SlideShare a Scribd company logo
1 of 2
Download to read offline
On the recent UN Report on Deaths of Syria
In support of the United Nations, Benetech has just released a report on the estimated number of
deaths in Syria, which has reflected an exhaustive analysis of 7 different sources of casualty reporting
within Syria, including our collaboration partners,Syrian Martyrs.

                            We, atSyria Tracker (a project of Humanitarian Tracker),highly endorse the
                            conclusions of this report, and the UN’s encouragement of such analysis
                            after it was forced to stop collecting its own casualty figures nearly a year
                            ago. This report has provided a very balanced analysis of both the strengths
                            and limitations of crowd reporting data, and provides a blueprint for how
                            such data can be used in the future.

                          There are several key conclusions in this report that can increase the
understanding of anyone accessing data from Syria Tracker or similar sites:

        TheOverall Number of Deaths listed by most sites may be greatly underreported:From the
        period of March 2011 through November 2012, many of the non-government reporting sites
        have come up with casualty figures in the 40,000 range. One of the most interesting findings in
        the Benetech report is that, when comparing reports of named individuals, there were overlaps,
        and more importantly, gaps between the different sources, often by geographic region. The
        conclusion was that nearly 60,000 deaths have occurred.
        Extreme Violence can reduce the number of deaths reported:The report has also identified
        potential effects of violence on reporting networks within the country. For example, we noticed
        a drop of reported deaths in the final siege/assault in Bab Amar, which may have been
        underreported due to the deaths of witnesses or citizen reporters. We would also suspect
        underreporting in regions such as DayrAzZor, where there may have been less access to satellite
        communications equipment.
        Each Site may have its own biases: It is realistic to assume that the data from each organization
        may have its own biases, including its methodology for collecting data. Anti-government sites
        may not consider it their duty to record deaths among government troops or revenge killings
        against government sympathizers. The government source may not wish to reveal the full
        extent of casualties among its troops, and would also not wish to report on collateral deaths
        among civilians. We welcome Benetech report’s open-minded approach in applying analysis
        across sources.
        Crowdmapped Data isn’t perfect, but it is better than nothing:At Syria Tracker we must admit
        that we’ve been puzzled when some people have critiqued our data as being prone to bias, and
        suffers from a lack of academic rigor in the collection. However, once one steps outside the
        classroom, it is necessary to confront the realities of a constrained data collection environment



info@humanitariantracker.org | http://www.humanitariantracker.org
where people are reporting at the risk of their lives. We feel that the Benetech report “gets it”,
        and understands both the value and limitations of crowdmapped data. For all of its limitations,
        the fact that SOME data is coming through in near-real time is a major breakthrough. One can
        only wonder what might have happened if similar reporting was possible in Bosnia, Rwanda, or
        even during the Holocaust. In addition to drawing attention the tools (mobile and web
        technology) used to collect crowdmapped data, we also need more attention drawn to
        determining the best analytical approaches to drawing reliable conclusions from the data. The
        methodology used in the Benetech report seems indeed a useful one.
        From Syria Tracker, you are only seeing the tip of the iceberg:Although we don’t make claims
        of having “the definitive count”, the death reports we release from Syria Tracker have been
        subjected to a great deal of cross checking and de-duplication. We tend only to include reports
        of named individuals, or those where a media record is provided. Only 6% of citizenreports that
        we receive directly (via email, web-form, twitter, etc.) have been published publicly. A
        signification portion of those that have not are not duplicates, but rather ones that we’ve not
        had the time or resources to verify. We are keeping these, as well as the results of the social
        media mining and web crawling capabilities we have implemented, in order to document the
        most comprehensive portrait possible. It is our hope that, when investigation is possible after a
        regime change, that our records can be pooled with those of other efforts to help assemble the
        most complete record possible. We feel that the analysis performed by Benetech provides an
        excellent start in that direction.

