1.4 Direction of this handbook

The body of this handbook is contained in chapters 2, 3, and 4. Chapter 2 covers typical problems in the development of human rights information management systems, including problems at the organizational level (2.1), extended examples of errors in system design (2.2), and a very introductory discussion of kinds of security issues that face human rights informations systems (2.3). After I present introductory ideas (3.1) in Chapter 3, I discuss how the four steps in an information management system can be organized: data collection (3.2), data processing (3.3), database design (3.4), and analytic reports (3.5). Next, Chapter 4 includes an analysis of the relative numbers of people needed to work in an information management system (4.1), some observations about the hardware and software needed for this kind of project (4.2), and then a brief discussion of the relation between people and computers in systems of this kind (4.3). The handbook closes in Chapter 5 with an anecdote about one human rights data project that was greatly strengthened by a transparent methodology.

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