Apr 142016
 April 14, 2016

DAYANI-superJumboA kind of forensic memorial, “Who Is Dayani Cristal?” pieces together the background of a Central American migrant worker who died trying to cross into the United States. Come join us for a free screening of this documentary by Gael Garcia Bernal, sponsored by the Kenan Collaboraty project in Science, Ethics, Identity and Human Rights, the Duke Initiative for Science and Society, the Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute, and the Duke Human Rights Center at the Kenan Institute for Ethics.

This event will be rescheduled for sometime in November – stay tuned!
This event is free and open to the public.

Feb 262016
 February 26, 2016

kdl-macfarquharLarissa MacFarquhar, writer for The New Yorker and author of Strangers Drowning: Grappling with Impossible Idealism, Drastic Choices, and the Overpowering Urge to Help will speak as the 2016-2017 Kenan Distinguished Lecturer on Monday, September 26.

The annual Kenan Distinguished Lecture in Ethics is a signature series of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke that brings a distinguished speaker to campus to address moral issues of broad social and cultural significance.

Monday, September 26, 2016
Begins 5:30pm; reception to follow
Nasher Museum of Art Auditorium

This event is free and open to the public. No ticket is required; seating is first-come, first-served.

Feb 012016
 February 1, 2016

BBQ-plateThe Kenan Institute for Ethics is hosting its annual party to kickoff the new academic year. Those planning to attend must RSVP to bashar.alobaidi@duke.edu

Thursday, September 1, 2016
West Duke Lawn, East Campus

Jan 182016
 January 18, 2016

BCD-400On August 18th, 19th and 20th, a group of eleven Durham high school students will put on the second annual Bull City Dignity Project, supported by Kenan Institute for Ethics, a documentary theater project based on the lives of Durham’s community members. Over the course of the summer, the cast members compile interviews with Durham residents from across multiple communities and generations, and explore the forces that shape the city’s ever-changing landscape, history of inequality, and unique culture. From stories of health inequality in the “City of Medicine” to an exploration of policing and restorative justice, join us for an evening of story-sharing, community and a celebration of the young voices in Durham. Tickets are pay-as-you-please but must be reserved. Proceeds will benefit future documentary projects.

Thursday, August 18 and Friday, August 19, 6:30PM
Hayti Heritage Center
804 Old Fayetteville St, Durham, NC 27701

Saturday, August 20, 6:30PM
Durham Arts Council’s PSI Theater
120 Morris Street, Durham, NC 27701

Jan 152016
 January 15, 2016

Project Change is a pre-orientation program that provides an immersive leadership experience in which participants live, learn, and work in Durham, competing with a team of  peers to find ways to solve the city’s critical problems. Students have fun, meet friends, and get to know the city where they’ll call home for the next four years. Run by the Kenan Institute for Ethics, the program invites incoming first years to spend eight intense days of taking risks, making mistakes, and meeting challenges with a select group of students, staff, community leaders, and faculty. They join a diverse team of eighteen peers and are given the adventure of a lifetime—to change the lives of complete strangers in creative and dramatic ways.

Complete information, including required forms, can be found at the Project Change page. Registration is completed through Duke Student Affairs.

Dec 262015
 December 26, 2015

MSI-DHRCThe Kenan Institute for Ethics and MSI Integrity are co-hosting a one-day workshop, MSIs, Institutional Design, and Institutional Efficacy. The emergence of multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs) is intertwined with the history of global “governance gaps” and the story of state struggles to regulate corporate influence in an era of globalization using an institutional architecture built during an era of nation states and superpower competition. As notions of public and private (and, concomitantly, sovereign and non-sovereign) have become increasingly fluid, MSIs have become an ever-more influential regulatory tool. This workshop focuses on the institutional design of MSIs and explores two sets of questions: First, what institutional design features are emerging as typical for an MSI, what do they do, and to whose benefit? Second, what sort of standardization might be desirable, and what sort should be resisted?

Thursday, May 26th
Ahmadieh Family Conference Room (West Duke 101)

This event is by invitation only. For more information please email Suzanne Katzenstein.

The workshop will be held in the Ahmadeih Conference Room, 101 West Duke Building on East Campus. Please see map below for walking directions to the Kenan Institute for Ethics (feel free to use the crosswalk across Buchanan Blvd for a more direct route).