We invite you to read this report by Benetech, and welcome any questions you may have about the data
that comes from Syria Tracker. We have been making “row level” data available from this site until
recently, but with the increasing amount of data, we are redesigning how we share it. In the meantime,
please contact us if you wish access to our data for your own analysis, and we can arrange something.
We are also providing data in Shapefiles at our site if you wish to load it into a Geospatial Information
System, and in KML if you wish to download it or view it in Google Earth.




info@humanitariantracker.org | http://www.humanitariantracker.org

More Related Content

Similar to UN Report Estimates 60,000 Deaths in Syria

Information Sharing, Dot Connecting and Intelligence Failures.docx
Information Sharing, Dot Connecting and Intelligence Failures.docxInformation Sharing, Dot Connecting and Intelligence Failures.docx
Information Sharing, Dot Connecting and Intelligence Failures.docxannettsparrow
 
protective punitive laws
protective punitive lawsprotective punitive laws
protective punitive lawsgnpplus
 
Analysis of an Information System: NamUs
Analysis of an Information System: NamUsAnalysis of an Information System: NamUs
Analysis of an Information System: NamUsTeresa Rothaar
 
Crime Data Analysis and Prediction for city of Los Angeles
Crime Data Analysis and Prediction for city of Los AngelesCrime Data Analysis and Prediction for city of Los Angeles
Crime Data Analysis and Prediction for city of Los AngelesHeta Parekh
 
3Victimization inthe United StatesAn OverviewCHAPTE.docx
3Victimization inthe United StatesAn OverviewCHAPTE.docx3Victimization inthe United StatesAn OverviewCHAPTE.docx
3Victimization inthe United StatesAn OverviewCHAPTE.docxlorainedeserre
 
Crime prediction based on crime types
Crime prediction based on crime typesCrime prediction based on crime types
Crime prediction based on crime typesIJDKP
 
Osint data mining
Osint data miningOsint data mining
Osint data miningDaniel John
 
Data Journalism - Storytelling with Data
Data Journalism - Storytelling with DataData Journalism - Storytelling with Data
Data Journalism - Storytelling with DataBahareh Heravi
 
Electronic Media And United States Terrorism
Electronic Media And United States TerrorismElectronic Media And United States Terrorism
Electronic Media And United States TerrorismThomas Riner
 
Human-Rights-National-Institutions-Print-Ready
Human-Rights-National-Institutions-Print-ReadyHuman-Rights-National-Institutions-Print-Ready
Human-Rights-National-Institutions-Print-ReadyWiz Bishop
 
Digital news report_2013
Digital news report_2013Digital news report_2013
Digital news report_2013Insoon Kim
 
Reuters digital news report 2013
Reuters digital news report 2013Reuters digital news report 2013
Reuters digital news report 2013Xosé María Cid
 
Add a section to the paper you submittedIt is based on the paper (.docx
Add a section to the paper you submittedIt is based on the paper (.docxAdd a section to the paper you submittedIt is based on the paper (.docx
Add a section to the paper you submittedIt is based on the paper (.docxdaniahendric
 
3Victimization inthe United StatesAn OverviewCHAPTE.docx
3Victimization inthe United StatesAn OverviewCHAPTE.docx3Victimization inthe United StatesAn OverviewCHAPTE.docx
3Victimization inthe United StatesAn OverviewCHAPTE.docxtamicawaysmith
 
Human Rights Council Study Guide
Human Rights Council Study GuideHuman Rights Council Study Guide
Human Rights Council Study Guidedudasings
 
5200 final ppt
5200 final ppt5200 final ppt
5200 final pptBiran Li
 
GRBN Trust and Personal Data Survey report - Part 1 - Concern, familiarity, t...
GRBN Trust and Personal Data Survey report - Part 1 - Concern, familiarity, t...GRBN Trust and Personal Data Survey report - Part 1 - Concern, familiarity, t...
GRBN Trust and Personal Data Survey report - Part 1 - Concern, familiarity, t...Andrew Cannon
 
GRBN Trust and Personal Data Survey Report - Part 2 - Regions and countries -...
GRBN Trust and Personal Data Survey Report - Part 2 - Regions and countries -...GRBN Trust and Personal Data Survey Report - Part 2 - Regions and countries -...
GRBN Trust and Personal Data Survey Report - Part 2 - Regions and countries -...Andrew Cannon
 

