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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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Big (Crisis) Data

Big (Crisis) Data

Humanitarian Fact-Finding with Advanced Computing

Chapter:
(p.479) 23. Big (Crisis) Data
Source:
The Transformation of Human Rights Fact-Finding
Author(s):

Patrick Meier

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190239480.003.0023

The purpose of this chapter is threefold: to (1) outline the challenges that big data pose for the humanitarian community, (2) highlight innovative responses to these problems, and (3) articulate the lessons learned for the human rights community. The chapter traces the rise of big crisis data from the early days of the Haiti earthquake and highlights some of the early challenges of big data’s use in humanitarian operations. It describes some of the early innovations that resulted from the growing challenges posed by big data based on three conflict case studies. The remainder explains why these innovations in “humanitarian fact finding” ultimately do not scale, and why the humanitarian community is turning to advanced computing; it describes how human computing and machine computing are being used to address the volume and veracity challenges posed by big crisis data, and lays out the main limitations that remain along with some lessons learned.

Keywords:   big data, crisis situations, humanitarian fact-finding, advanced computing, Libya, Somalia, Syria, limitations

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