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In early 2006 IBC was invited to introduce its work at a Working Group Meeting on methods used by researchers to estimate armed conflict deaths (organised by the Small Arms Survey, Geneva, 17 Feb 2006).

Well-received by experts at the meeting, On Iraq Body Count summarised the project’s key features and innovations.

Methodological features

  • few assumptions needed: no statistical manipulations
  • continuous and open-ended; updated in the light of new evidence
  • provides a large subset of what’s happening
  • data collected as close as possible to the time and place of death as possible

On IBC slide X

4.0 Features of our work: Methodological

  1. By sticking firmly to actual reported deaths IBC makes the fewest possible assumptions in its work. No statistical manipulations are required on numbers extracted.

  2. Our work is not a backward-looking snapshot at a particular point in time but continuous and open-ended. It is always available for constant review and updating in the light of new evidence.

  3. Our data is very rich, because it provides a large subset of what is happening.

  4. It has high spatiotemporal specificity. Post-event interviews are always hampered by the fact that people tend to move on, and may not remain in the area or even in the country. Our data is recorded as close to the time and place of death as possible, and so has “forensic” elements.