Data Visualization for Human Rights

CHRGJ is investigating ways in which human rights groups can use data visualization to enhance the impact and effectiveness of their research and advocacy. With a grant from the MacArthur Foundation, Professor Satterthwaite is collaborating with Professor Enrico Bertini and Professor Oded Nov of NYU-Poly as co-Primary Investigators to research different methods human rights groups are using to visualize their data and how this can be improved. Beginning with a seed grant from NYU-Poly, the team previously collaborated on research and publication of two papers looking at the persuasive power of visualization and an empirical analysis of deception in visualization. Building upon this work, the team is now working with Research Scholars John Emerson, Dr. Jeremy Boy, and PhD student Anshul Pandey to conduct a focused survey of the field to empirically identify patterns, gaps, and opportunities in the ways human rights groups use data visualization. The findings of this research will be published in academic papers. The team will also partner with non-governmental organizations focused on civil and political rights, as well as economic, social, and cultural rights to examine specific use cases and to test improvements within the context of active campaigns. Current research is examining the design space of before-and-after comparisons using satellite imagery, as well as testing the impact of visualization design on credibility. These findings will also become the basis for published papers. Finally, using this body of research the team will develop guidelines to help human rights advocates use data visualization more effectively. The team will communicate these guidelines in a specially designed website and in-person at a series of trainings for researchers and advocates working on human rights.For additional information, visit the project website.