Similar to UN Report Estimates 60,000 Deaths in Syria (20)

Information Sharing, Dot Connecting and Intelligence Failures.docx
Information Sharing, Dot Connecting and Intelligence Failures.docxInformation Sharing, Dot Connecting and Intelligence Failures.docx
Information Sharing, Dot Connecting and Intelligence Failures.docx
 
protective punitive laws
protective punitive lawsprotective punitive laws
protective punitive laws
 
Analysis of an Information System: NamUs
Analysis of an Information System: NamUsAnalysis of an Information System: NamUs
Analysis of an Information System: NamUs
 
Crime Data Analysis and Prediction for city of Los Angeles
Crime Data Analysis and Prediction for city of Los AngelesCrime Data Analysis and Prediction for city of Los Angeles
Crime Data Analysis and Prediction for city of Los Angeles
 
3Victimization inthe United StatesAn OverviewCHAPTE.docx
3Victimization inthe United StatesAn OverviewCHAPTE.docx3Victimization inthe United StatesAn OverviewCHAPTE.docx
3Victimization inthe United StatesAn OverviewCHAPTE.docx
 
Crime prediction based on crime types
Crime prediction based on crime typesCrime prediction based on crime types
Crime prediction based on crime types
 
Osint data mining
Osint data miningOsint data mining
Osint data mining
 
Sources of demographic data
Sources of demographic dataSources of demographic data
Sources of demographic data
 
Data Journalism - Storytelling with Data
Data Journalism - Storytelling with DataData Journalism - Storytelling with Data
Data Journalism - Storytelling with Data
 
Electronic Media And United States Terrorism
Electronic Media And United States TerrorismElectronic Media And United States Terrorism
Electronic Media And United States Terrorism
 
Human-Rights-National-Institutions-Print-Ready
Human-Rights-National-Institutions-Print-ReadyHuman-Rights-National-Institutions-Print-Ready
Human-Rights-National-Institutions-Print-Ready
 
Digital news report_2013
Digital news report_2013Digital news report_2013
Digital news report_2013
 
Reuters digital news report 2013
Reuters digital news report 2013Reuters digital news report 2013
Reuters digital news report 2013
 
Add a section to the paper you submittedIt is based on the paper (.docx
Add a section to the paper you submittedIt is based on the paper (.docxAdd a section to the paper you submittedIt is based on the paper (.docx
Add a section to the paper you submittedIt is based on the paper (.docx
 
3Victimization inthe United StatesAn OverviewCHAPTE.docx
3Victimization inthe United StatesAn OverviewCHAPTE.docx3Victimization inthe United StatesAn OverviewCHAPTE.docx
3Victimization inthe United StatesAn OverviewCHAPTE.docx
 
Human Rights Council Study Guide
Human Rights Council Study GuideHuman Rights Council Study Guide
Human Rights Council Study Guide
 
5200 final ppt
5200 final ppt5200 final ppt
5200 final ppt
 
GRBN Trust and Personal Data Survey report - Part 1 - Concern, familiarity, t...
GRBN Trust and Personal Data Survey report - Part 1 - Concern, familiarity, t...GRBN Trust and Personal Data Survey report - Part 1 - Concern, familiarity, t...
GRBN Trust and Personal Data Survey report - Part 1 - Concern, familiarity, t...
 
The rise of fact checking sites in europe
The rise of fact checking sites in europeThe rise of fact checking sites in europe
The rise of fact checking sites in europe
 
GRBN Trust and Personal Data Survey Report - Part 2 - Regions and countries -...
GRBN Trust and Personal Data Survey Report - Part 2 - Regions and countries -...GRBN Trust and Personal Data Survey Report - Part 2 - Regions and countries -...
GRBN Trust and Personal Data Survey Report - Part 2 - Regions and countries -...
 

