Human Rights Research and Documentation

Friday, March 6, 2020 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Friday, March 6th: 9:30am-5:00pm
Saturday, March 7th: 9:30am-5:00pm

This two-day interactive workshop is designed to strengthen participants’ human rights research and documentation skills, primarily for the purposes of human rights policy and advocacy. This workshop teaches the practical skills of a human rights investigator: how to identify and design a research project, how to plan and conduct the research, including field investigations, and how to present the findings effectively to the media and advocacy targets.

Covered topics include investigative methodology (interviewing victims, witnesses, and government officials; collection and analysis of photo, video, documentary and material evidence; as well as the use of new technologies, such as satellite imagery). Students will learn to select, conceptualize, and develop human rights research projects, and hone their writing skills to present human rights findings in a clear, concise and compelling manner, whether in internal memos, press releases, or detailed public reports.

Facilitator: Dr. Anna Neistat is the Chair of the Board at Crisis Action, an international organization working with global civil society to protect civilians from armed conflict and Professor at Sciences Po. Previously, Senior Director for Research at Amnesty International, Dr. Neistat led Amnesty International’s global research by setting the research agenda and ensuring consistently high standards for research strategy, methodology and quality. Dr. Neistat provided political and human rights analysis and expert advice on human rights to the International Secretariat and the movement as a whole, represented Amnesty International in major internal and external fora, and as a member of the organization’s Senior Leadership Team was responsible for the leadership, management and development of the organization. Before joining Amnesty International, Dr. Neistat worked for more than a decade as associate director for Program and Emergencies at Human Rights Watch; leading fact-finding missions in conflict areas and developing investigative methodology and trainings. Neistat has conducted over 60 investigations in conflict areas around the world, including Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, Zimbabwe, Nepal, Kenya, Yemen, Chechnya, Sri Lanka and Haiti. She has authored or co-authored over 40 Human Rights Watch reports as well as numerous articles and opinion pieces. Before joining Human Rights Watch, Neistat worked for “Echo of Moscow,” Russia’s leading radio station, the Open Society Institute, and as a constitutional law researcher at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies. Neistat holds an LL.M. degree from Harvard Law School, a J.D. and Ph.D. in law, and an M.S. in history and philology.

Note: In-person participation is encouraged. However, for those who are unable to attend, remote participation via Zoom may be a possibility. Please contact with the subject “Research and Documentation Workshop” for additional information.

Early bird rate of $395 for those who register by February 7 with discount code: EARLYBIRD.

Regular rate of $450.

Columbia students are eligible for a 40% discount on the regular rate if enrolled by the early bird deadline (please email for more information). We will also offer a limited number of reduced rates for those wish significant financial need.

Prospective participants who wish to apply for a need-based discount, as well as registered participants, are asked to complete the following survey:

To register, visit the Columbia Calendar by clicking below.