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Recent articles

Cristina Ávila-Zesatti - La-Lista - 19 January 2021

From the article: Esta entidad, que existe desde 1991, es liderada por su fundador, Patrick Ball, un científico que acumula una experiencia de más de 25 años realizando análisis cuantitativos en los lugares y en las situaciones más convulsos del planeta. Sobre su colaboración con el proyecto del predictor de fosas clandestinas en México, único en el mundo, Ball afirmó en entrevista:

“Cuando hablamos de crímenes de lesa humanidad estamos hablando de instituciones, de organizaciones grandes, cometiendo miles o centenares de miles  de violaciones a víctimas distribuidas sobre una geografía enorme. Para entender los patrones en esas violaciones, la estadística puede brindar una mirada sobre quiénes son los responsables materiales e intelectuales, quiénes son las víctimas y dónde o cuándo pasaron esas violaciones. Pero la estadística no es contabilidad, pues no estamos hablando solamente de las violaciones que podemos ver, sino que también debemos calcular las violaciones no observadas, las escondidas, invisibles, para incluir en nuestro análisis la totalidad de las violaciones”.

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Karen Hao - MIT Technology Review - 21 October 2020

William Isaac is quoted.

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Carine Hajjar - The National Review - 6 July 2020

“In a recent article, social scientist Patrick Ball revisited his and Kristian Lum’s 2015 study, which made a compelling argument for the underreporting of lethal police shootings by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). Lum and Ball’s study may be old, but it bears revisiting amid debates over the American police system — debates that have featured plenty of data on the excessive use of police force. It is a useful reminder that many of the facts and figures we rely on require further verification.”

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Ursula Whitcher - American Mathematical Society - July 2020

“In 2016, two researchers, the statistician Kristian Lum and the political scientist William Isaac, set out to measure the bias in predictive policing algorithms. They chose as their example a program called PredPol.  … Lum and Isaac faced a conundrum: if official data on crimes is biased, how can you test a crime prediction model? To solve this technique, they turned to a technique used in statistics and machine learning called the synthetic population.”

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The GovLab - Medium - 8 June 2020

From the article: “As we seek to advance the responsible use of data for racial injustice, we encourage individuals and organizations to support and build upon efforts already underway.” HRDAG is listed in the Data Driven Activism and Advocacy category.

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Carrie Arnold - National Geographic - 27 May 2020

From the article: “Intentionally inconsistent tracking can also influence the final tally, notes Megan Price, a statistician at the Human Rights Data Analysis Group. During the Iraq War, for example, officials worked to conceal mortality or to cherry pick existing data to steer the political narrative. While wars are handled differently from pandemics, Price thinks the COVID-19 data could still be at risk of this kind of manipulation.”

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Izzy Pirimai Aguiar - Stanford Institute for Computational & Mathematical Engineering (ICME) - 27 February 2020

From the article: “Price described the touchstone of her organization as being a tension between how truth is simultaneously discovered and obscured. HRDAG is at the intersection of this tension; they are consistently participating in science’s progressive uncovering of what is true, but they are accustomed to working in spaces where this truth is denied. Of the many responsibilities HRDAG holds in its work is that of “speaking truth to power,” said Price, “and if that’s what you’re doing, you have to know that your truth stands up to adversarial environments.”

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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.