Wednesday Night

  • Afternoon/Early evening: arrivals and check in at King’s Daughters Inn at 204 North Buchanan Blvd. (Taxi information forthcoming.)
  • 7:00, please be in lobby of KDI – Suzanne, Shana and Virginia will have cars and transport people to dinner to Piedmont Restaurant for 7:15 reservation.


  • Breakfast at KDI (Coffee will be available at West Duke)
    • Please walk from KDI to West Duke Building, Room 101 (this walk is about 10 minutes).
  • 9:00 Workshop begins
  • 4:45 Workshop ends
  • 6:30ish For those interested, casual dinner at a nearby pub, the Federal, on Main Street (not funded by Kenan unfortunately)

8:45-9:00—Coffee available (Please have breakfast at the King’s Daughter Inn—highly recommended)

9:00-9:15 — Introductions: Deval Desai & Suzanne Katzenstein

9:15-10:00 — Ben Collins & Suzanne Katzenstein

10:00-10:45 — Ken Abbott & Tim Buthe (discussant)

10:45-11:00 — Coffee Break

11:00-11:45 — Virginia Haufler & Barak Richman (discussant)

11:45-12:30 — Tim Bartley & Rachel Brewster (discussant)

12:30-1:30 — Lunch

1:30-2:15 — Elizabeth Fortin, Daniel Bornstein & Erika Weinthal (discussant)

2:15-3:00 — Shana Starobin & Sanjeev Khagram-unconfirmed and Deval Desai (discussants)

3:00-3:15 — Coffee Break

3:15-4:00 — Dorothée Baumann-Pauly & Andrea Renda (discussant)

4:00-4:45 Wrap up

Kenneth W. Abbott is the Jack E. Brown Professor of Law in the Arizona State University College of Law, Professor of Global Studies in the School of Politics and Global Studies, and Senior Sustainability Scholar in the Global Institute of Sustainability. Professor Abbott’s teaching and research focus on the interdisciplinary study of international institutions, international law and international relations. He studies a wide range of public and private institutions, in fields including environmental protection and sustainability, global health, corruption, emerging technologies, worker rights, and international trade. Before joining ASU, Professor Abbott taught for over 25 years at Northwestern University, where he held the Elizabeth Froehling Horner Chair and served as director of the university-wide Center for International and Comparative Studies. Professor Abbott is a Lead Faculty member of the Earth System Governance Project, and a member of the editorial boards of International Theory, Regulation & Governance and Journal of International Economic Law.

Tim Bartley is a sociologist at Ohio State University who writes about globalization, regulation, and social movements. He received his PhD at the University of Arizona before joining the faculty at Indiana University and then OSU. He has been a visiting scholar at Princeton, MIT, the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, and Sun Yat-sen University. His research focuses on sustainability, labor standards, & transnational processes. He is a political, organizational, and economic sociologist interested in debates about institutions, global governance, and social movements/NGOs. He is co-editor of Regulation & Governance, an interdisciplinary, international journal that publishes leading research by political scientists, legal scholars, sociologists, economists, historians, and others working on issues of regulation, standards, and governance within and across countries. His work on labor standards and sustainable forestry has fed into several recent attempts by scholars and practitioners to assess the effectiveness of social and environmental certification. Professor Bartley’s current research focuses on the implementation of fair labor and sustainable forestry standards in Indonesia and China, the intersection of states and private regulation, and the uses and abuses of “corporate social responsibility” in these settings. He is also doing work on the interactions between social movements and firms, the rise of a timber legality regime, neoliberalism and global rule-making, and the meanings of “political consumerism.”

Dorothée Baumann-Pauly is the research director at NYU Stern’s Center for Business and Human Rights. She oversees the Center’s research activities, including development of academic publications, case studies, the Center’s forthcoming textbook, and other teaching resources. She holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Zurich (Switzerland) and MA degrees in management and political science from the University of Constance (Germany) and Rutgers University of New Jersey. She joined NYU Stern in June 2013. Dorothée has split her career between academia and corporate social responsibility (CSR) practice. As a project officer and consultant for the Fair Labor Association, she helped revise the organization’s core program by developing assessment and impact measurement methodologies. She also oversaw supply chain auditing activities and supported workers’ representation projects in China. Dorothée worked as MFA-Forum country program manager at the London-based think tank AccountAbility, managing multi-stakeholder dialogues in Bangladesh, Morocco, and Lesotho.

