Part of the work of the TRC involved the creation of a database to capture details of the violations, victims and perpetrators described in the more than 7000 statements received by the Commission. The most obvious outcomes of this effort are the TRC's lists of victims and the statistical appendix to the report. Furthermore the data were used to examine researcher's questions and theories, for example looking at the extent to which some violations were targeted against women and children. Additionally the database proved to be a valuable tool for assisting qualitative research work, as was done when we searched for statements that mentioned diamond mining. The results of this work are integrated into many of the various TRC report chapters and helped to inform some of the findings and recommendations of the Commission.
The data of the TRC is available here. This is done firstly for transparency, so others are free to examine the objectivity and methods applied at the TRC, and to verify statistical findings included in the report. Furthermore researchers are encouraged to use the data to develop their own work examining the conflict in Sierra Leone.
Prior to working with the data some understanding of its collection, methodology and structure will undoubtedly be essential. Therefore we strongly recommend referring to the various relevant resources listed below:
1. The Statement Taking process. See:
- Methodology and Processes, Statement Taking. Volume 1, Chapter 5, paras. 107-138
- The statement taking form. Volume 1, Chapter 5, Appendix III p190-p230
2. The data processing methodology. Detailing database structure, details of quality control checks and data cleaning, and the process for merging of duplicated events.
- Methodology and Processes, Data Processing. Volume 1, Chapter 5, paras. 139-193
3. The data structure and controlled vocabularies used by the TRC. Detailing the violations considered by the TRC, how the violation is the unit of analysis, basics of Sierra Leonean geography and aggregations used to examine perpetrator and ethnic allegiances.
- Locations Vocabulary (.csv)
- Data Dictionary
- TRC violations vocabulary (pdf) available on request. See contact at the bottom of the page
When using the data note that it IS NOT based on a random sample, the Commission being open to anyone who had a story that they wished to share. As such all statistics should be qualified with language such as ‘According to the TRC’s statements…’ or ‘In statements received by the TRC…’ The data are available to download here:
- Comma Separated Variable (.csv) file