My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Beneficent Technology Inc, Palo Alto, CA, USA
Benetech’s Human Rights Data Analysis Group is committed to the use of human rights statistics to fight impunity. I have known its director, Patrick Ball, since 1995, when we worked together in Haiti’s Truth Commission. He is a master at defying conventional wisdom with the power of numbers, dismissing claims often used for political purposes, and finding patterns when none is clear to the random eye. In Haiti, he demonstrated a pattern of increased violence during key political events faced by the military junta. Since then, he has worked in practically every truth commission created. In the case of former Yugoslavia, his work was groundbreaking: for the first time, a method used in natural sciences was applied to estimate the number of total human rights violations based on records from several databases. Ball’s book “Who did what to whom” is compulsory reading for all of us working in the human rights field. I am now supporting the Data Group’s in Colombia where it is working in helping improve the quality of governmental and non-governmental human rights databases. Jim Fruchterman, Benetech’s founder and winner of the MacArthur award, is a man dedicated to putting science to good use. His pet project is BookShare, a digital library for people with disabilities. In conclusion, two inspiring men have joined together to make of Benetech a stimulating institution, which has earned its motto of “science for humanity”.
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