Daniel Bornstein is a PhD student in the Community and Environmental Sociology program at University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is studying sustainability standards for agriculture, focused on the role of third-party auditing. He has also conducted research on the introduction of a new high-yielding rice variety in The Gambia.

Ben Collins is the Program Coordinator at MSI Integrity, where he currently leads the organization’s work on mapping and evaluating multi-stakeholder human rights initiatives involving the private sector. He has a background in environmental and human rights research and advocacy, with a focus on the extractive industries. Before joining MSI Integrity, Ben was a Senior Research and Policy Campaigner with Rainforest Action Network, where he led research and financial sector engagement on climate and energy issues. Previously, he worked as a sustainable investment research analyst at EIRIS and KLD Research & Analytics. He has also researched business and human rights issues involving the oil, gas, and mining industries for Human Rights Watch and Oxfam. He is a former board member and treasurer with the Responsible Endowments Coalition. He graduated from Harvard College and received a Master in Public Policy degree from the Harvard Kennedy School, where he was a Belfer International and Global Affairs fellow.

Deval Desai is a Research Associate at the Overseas Development Institute and an SJD Candidate at Harvard Law School. He has published widely on law and development, and taught at Harvard, Manchester, SOAS, and Northeastern. He has been awarded grants from LSE and Harvard to explore the research-policy nexus (with Rebecca Tapscott); serves on the editorial board of the Hague Journal on the Rule of Law; and was made the inaugural International Rule of Law Fellow at the Bingham Center. Since 2009 he has also worked for the World Bank as a rule of law reform expert in East and West Africa; as well as advising the UN High-Level Panel on the Sustainable Development Goals on rule of law issues. He is a lifetime Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and a member of the UN roster of experts on the rule of law. He holds an MA from Oxford, an LL.M. from Harvard and is a member of the Bar of England and Wales.

Elizabeth Fortin is a Senior Research Associate at the University of Bristol Law School. She received a Postdoctoral Fellowship and a Small Grant both from the British Academy.  Her Fellowship examines multi-stakeholder efforts to create sustainability standards and a certification scheme for the biofuels industry. She has been focusing on the process of formulating and implementing the standards, and empirical fieldwork was undertaken with stakeholders in Lausanne, Switzerland.  Her small grant focuses again on Fairtrade as a form of standards and certification.  It considers this through a case study of its gendered implications for women cocoa farmers in Ghana.  Fieldwork for this grant has been undertaken by her co-investigator in Ghana, for which participatory video techniques were employed and from this, a short film has been made to disseminate the findings.  The empirical case studies both contribute to greater understanding of knowledge formation in standards processes, the theorization of the formulation of supranational consensual regulation and, together, their implications for global citizenship and democracy.

Virginia Haufler is Associate Professor in the Department of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland, College Park and is affiliated with the Center for International Development and Conflict Management. Her research focuses on the changing nature of governance in the global political economy, especially the role of transnational corporations and corporate social responsibility. Her current research examines how transnational regulation of the private sector addresses issues of conflict and corruption. She is also Director of the Global Communities Living-Learning Program, which introduces freshmen to scholarship and experiences that introduce them to globalization, global issues and intercultural understanding. She has been a visiting scholar at the University of California-Irvine, the University of Southern California, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She has served on the boards of non-profit organizations, including Women in International Security, the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt, and the OEF Foundation, and has advised the Principles for Responsible Investment and the Business4Peace Platform of the UN Global Compact. She has an M.A./Ph.D from Cornell University and dual B.A. from Pennsylvania State University.

Suzanne Katzenstein is a Research Scholar and the Project Director at the Duke Human Rights Center at the Kenan Institute for Ethics. Her current research analyzes government use of different economic and legal strategies to protect national security and promote human rights. Most recently, Suzanne was a visiting assistant professor at Duke Law School. At Kenan, Suzanne teaches classes on human rights and is working to advance new human rights programming with a special focus on cultivating global partnerships. Suzanne has a J.D. from Harvard Law School and Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University.

Shana Starobin is a Fellow of the Penn Program on Regulation at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, with research interests in the politics of transnational regulation and institutional innovation in the governance of trade in food, agricultural commodities and natural resources.  Shana’s current research examines how producers of agricultural commodities–especially subsistence and smallholder farmers in developing and emerging economies—respond as targets of global rules, such as private certification schemes for quality, safety and environmental criteria.

