Tripti Joshi (Editor)

Patrick Ball

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Occupation  Scientist

Title  Executive Director
Name  Patrick Ball
Patrick Ball httpswwwhrdagorgwpcontentuploads201504p
Born  June 26, 1965 (age 50) (1965-06-26)
Employer  Human Rights Data Analysis Group
Books  Who Did what to Whom?: Planning and Implementing a Large-scale Human Rights Data Project
Education  Columbia University, University of Michigan

Alma mater  University of Michigan

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Patrick Ball (born June 26, 1965) is a scientist who has spent more than twenty years conducting quantitative analysis for truth commissions, non-governmental organizations, international criminal tribunals, and United Nations missions in El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, South Africa, Chad, Sri Lanka, East Timor, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Kosovo, Liberia, Perú, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Syria. As executive director of Human Rights Data Analysis Group, he assists human rights defenders by conducting rigorous scientific and statistical analysis of large-scale human rights abuses. He received his bachelor of arts degree from Columbia University, and his doctorate from the University of Michigan.


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Expert testimony in war crimes trials

Patrick Ball served as an expert witness in testimony at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia against Slobodan Milosevic, the former President of Serbia. He was also an expert witness for the Prosecution at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in Milutinović et al. (IT-05-87). In 2013 Dr. Ball provided expert testimony in Guatemala's Supreme Court in the trial of General José Efraín Ríos Montt, the de facto president of Guatemala in 1982-1983. Gen. Ríos was found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity; it was the first time ever that a former head of state was found guilty of genocide in his own country. Dr. Ball also testified in 2013 in the trial of Guatemala's former national police chief, Héctor Rafael Bol de la Cruz, who was sentenced to 40 years in prison for the disappearance of a student union leader. In September 2015, Patrick provided expert testimony in the trial of former President of Chad, Hissène Habré. HRDAG’s analysis showed that the death rate for political prisoners was much higher than for adult men in Chad: 90 to 540 times higher. On its worst day in the time period for which data were analyzed, the mortality rate was 2.37 deaths per 100 prisoners. During a nine-month period in 1986-1987, the mortality rate in Habré’s prisons was higher than that of US POWs in Japanese custody during World War II.


Dr. Ball was conferred a Doctor of Science honoris causa by Claremont Graduate University in 2015. In 2014 he was named a Fellow by the American Statistical Association in 2014. Other awards include the Pioneer Award from the Electronic Frontier Foundation in 2005, the Eugene L. Lawler Award for Humanitarian Contributions within Computer Science from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) in June 2004, and a Special Achievement Award from the Social Statistics Section of the American Statistical Association in 2002. He is a Research Fellow at the Carnegie Mellon University Center for Human Rights Science, a Fellow at the Human Rights Center at Berkeley Law of the University of California, Berkeley; and a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Democracy and Conflict Resolution (IDCR) at the University of Essex.


  • Megan Price and Patrick Ball (2014). Big Data, Selection Bias, and the Statistical Patterns of Mortality in Conflict. SAIS Review of International Affairs.
  • Price, Megan, Jeff Klingner, and Patrick Ball (2013). Preliminary Statistical Analysis of Documentation of Killings in the Syrian Arab Republic, The Benetech Human Rights Program, commissioned by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
  • Patrick Ball. When It Comes to Human Rights, There Are No Online Security Shortcuts, Wired op-ed, August 10, 2012.
  • Patrick Ball (2008). “¿Quién le hizo qué a quién? Planear e implementar un proyecto a gran escala de información en derechos humanos.” (originally in English at AAAS) Translated by Beatriz Verjerano. Palo Alto, California: Benetech.
  • Patrick Ball, Tamy Guberek, Daniel Guzmán, Amelia Hoover, and Meghan Lynch (2007). “Assessing Claims of Declining Lethal Violence in Colombia.” Benetech. Also available in Spanish – “Para Evaluar Afirmaciones Sobre la Reducción de la Violencia Letal en Colombia.”
  • Patrick Ball, Ewa Tabeau, and Philip Verwimp (2007). “The Bosnian Book of the Dead: Assessment of the Database (Full Report).” Households in Conflict Network Research Design Note 5.
  • Silva, Romesh and Patrick Ball, "The Profile of Human Rights Violations in Timor-Leste, 1974-1999", a Report by the Benetech Human Rights Data Analysis Group to the Commission on Reception, Truth and Reconciliation. 9 February 2006.
  • Silva, Romesh, and Patrick Ball. "The Demography of Large-Scale Human Rights Atrocities: Integrating demographic and statistical analysis into post-conflict historical clarification in Timor-Leste." Paper presented at the 2006 meetings of the Population Association of America.
  • Silva, Romesh and Patrick Ball. "The Demography of Conflict-Related Mortality in Timor-Leste (1974-1999): Empirical Quantitative Measurement of Civilian Killings, Disappearances & Famine-Related Deaths" In Papers on Human Rights and Statistics, D. Banks, J. Asher and F. Scheuren, eds., ASA/SIAM Monograph Series, Philadelphia, PA (USA), pp. 42–57.
  • Ball, Patrick. "On the Quantification of Horror: Field Notes on Statistical Analysis of Human Rights Violations." in Repression and Mobilization, ed. by Christian Davenport, Hank Johnston, and Carol Mueller. Minneapolis: U Minnesota P. 2005.
  • Ball, Patrick. 2005. "Free Software," in The Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics. ed. by Carl Mitcham. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale.
  • Ball, Patrick. 2004. "Statistics," in Encyclopedia of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity. ed. by Dinah L. Shelton, Howard Adelman, Frank Chalk, Alexandre Kiss & William A. Schabas. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale.
  • Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Perú, Final Report - General Conclusions
  • Davenport, Christian, and Patrick Ball. "Views to a Kill: Exploring the Implications of Source Selection in the Case of Guatemalan State Terror, 1977-1996." Journal of Conflict Resolution 46(3): 427-450. 2002.
  • Killings and Refugee Flow in Kosovo, March - June, 1999
  • Ball, Patrick (2001). "Making the case: the role of statistics in human rights reporting". Statistical Journal of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. IOS Press. 18 (2-3): 163–174. 
  • Chapman, Audrey R. and Patrick Ball. "The Truth of Truth Commissions: Comparative Lessons from Haiti, South Africa, and Guatemala." Human Rights Quarterly. 23(4):1-42. 2001
  • Justice Unknown, Justice Unsatisfied?
  • Kosovo Migration Study
  • Policy or Panic? The Flight of Ethnic Albanians from Kosovo, March–May 1999
  • Political Killings in Kosovo
  • Making the Case: Investigating Large Scale Human Rights Violations Using Information Systems and Data Analysis. (ed. with Herbert F. Spirer and Louise Spirer). Washington, DC: AAAS, 2000.
  • State Violence in Guatemala, 1960-1996: a Quantitative Reflection. (with Paul Kobrak and Herbert F. Spirer) Washington DC: AAAS, 1999.
  • Who Did What to Whom?
  • References

    Patrick Ball Wikipedia