Visualizing Data for Human Rights Advocacy

Center for Human Rights and Global Justice and Tandon School of Engineering at New York University


The Visualizing Data for Human Rights Advocacy guidebook was launched by a group of the New York University (NYU) academics. (It is currently only available in English.) The guidebook provides accessible information on collecting, compiling and visualizing data on human rights issues. Explained in simple language and geared to human rights practitioners, this guidebook was designed to facilitate workshop and training activities around designing effective data visualizations for human rights advocacy.

Data visualization can make information more memorable and persuasive; it can facilitate understanding and ultimately motivate action. It can help investigators and researchers contextualize their work, and identify patterns and connections. When done well, human rights data visuzalization can uncover abusive policies, unlawful orders, negligence, or other forms of culpable action or inaction by decision-makers.

Access the full guidebook.

The guidebook contains:

  • Resources, a gathering of key data sources for general human rights and for specific social groups (i.e., women, indigenous people)
  • Data types and collection methods, explained in plain and accessible language
  • Analytical questions and tools, a list of guiding questions to analyze human rights data and some key analytical frameworks (including the OPERA framework developed by our member Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR) and a framework developed by our partner American Association for the Advancement of Science)
  • A variety of charts and hazards frequently encountered when visualizing data and
  • Tips to improve the accuracy and clairty of visualizations