We believe truth leads to accountability. Enabling accountability for human rights violations is our highest purpose.

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We are statisticians for human rights
Being independent, non-profit, and non-partisan, we can apply rigorous science to the analysis of human rights violations around the world. As scientists, we work to support our partners—the advocates and human rights defenders who “speak truth to power”—by producing unbiased, scientific results that bring clarity to human rights violence and by ensuring that the “truth” is the most accurate truth possible. Three directives guide our work:  

Apply science to create new knowledge

We help to establish a scientifically defensible historical record of human rights abuses, including publishing public reports and providing expert testimony in war crimes trials.  

Conduct basic research and development

We invent and extend scientific methods so that we can better understand patterns of mass violence.  

Educate through outreach

Through speaking engagements, publications, and training graduate students, we help those working in the human rights community to better understand the role and power of statistical data and reasoning.  

Projects We’ve Been Working On

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The Syrian Calamity

At the request of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), HRDAG undertook a comparison of seven datasets documenting killings in Syria. Based on this analysis, we found 59,648 unique, identifiable records of killings between March 2011 and November 2012. Our work on Syria continues, paying special attention to what is happening in the Syrian prison system...  Read more.
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Killings by US Police

Having worked in more than thirty countries facing oppressive violence, our experience tells us that official homicide reports are often inadequate. A recent Bureau of Justice Statistics report claimed that from 2003 to 2009 and 2011, there were approximately 7,427 US homicides committed by police. Through careful analysis of BJS data and methods, we arrive at a very different conclusion...  Read more.
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Justice in Chad

Hissène Habré’s rule over Chad (1982–1990) was marked by allegations of systematic torture and crimes against humanity. Habré claims he was not aware of violations committed by the Documentation and Security Directorate, the state security force that pursued political opponents and operated prisons. We prove otherwise, in court... Read more.
 

Inaccurate statistics can damage the credibility of human rights claims—that’s why statistics about human rights violations must be as scientifically accurate as possible.

Read about our Core Concepts

Who we are

The Human Rights Data Analysis Group is composed of a diverse group of board members, full-time staff, and consultants. Employing a multidisciplinary approach, we work with experts in the fields of computer science, software development, mathematical and applied statistics, and demography.

See the team

 

Megan Price

Megan Price, PhD

Executive Director
Designs strategies and methods for statistical analysis of human rights data for projects in a variety of locations including Guatemala, Colombia, and Syria.
Patrick Ball

Patrick Ball, PhD

Director of Research
More than twenty years of quantitative analysis for truth commissions, non-governmental organizations, international criminal tribunals, and United Nations missions.
Kristian Lum

Kristian Lum, PhD

Lead Statistician
Furthers the statistical methodology most commonly used by HRDAG—population estimation—with a particular emphasis on Bayesian methods and model averaging.
Suzanne Nathans

Suzanne Nathans

Administrative Manager
15 years of experience in non-profit administration. The “admin hub” for HRDAG, supporting Patrick and the rest of the team from the San Francisco office.
Christine Grillo

Christine Grillo

Communications
Directs the organization’s message through a variety of online outlets and monitors the social media landscape around HRDAG.

Featured Video

Kristian Lum, lead statistician at HRDAG | Predictive Policing: Bias In, Bias Out | 56 mins

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.

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