many persons in the same place at the same time. In the cases where one violation was committed against more than one person, the records share the same act_id. The variable victim_id identifies unique victims, so in order to count victims, the user should count the unique values of victim_id. Note that the value of victim_id is repeated for cases where a victim suffered more than one violation in the same statement. The variable folder-ref-id identifies the statement in which the violation was reported and can be used to link information about the individual violations with information about the statement in anonymized-statgivers.csv. The table below, TRC-main Variable Names, describes the variables in anonymized-trc-main.csv in further detail.
Table 2. TRC-main Variable Names

variable variable type variable description
row.names Row number
folder_ref_id Unique identifier assigned to each TRC statement – Consists of a three-letter county code for the county in which the statement was taken, followed by a five-digit number.
role_id ID automatically assigned by the database, uniquely identifying the role of a particular individual and act reported in a statement
act_id ID automatically assigned by the database, uniquely identifying a particular act reported in a statement
where_0 County where the act took place
year Year in which the act took place
database_id Identifies the database in which the statement reporting the victim-act was entered
victim_id ID automatically assigned by the database, uniquely identifying a victim reported in a statement
statement_taker_id ID number assigned to individual statement-takers by the TRC
where_stmt County where the statement was taken (can be different from where_0, where the act took place)
statement_date_entered Date statement was entered into the database
victim_type Indicates victim type: G for a group, P for person, I for institution
victim_count Number of victims if victim is a group
victim_count_precise Indicates whether or not the number of victims in a group is precise or an approximation
victim_identified Indicates whether or not the victim was identified or was anonymous – not used for this project
victim_sex Sex of the victim
ind_reference_id Person codes assignedby by TRC coding staff to each individual mentioned in the statement; P01 is the statement-giver
tribe Victim tribe
nationality Victim nationality
relationship_to_P01 Victim relationship to the statement-giver
violation Violation category – please see violation controlled vocabulary
keywords Keywords associated with the story reported in the statement – also used to flag some statements for hearings
when Date of violation
when_range Date range for date of the violation
when_context Indicates to what level of detail date information is available, down to the day, month or year
when_low Low side of violation date
when_high High side of violation date
where County where violation took place
where_1 District where violation took place
where_2 Town or village where violation took place
perp_AFL Armed Forces of Liberia
perp_ATU Anti-Terrorist Unit
perp_BBT Black Berets
perp_ECO ECOMOG
perp_INP Independent National Patriotic Front
perp_KAM Kamajors
perp_LDF Lofa Defense Force
perp_LNP Liberian National Police
perp_LPC Liberian Peace Council
perp_LUD Liberians United
perp_MOD MODEL
perp_NPF National Patriotic Front
perp_RRU Rapid Response Unit
perp_RUF Revolutionary United Front
perp_SAT Special Anti-Terrorist Unit
perp_SSS Special Security Service
perp_CID Criminal Investigation Unit
perp_NSA National Security Agency
perp_NBI National Bureau of Investigation
perp_ULI ULIMO
perp_ULK ULIMO-J
perp_ULJ ULIMO-K
perp_SSU Special Security Unit
perp_VIG Vigalantes
perp_MIL Militia
perp_SOD Special Operation Division
perp_unknown Unknown
perp_z Other
prefix Prefix from the folder-ref-id – gives the county in which the statement was taken
month Gives month in which the act took place, if reported
birthyear Gives the victim year of birth, if reported
missingtribe Indicates whether or not the victim tribe is missing
itribe Gives the imputed tribe for the victim – please see “Descriptive Statistics from Statements to the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission” for a more information on how tribe was imputed for victims with no reported tribe
alltribe Gives imputed and reported tribe values for victims
reported.tribe Gives only reported tribe for the victim

This dataset should be cited as Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission & Benetech Human Rights Program. “Descriptive Datafiles.” Published 25 March 2010.

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