Rachel Brewster is the co-director of Duke’s Center for International and Comparative Law. Rachel Brewster’s scholarly research and teaching focus on the areas of international economic law and international relations theory.  She came to Duke Law in July 2012 from Harvard University where she was an assistant professor of law and affiliate faculty member of The Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. Prior to joining the Harvard law faculty in 2006, Brewster served as a Bigelow Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School and clerked for Judge Phyllis A. Kravitch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.  She served as legal counsel in the Office of the United States Trade Representative in 2008. Brewster received her BA and JD from the University of Virginia, where she was articles editor for the Virginia Law Review. She holds a PhD in political science from the University of North Carolina — Chapel Hill, where she received the John Patrick Hagan Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

Tim Büthe is associate professor of political science and public policy, as well as senior fellow of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke. Two primary interests that cut across traditional disciplinary boundaries drive Büthe’s research. First, he seeks to advance our understanding of how political, legal, and economic institutions not only constrain but also empower some stakeholder’s vis-à-vis others and how these distributional consequences affect institutional persistence and change in the long run. Second, he seeks to understand how market and non-market processes interact in specific issues areas that are intrinsically important. The resulting research shows, for instance, that the global governance (“transnational regulation”) of product and financial markets is deeply political even when it takes place in non-governmental bodies of technical experts (transnational or private regulation). Other major projects focus on the foreign direct investment (FDI), especially the costs and benefits of using international trade and investment treaties to reduce the political risks FDI faces in developing countries, and foreign aid, especially the distinctiveness of private humanitarian and development aid. A newer NSF-funded project analyzes the international dimension of antitrust/competition policy and builds the first comprehensive database of cross-nationally comparable data on antitrust (competition) law and enforcement.

Andrea Renda is the 2015-2016 George C. Lamb, Jr. Regulatory Fellow at the Kenan Institute for Ethics and a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), where he started and currently manages the CEPS Regulatory Affairs Programme. He is also Adjunct Professor at Luiss Guido Carli University, in Rome, and his research specialties include innovation policy, competition policy and critical infrastructure protection. While in residence, he will be conducting a research project and teaching a seminar on private regulation. From 2006, he has served as Coordinator of the European Network for Better Regulation (www.enbr.org), a Coordination Action on regulatory impact assessment funded by the European Commission under the FP6 programme. In 2010, he also became the founder and Manager of the CEPS Digital Forum. Andrea is an ongoing consultant for a number of institutions, including the European Commission, the European Parliament, the OECD and the World Bank. Andrea is the Rapporteur of the CEPS Task Force on Electronic Communications (at its third edition), as well as the CEPS Task Forces on innovation policy, competition policy and critical infrastructure protection. He was, i.a., the lead author of the Pilot Project on Administrative Burdens for DG ENTR; the main author of the Impact Study on private antitrust damages actions for DG Comp in 2007. For the European Commission, he is currently leading studies in the field of financial services and administrative burdens, and participating to studies on electronic communications, spectrum policy, and social impact assessment. From 2011 to 2013, he was a Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute in Fiesole (Italy), researching in particular on better regulation and telecommunications issues.

Barak Richman is on the Health Sector Management faculty at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business and is a Senior Fellow at the Kenan Institute for Ethics. His primary research interests include the economics of contracting, new institutional economics, antitrust, and healthcare policy. His work has been published in the Columbia Law Review, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Law and Social Inquiry, the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and Health Affairs.  In 2006, he co-edited with Clark Havighurst a symposium volume of Law and Contemporary Problems entitled “Who Pays? Who Benefits? Distributional Issues in Health Care,” and his book Stateless Commerce is to be published by Harvard University Press in 2015.Richman represented the NFL Coaches Association in an amicus curiae brief in American Needle v. The Nat’l Football League, which was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in January 2010 and again inBrady v. The Nat’l Football League in 2011.  His recent work challenging illegal practices by Rabbinical Associations was featured in the New York Times. Richman has an A.B., magna cum laude, from Brown University, a J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School, and a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, where he studied under Nobel Laureate in Economics Oliver Williamson. He served as a law clerk to Judge Bruce M. Selya of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and from 1994-1996 he handled international trade legislation as a staff member of the United States Senate Committee on Finance, then chaired by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

