Working with Data in the Human Rights and Humanitarian Contexts

Dates for live sessions: January 28th, February 4th, 11th and 18th, 11am-1pm EST

Fellowships available by application. See more information below.


This workshop strives to demystify technical methodologies and best practices related to data-driven research by offering accessible, context-based training to students and professionals working in the human rights and humanitarian fields. Participants in this course will develop technical competencies in tools that are essential for generating and analyzing data in order to contribute to projects relating to monitoring and evaluation, knowledge management, and transparency, and more. This course will also tackle larger questions such as how to make research data more accessible and reproducible to maximize benefits to a broader community of researchers, scholars, and activists.
Learning Objectives:
By examining contemporary case studies, best practices, and legal frameworks, participants will:
  • Develop a comprehensive understanding of how to safely and responsibly work with data within a variety of human rights and humanitarian contexts.
  • Apply a variety of best practices related to data collection and aggregation, data analysis and interpretation, data presentation and publication, and data storage and management.
  • Identify situational or project based needs for data in their professional contexts, and be prepared to initiate and follow through on data-centric projects common in the human rights and humanitarian fields such as monitoring and evaluation, crisis mapping/reporting, or donor/annual reports. This includes a thorough understanding of choosing which tools to employ given the scope and context.
  • Critically assess and directly apply best practices that support data privacy, safety, usage/copyright principles and legal frameworks (e.g. secure email transmission, anonymizing/randomizing data).
Facilitator's Bio:
Madiha Zahrah Choksi is a scholar, educator and activist working at the intersection of technology, privacy, and human rights. Within the Digital Scholarship Team at Columbia University, Madiha's work focuses on integrating innovative technical research methodologies within both undergraduate and graduate schools at Columbia University through curriculum development and teaching. These literacies include, but are not limited to, app and database building, GIS mapping, social network analysis, 3D printing, and augmented and virtual reality. Madiha is currently instructing within the Department of History, Biological Sciences, the School of International and Public Affairs, and School of Professional Studies.
Regular rate: $325
Register by January 15th for an Early Bird rate of $275.  Use discount code: EARLYBIRD
A limited number of reduced rates are available for those with financial need. 
Columbia University students are eligible for a 40% discount on the regular rate if enrolled by the Early Bird deadline. Please email for more information.
This Training Workshop is part of ISHR's Human Rights Training Series. A certificate of participation will be granted to those who complete all sessions of the training. Individuals who complete three workshops in the Human Rights Training Series will receive an ISHR Human Rights Training Series certificate of completion.
Upon registration or application for financial need, please complete this survey: