Science has been on a mini-surge of publishing refugee related articles. The first that came across my desk was on the relationship between asylum applications and climate change. While I appreciated the spirit of it, I'm not the only one who thinks it's seriously flawed, and was surprised it was accepted in a journal as … Continue reading Algorithms and Refugee Integration
I watched from a distance on Twitter as the World Bank hosted its annual data event. I would love to have attended - the participants were a pretty amazing collection of economists, data professionals and academics. This tweet seemed to resonate with a theme I've been focused on the last week or so: There is … Continue reading Where Are the Legislators (Who Ostensibly Pay for Data)?
The last two posts I wrote focused on the social and political structures that drive data collection and availability. In these posts I was primarily talking about statistics in wealthy countries, as well as developing countries that aren't affected by conflict or violence. When it comes to countries that are beset by widespread conflict and violence, … Continue reading The Challenge of Conflict Data
I published a post yesterday about how administrative data is produced. In the end I claimed that data gathering is an inherently political process. Far from being comparable, scientifically standardized representations of general behavior, public data and statistics are imbued with all the vagaries and unique socio-administrative preferences of the country or locality that collects … Continue reading How is Public Data Produced (Part 2)
The 2016 Global Peace Index (GPI) launched recently. Along with its usual ranking of most to least peaceful countries it included a section analyzing the capacity for the global community to effectively measure progress in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically Goal 16, the peace goal. The GPI's analysis of statistical capacity (pp. 73-94) motivates a critical question: … Continue reading How Is Public Data Produced?
I ended up jumping into a Twitter conversation started by international development journalist Tom Murphy about how Rwanda changed the methodology for its Integrated Household Living Conditions survey (EICV), and thus demonstrated that their poverty rate had decreased. The problem is that the new methodology essentially redefines 'poverty' to get the numbers to look good; using the previous EICV methodology, … Continue reading National Interests, Overwork, and Statistics
GDELT just released their new Global Visualization dashboard, and it's pretty cool. It blinks and flashes, glows and pulses, and is really interesting to navigate. Naturally, as a social scientist who studies conflict, I have some thoughts. 1) This is really cool. The user interface is attractive, it's easy to navigate, and it's intuitive. I … Continue reading Big News: The GDELT Global Dashboard
I spent the last two months managing a research collaboration between Samoa's Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and the National University of Samoa, collecting nation wide data on how people use information and information technology to respond to natural disasters. This data will feed into my dissertation, as well as be useful to … Continue reading MCIT/NUS ICTs in Emergency Survey: Replication data
This is great - it's a post on iO9, and makes light of the ridiculous "vaccines cause autism" meme with a lovely graphical representation of what really "causes" autism. Correlation is not causation friends. Source: iO9, Redditor Jasonp55
Daniel Solomon recently posted a piece on how we conceptualize (and often misconceptualize) the role of big data in conflict event prediction. His post got me thinking about what role big data plays in conflict analysis. This comes on the heels of Chris Neu's post on the TechChange blog about the limits of using crowdsourcing to … Continue reading Finding Big Data’s Place in Conflict Analysis