Erika Weinthal is the Lee hill Snowdon Professor of Environmental Policy and the Associate Dean for International Programs at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment. Dr. Weinthal specializes in global environmental politics and environmental security with a particular emphasis on water and energy. Current areas of research include (1) global environmental politics and governance, (2) environmental conflict and peacebuilding, (3) the political economy of the resource curse, and (4) climate change adaptation. Dr. Weinthal’s research spans multiple geographic regions, including the Soviet successor states, the Middle East, South Asia, East Africa, and North America. Dr. Weinthal is author of State Making and Environmental Cooperation: Linking Domestic Politics and International Politics in Central Asia (MIT Press 2002), which received the 2003 Chadwick Alger Prize and the 2003 Lynton Keith Caldwell Prize. She has co-authored, Oil is not a Curse: Ownership Structure and Institutions in Soviet Successor States (Cambridge University Press 2010) and has co-edited, Water and Post-conflict Peacebuilding: Shoring Up Peace (Routledge/Earthscan Press, 2014). She is a member of the UNEP Expert Group on Conflict and Peacebuilding. Dr. Weinthal is also an Associate Editor at Global Environmental Politics.

Conference participants may access papers via the password-protected page below.

Click here to access conference papers.

Dec 182015
 December 18, 2015

Urban povertyCities are centers of great economic dynamism. In the developing world, this has resulted in massive population shifts from rural to urban areas, and cities have become centers of huge inequalities in incomes, lifestyles, housing conditions and access to services. Glass-walled office towers stand side-by-side with squalid, tented slum settlements. Yet despite the rapid growth in the ranks of the urban poor, knowledge about their lifestyles, household investments, social mobility, political behavior, and the like – remains rudimentary. Bringing together a multidisciplinary group of scholars and development professionals, this conference aims to address the crucial challenges and opportunities facing poor households and neighborhoods in the developing world. Sponsored by: Duke Center for International Development (DCID), Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University, Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University, RTI International

The workshop is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. If you plan to attend, please RSVP to event coordinator Marissa Rosen marissa.rosen@duke.edu
For more information and times, visit: http://sites.duke.edu/urbanpoverty/schedule/

Wednesday, May 18 – Friday, May 20, 2016
Rhodes Conference Room (Sanford School of Public Policy, Room 223)


Dec 052015
 December 5, 2015

QuantitativeHRQuantitative analyses have become critical tools in human rights data analysis. They can estimate the magnitude and location and timing of violations, and they can measure the effect international efforts for mitigation. But few quantitative scientists study human rights issues. The purpose of this conference is to review what has been done at the intersection of rights and mathematical modeling, identify technical and political challenges, and develop plans for growing the cadre who work in this field.

This conference is hosted by the Duke Human Rights Center at the Kenan Institute for Ethics. Support for this conference comes in part from Center for Human Rights Science at Carnegie Mellon.

Thursday, May 5 – Friday, May 6
Ahamadieh Family Conference Room (101 West Duke)

General Information:

  • Guest participants are staying at the Durham Marriott City Center
  • For those staying at the Durham Marriott City Center, please help yourself to the buffet breakfast and charge to the room. Also, two Charlene’s Safe Ride Taxis will be outside the hotel at 8:40 am, to take you to the conference site each day.
  • You can call Charlene’s safe ride for ride back to hotel when conference is over: 919 744-4444

Thursday Schedule: 

 Mostly Issues Related to Conflict Mortality Estimation

8:40- Taxi Pick up from Marriott City Center  (please have buffet breakfast at the hotel and charge to room)

9:00-9:45- Kristian Lum, Adjusting expectations for the Fscore on imbalanced data: an application to model assessment for record-linkage

10:00-10:45- Patrick Ball, Deduplicating databases of deaths in war: advances in adaptive blocking, pairwise classification, and clustering

10:45-11:00- Coffee/Tea in hallway

11:00-11:45- Anshumali Shrivastava, Probabilistic Fingerprints for Scalable and Secure Record Linkage (Deduplication)


1:00-1:45- Rebecca Steorts, Understanding the Syrian Conflict: Not Just Another Enumeration

2:00-2:45- James Johndrow, A new approach to heterogeneous population estimation

2:45-3:00- Coffee/Tea in Hallway

3:00-3:45- Robin Kirk, Mapping Human Rights: using geographical data to map the human rights past

4:00-5:00- Panel Discussion (all presenters)

6:30- Dinner at the Piedmont Restaurant (walking distance from hotel)(reservation under David Banks name)

Friday, Schedule

 Other Topics

 8:40- Taxi Pick up from Marriott City Center (Please have buffet breakfast at hotel and charge to your room).

