Organising, analysing and publishing information on disappearances


In this discussion thread, participants will explore the ways that information about disappearances is organised, stored, secured, analysed and shared.

  • Information and platforms: Information on disappearances may be stored and organised in many ways that range from paper documents to carefully coded databases. Once the information is organised it is possible to analyse it. What platforms have you used to store, organise and analyse information on disappearances? What platforms do you use to publish and share this information? What advice would you give others who are just starting out?
  • Analysis and methodologies: There are different types of research methods (methodologies) that can be applied to the analysis of this kind of information. What methodologies have you used when organising and analysing information on disappearances?
  • Information security: Documentation of enforced disappearances is very sensitive information that adversaries would be motivated to obtain and/or destroy. What kinds of threats to your information exist (physical damage to documents such as a fire, someone eavesdropping on an email conversation, etc) How do you ensure that your documentation (as well as your communications about the documentation) is secure? What advice would you give others?

Community Discussion on Documenting the Disappeared: November 2017

In this presentation, Jorge Ruiz Reyes (@jorge.ruiz) of the Universidad Iberoamericana explains how HRDAG, PDH Ibero and Data CĂ­vica are applying a statistical model to data on disappearances to predict the locations of clandestine graves.

Please watch the presentation below and ask any questions or share your experiences by replying to this comment!


HURIDOCS has developed Event Standard formats for the documentation of human rights violations. There is a software application which contains these formats - the present version is called OpenEvsys - for more details see the OpenEvsys website.

Some organisations use the formats and OpenEvsys to document disappearances. An interesting example is Hafiza Merkezi in Turkey which has been interviewing family members, friends and neighbours of persons who disappeared in the eastern part of the country in the early 1990s.

While the OpenEvsys database is meant for confidential information, Hafiza Merkezi and HURIDOCS also developed a public website which contains data that is extracted from that site: Data can be accessed by facets for years and locations. For each case, there is background information on the victim, links to resources and a list of politicians which had political responsibilities at the moment that the disappearance took place.

At the moment, Hafiza Merkezi and HURIDOCS are re-developing the website using our Uwazi platform.

Also a regional network documenting disappearances is using OpenEvsys. Members of the network which are based in different countries have each their own database and can also share records in a common database.