Peace and Human Rights Data

HHI’s Peace and Human Rights Data Program conducts research and builds capacity in countries experiencing complex emergencies and serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. The program trains researchers and uses empirical and mixed research methods to consult, represent, and support survivors of mass violence and disasters. Through the program, HHI works to ensure that the needs of survivors are recognized and acted on by governments, United Nations agencies, and nongovernmental organizations.



The Peace and Human Rights Data program was created to develop and implement rigorous methodologies to investigate and inform the complex process of rebuilding societies after violence. The project features mixed-methods research undertaken in countries affected by mass violence, and include the development of measures and indicators to capture complex dynamics. One key component of this approach is a series of population-based studies to examine individuals experience of conflict, the effects of violence on their daily lives, and what survivors would like to see happen in the future. This consultation fills the gap between peacebuilding work as it is envisioned by policy-makers, and its implementation, reception and perception on the ground.

At present, the website features research undertaken by the program’s founding members. The program further helps improve the capacity of local organizations to collect and analyze data about survivors and vulnerable populations so that their needs will be heard and their rights can be protected.

Since 2003 the research team has interviewed over 40,000 survivors of violence in places like Burundi, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, the Philippines, Rwanda and Uganda. 


The program implements several projects:

Peacebuilding and Education


This project examines the role of education and schools and their associations with resilience in the context of violence and conflict. This project was developed in collaboration with UNICEF and builds on other work around youth and resilience conducted with the Eastern Congo Initiative.

Peacebuilding and Reconstruction Polls – DRC

This project conducts polls every three months in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo to examine changes in security, protection, and access to justice over time. It was developed in collaboration with UNDP and MONUSCO to inform actors on the ground and provide timely data for decision making. A large baseline was conducted in 2013 based on the consultation of 5,000 randomly selected Congolese in the region.

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Framework for Assessing Resilience

This projects seeks to develop a cross-cultural framework for assessing resilience in the context of conflicts and violence. It relies on large scale consultation and research in Guatemala, Liberia, and Timor-Leste. This work is implemented in collaboration with InterPeace.

Peacebuilding and Reconstruction Polls

More Information

In August 2015 and November 2015, HHI researchers released two reports presenting the results of population polls based on more than 8,500 one-on-one interviews conducted in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The reports are part of a series of polls conducted every three months to assess perceptions about security and justice in eastern Congo as well as current-event related questions about elections, gender-based violence and more. The project is a joint initiative of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in collaboration with MONUSCO Civil Affairs. HHI is responsible for the data collection, and independent analysis, and reporting of the results, in collaboration with partners at the Université Libre des Pays des Grands Lacs, Université Catholique de Bukavu, and Univer-sité de Bunia.

The polls found that support for ongoing military operations is divided but there is support for the FARDC as a means to improve safety. Other results show that inter- and intra-ethnic group relationships are no longer improving, but rather stabilizing or worsening in selected areas. Considering the future presidential elections, respondents see a high risk of violence, and judge security actors ill-prepared to respond to such violence. Finally the latest polls suggest that opportunities for employment as well as entertainment for youth are limited. Together these results highlight ongoing challenges for building peace in eastern Congo. 

The reports can be downloaded as a PDF in English and in French. Territory-specific profiles with all recent polls are available here. All survey data can be explored in an interactive map combining all polls and indicators.

Featured Publications

Searching for Lasting Peace

This report presents the results of a mixed-methods study conducted in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) between November and December 2013, to assess the population’s perceptions, knowledge, and attitudes about peace, security and justice. The study included a survey of 5,166 randomly selected adult residents, to provide results that are representative of the adult population of territories and major urban areas in the provinces of North Kivu and South Kivu, and the district of Ituri.

Fragile Peace, Elusive Justice

This report presents the results of a mixed-methods study conducted in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, to assess the population’s perceptions, knowledge, and attitudes about security and justice. The study included a survey of 1,000 randomly selected adult residents, to provide results that are representative of the population of the city of Abidjan.


Research Director, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative
Phuong Pham PhD, MPH
Director, Program on Evaluation and Implementation Science / Faculty
Senior Research Program Coordinator, Evaluation and Implementation Science | Peacebuilding and Human Rights Data
Grants Coordinator, Peace and Human Rights Data | Evaluation and Implementation Science, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

*Brigham and Women's Hospital