9:00-9:45- Jay Aronson, Developing a long-term, collaborative research agenda (and funding model) for statistics and human rights

10:00-10:45- Chris McNaboe

10:45-11:00- Coffee/Tea in hallway

11:00-11:4- Megan Price

12:00-1:00- Lunch

1:00-1:45- Robin Mejia, Case studies on data issues in human rights investigation

2:00-2:45- Duncan Thomas, Costs and benefits of following the hard to follow:  Evidence on following migrants and the displaced in longitudinal surveys

2:45-3:00- Coffee/Tea in  hallway

3:00-3:45- David Banks, Cost-Benefit Analysis of War

4:00-4:45- Daniel Manrique-Vallier, Multiple-Recapture Estimation of Casualties in Armed Conflicts Using Dirichlet Process Mixtures.

4:45-5:30- Panel Discussion (all presenters)

Thursday Abstracts

Kristian Lum
Adjusting expectations for the F1 score on imbalanced data: an application to model assessment for record-linkage
Imbalanced data — binary data in which one value predominates — is routinely encountered in many modern applications. When training a classifier on imbalanced data, it is common to create balanced training sets containing roughly equal numbers of positives and negatives. Performance is often assessed by computing the F1 score on an imbalanced validation set representative of the data at large. Motivated by an application to record linkage, we demonstrate mathematically and through numerical examples that the F1 score will always degrade as validation data become more imbalanced, even if the classifier has identical predictive performance on the training and validation data. In the described scenario a reduced F1 on the testing set may be interpreted by practitioners as model over-fitting, when in fact, it is a mathematical property of the metric. We then propose an alternative approach to measuring performance of binary classifiers for record-linkage, and apply this approach to link several datasets containing the names of people killed in Syria.

Patrick Ball
Deduplicating databases of deaths in war: advances in adaptive blocking, pairwise classification, and clustering
Violent inter-state and civil wars are documented with lists of the casualties. There are often several lists, with duplicate entries in each list and among the lists, requiring record linkage to dedeuplicate them. This talk will explore how we do record linkage, including an adaptive blocking approach; pairwise classification with string, date, and integer features and several classifiers; and clustering. Assessment metrics will be proposed for each stage, with real-world results from deduplicating more than 350,000 records of Syrian people killed since 2011.

Rebecca Steorts
Understanding the Syrian Conflict: Not Just Another Enumeration
While the Syrian conflict is extremely well documented, providing a reliable enumeration is challenging. Victims are often reported in multiple data sets and are missing vital identifiers while other victims are not reported at all. The key insight is that many victims are reported in multiple data sets. Thus, in order to find a reliable enumeration, record linkage (otherwise known as de-duplication or entity resolution) is used to merge multiple noisy data sets to remove duplicated information.
Record linkage itself is a multi-step process. The crucial first step involves a data reduction component-blocking that divides the space of records into similar partitions. On any moderately sized data set it is essential to avoid all-to-all record comparisons, thus emphasizing the use of computationally scalable blocking algorithms. Once blocked partitions have been established, any record linkage method can be applied within these partitions to remove the duplicated information victims. After the duplicated victims are removed by record linkage, an enumeration and a standard error of this enumeration can be computed. We present three methods for providing such an enumeration, assessing our results, and providing insights for future directions.
Joint work with Abbas Zaidi, Anshumali Shrivastava, Megan Price, Rebecca C. Steorts

James Johndrow
A new approach to heterogeneous population estimation
Abstract: Capture-recapture methods aim to estimate the size of a closed population on the basis of multiple incomplete enumerations of individuals. In many applications, the individual probability of being recorded is heterogeneous in the population. Previous studies have suggested that it is not possible to reliably estimate the total population size when capture heterogeneity exists. Here we approach population estimation in the presence of capture heterogeneity as a specialized nonparametric density estimation problem. We show mathematically that in this setting it is generally impossible to estimate the density on the entire real line in finite samples, and that estimators of the density will converge to the true density at a logarithmic rate or worse in the sample size.  As an alternative, we propose estimating the population of individuals with capture probability exceeding some threshold. We provide methods for selecting an appropriate threshold, and show that this approach results in estimators with substantially lower risk than estimators of the total population size, with correspondingly smaller uncertainty. The alternative paradigm is demonstrated in extensive simulation studies and an application to snowshoe hare multiple recapture data.

