Humanitarian Statistics

Statistical tools help guide responses to human rights crises

By Julie Rehmeyer, 15:59 PM April 15, 2008

In late 2006, a statistical study of deaths that occurred after the invasion of Iraq ignited a storm of controversy. This Lancet study estimated that more than 650,000 additional Iraqis died during the invasion than would have at pre-invasion death rates, a vastly higher estimate than any previous. But in January, a World Health Organization study placed the number at about 150,000.

The conflicting findings highlight just how difficult it is to gather reliable information in a war zone. But t...

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