Research has highlighted important shortcomings when it comes to the strength of the collected data. A number of responses can address this challenge: strong validation mechanisms, the use of multiple sources of data and transparency.
Combined validation mechanisms – from cross-referencing of data sources to on-the-ground investigations of each case – are directly correlated to the use of data for purposes that require very solid evidence, for example support to the victims of violence, academic analysis and evaluation of policies and programmes. Multiple sources of information are fundamental to getting the most detailed and systematic classification of deaths and injuries possible. Depending on the role and activities of each agency, it will have information that others might not be able to get. Sharing of experiences among national and external actors can also prove instrumental in overcoming limits within the systems by adapting or referring to experiences in similar contexts elsewhere. Disaggregated information on deaths and injuries and the methodologies used to gather this data should be transparent and publicly available. Transparency in the data helps local organisations and humanitarian agencies in identifying the areas where relief operations and humanitarian aid are the most needed. Transparency also shows that things are working – and in so doing reinforces the running of effective programmes to prevent and reduce violence.
COUNTING THE COST: CASUALTY RECORDING PRACTICES AND REALITIES, p. 42