Anshumali Shrivastava
Probabilistic Fingerprints for Scalable and Secure Record Linkage (Deduplication)
The dramatic growth in data volumes has made conventional statistical methodologies near-infeasible, due to their prohibitive computational requirements. We are soon going towards an era where, for most applications, super-liner (in the size of data) runtime is practically infeasible. In this talk, I will introduce probabilistic hashing (or fingerprinting) techniques as a solution. The proposed techniques trade a small amount of certainty, which is insignificant for most practical purposes, with huge, often exponential gains in the computational complexity.  I will demonstrate a linear time algorithm for record linkage with results on a real deduplication task over Syrian Death Records. I will then show how to modify these fingerprints to restrict the information leakage leading to privacy preserving fingerprinting.

Friday Abstracts

Daniel Manrique-Vallier
Multiple-Recapture Estimation of Casualties in Armed Conflicts Using Dirichlet Process Mixtures
Beginning with the pioneering work of Patrick Ball in Guatemala in 1999, Multiple-Recapture (MR) techniques have become a popular tool for estimating total numbers of casualties in armed conflicts from multiple incomplete lists. A major challenge in these applications is to correctly account for individual heterogeneity of capture, and dependence between lists. Classic log-linear modeling is often a simple and reasonable approach. However, difficult problems such as model selection and low tolerance to sparsity when dealing with large numbers of lists, limit their broader applicability and often require ad-hoc solutions. In this talk I present a full Bayesian method, based on Dirichlet process mixtures. This method offers a principled way of accounting for complex patterns of heterogeneity of capture, obviating the need for a separate model selection process, and is computationally efficient. Additionally it has a high tolerance for sparsity. I illustrate it using historical data from conflicts in Kosovo and Colombia.

Robin Mejia
Case studies on data issues in human rights investigation
In this talk, I’ll discuss the importance of careful assessment of data sources used in quantitative human rights investigations. The talk will focus on two case studies: investigations into child abductions that occurred in El Salvador’s civil war and deaths in Syria. El Salvador suffered a brutal civil war between 1979 and 1992. Military abductions of children were a feature of the conflict, but the extend of the practice has not been quantified. I assess data provided by the Salvadoran NGO La Asociacion Pro Busqueda por Ninas y Ninos Desparecidos (Pro Busqueda), which investigates these cases, and present a characterization of known cases. I then explore issues that arise when attempting to parse the data into multiple lists (cases opened by parents and cases opened by children) for use in establishing a capture-recapture estimate of the total number of abductions. In addition, if time permits, I will present initial results characterizing datasets provided by Syrian observer organizations to the Human Rights Data Analysis Group for use in estimating the number of observed deaths and also the number of total deaths in that conflict. Several groups have provided HRDAG multiple snapshots of their datasets — for example, providing data in May 2013 and again in June 2014. We see that not only do updates include new incidents that have occurred since May 2013, but they also include revisions to the data from the beginning of the war.

David Banks
Cost-Benefit Analysis of War
Surprisingly little seems to have been written about the tradeoffs made when a country decides to go to war.  This talk looks at the four discretionary wars fought by the United States between 1950 and 2000.  The main goal is to find sensible methods, but some calculations are possible.

Nov 282015
 November 28, 2015

Professor Michael DworkinEnJustice will discuss the ways in which classical ‘justice-theorists’ can help resolve the ethical issues of developing and operating energy systems that meet the common statutory standard of being ‘just and reasonable.’ His comments will link both 1) concrete specific scenarios faced by energy regulators with 2) the differing advice that theorists such as Aristotle, Bentham, Mills and Rawls would give for how to resolve those specific decisions. The talk will draw on his recent book with Benjamin Sovacool, Global Energy Justice (Cambridge Univ Press 2014).

Dworkin is a Professor of Law at Vermont Law School since 2005 and has also been a litigator for the US EPA, a management partner in an engineering firm, and a utility regulator. He is the Direct of the Institute for Energy and the Environment at VLS, which is an international resource for energy law and policy. He serves on the board of Vermont Energy Investment Corp and Vermont Electric Power Company and has served on the boards of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy and the Electric Power Research Institute (ACEEE).

Co-sponsored by the Duke Energy Initiative, the Duke Human Rights Center at the Kenan Institute for Ethics and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.

Thursday, April 28
3:30-5:00 pm
West Duke, 08C

To receive the handouts and parking instructions for this event, please Please RSVP to Kay Jowers, kay.jowers@duke.edu.