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The Transformation of Human Rights Fact-Finding$
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Philip Alston and Sarah Knuckey

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190239480

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190239480.001.0001

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A Conceptual Roadmap for Social Science Methods in Human Rights Fact-Finding

A Conceptual Roadmap for Social Science Methods in Human Rights Fact-Finding

(p.321) 16. A Conceptual Roadmap for Social Science Methods in Human Rights Fact-Finding
The Transformation of Human Rights Fact-Finding

Margaret L. Satterthwaite

Justin C. Simeone

Oxford University Press

Quantitative analyses are a powerful tool in the human rights practitioner’s methodology toolbox. Statistics allow researchers to reframe and examine topics in order to provide context or insights different from the information gathered in qualitative interviews, with the most common uses of data analysis being to demonstrate the scope, distribution (over geography and/or time), or variance of a human rights problem. Because numbers demand attention, there is increasing motivation to utilize data and statistics in human rights fact-finding. However, practitioners risk using methodologies or techniques inappropriately, either because of pressure to use new techniques they do not fully understand or to use a known methodology when another technique would be more appropriate. Increasing human rights practitioners’ quantitative literacy is the first step to guard against inappropriate or ineffective use of data and statistics. Practitioners need to develop quantitative literacy so as to understand the methodologies used to gather data.

Keywords:   quantitative methods, statistics, data analysis, interactive data visualizations, quantitative literacy, statistical literacy

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