UN Report Estimates 60,000 Deaths in Syria

  • 1. On the recent UN Report on Deaths of Syria In support of the United Nations, Benetech has just released a report on the estimated number of deaths in Syria, which has reflected an exhaustive analysis of 7 different sources of casualty reporting within Syria, including our collaboration partners,Syrian Martyrs. We, atSyria Tracker (a project of Humanitarian Tracker),highly endorse the conclusions of this report, and the UN’s encouragement of such analysis after it was forced to stop collecting its own casualty figures nearly a year ago. This report has provided a very balanced analysis of both the strengths and limitations of crowd reporting data, and provides a blueprint for how such data can be used in the future. There are several key conclusions in this report that can increase the understanding of anyone accessing data from Syria Tracker or similar sites: TheOverall Number of Deaths listed by most sites may be greatly underreported:From the period of March 2011 through November 2012, many of the non-government reporting sites have come up with casualty figures in the 40,000 range. One of the most interesting findings in the Benetech report is that, when comparing reports of named individuals, there were overlaps, and more importantly, gaps between the different sources, often by geographic region. The conclusion was that nearly 60,000 deaths have occurred. Extreme Violence can reduce the number of deaths reported:The report has also identified potential effects of violence on reporting networks within the country. For example, we noticed a drop of reported deaths in the final siege/assault in Bab Amar, which may have been underreported due to the deaths of witnesses or citizen reporters. We would also suspect underreporting in regions such as DayrAzZor, where there may have been less access to satellite communications equipment. Each Site may have its own biases: It is realistic to assume that the data from each organization may have its own biases, including its methodology for collecting data. Anti-government sites may not consider it their duty to record deaths among government troops or revenge killings against government sympathizers. The government source may not wish to reveal the full extent of casualties among its troops, and would also not wish to report on collateral deaths among civilians. We welcome Benetech report’s open-minded approach in applying analysis across sources. Crowdmapped Data isn’t perfect, but it is better than nothing:At Syria Tracker we must admit that we’ve been puzzled when some people have critiqued our data as being prone to bias, and suffers from a lack of academic rigor in the collection. However, once one steps outside the classroom, it is necessary to confront the realities of a constrained data collection environment info@humanitariantracker.org | http://www.humanitariantracker.org
  • 2. where people are reporting at the risk of their lives. We feel that the Benetech report “gets it”, and understands both the value and limitations of crowdmapped data. For all of its limitations, the fact that SOME data is coming through in near-real time is a major breakthrough. One can only wonder what might have happened if similar reporting was possible in Bosnia, Rwanda, or even during the Holocaust. In addition to drawing attention the tools (mobile and web technology) used to collect crowdmapped data, we also need more attention drawn to determining the best analytical approaches to drawing reliable conclusions from the data. The methodology used in the Benetech report seems indeed a useful one. From Syria Tracker, you are only seeing the tip of the iceberg:Although we don’t make claims of having “the definitive count”, the death reports we release from Syria Tracker have been subjected to a great deal of cross checking and de-duplication. We tend only to include reports of named individuals, or those where a media record is provided. Only 6% of citizenreports that we receive directly (via email, web-form, twitter, etc.) have been published publicly. A signification portion of those that have not are not duplicates, but rather ones that we’ve not had the time or resources to verify. We are keeping these, as well as the results of the social media mining and web crawling capabilities we have implemented, in order to document the most comprehensive portrait possible. It is our hope that, when investigation is possible after a regime change, that our records can be pooled with those of other efforts to help assemble the most complete record possible. We feel that the analysis performed by Benetech provides an excellent start in that direction. We invite you to read this report by Benetech, and welcome any questions you may have about the data that comes from Syria Tracker. We have been making “row level” data available from this site until recently, but with the increasing amount of data, we are redesigning how we share it. In the meantime, please contact us if you wish access to our data for your own analysis, and we can arrange something. We are also providing data in Shapefiles at our site if you wish to load it into a Geospatial Information System, and in KML if you wish to download it or view it in Google Earth. info@humanitariantracker.org | http://www.humanitariantracker.org