Chapter 4: Planning The Project

How big is this project going to be? How many interviews do they hope to do, how many documents do they hope to process, and how many cases do they hope to investigate? Many groups answer by saying that they want the project to be as big as it can possibly be, and that may be a perfectly reasonable answer. However, it may not be immediately clear how to divide the resources available to the project in order to maximize the amount of data collected, processed, represented, and analyzed. What "as big as possible" actually means in terms of the size of the project depends on time and people. First the organization must ask themselves how long they have to complete the project. Second, how many interviewers, researchers, investigators, data processors, data entry staff, system administrators, and data analysts will the organization assign to the project. The kinds of computers, networks, and databases that the organization plans for the project depend on how much data they intend to process, whether their organization is in one place or scattered across several different offices, etc. For this exercise, I will assume that the primary data source of the organization are deponent interviews, but the logic could be extended to documentary evidence or to physical evidence. First I will discuss the number and skills of people required to do a certain number of interviews, and then I will very briefly discuss computers, networks, and databases.

4.1 Personnel

Each step in the information management process requires personnel. These will be described below. As I have throughout this handbook, I will focus the data collection section on interviewers because, in my experience, interviews are the most common source of human rights data.

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